What a day for TEKNO at the Phillip Island 360! Two qualifying sessions, two 100km races, a podium, a top-ten and a DNF brought every emotion to the team.
Qualifying came in two separate 20-minute sessions, only 10-minutes apart. We had dry conditions for both sessions, unlike Saturday, which meant consistency was key. Shane van Gisbergen had pretty good sessions, scoring himself 6th place on the grid for both Race 33 and 34.
Jonathon Webb struggled through both sessions with a vibration that first reared its head in Saturday morning’s practice session. The team worked hard to find the source of the issue, in a process of elimination, and were led to an issue with the front aero package. New parts fitted since the Gold Coast 600 seem to have caused an issue with the mounting of the front bar, causing a vibration as the air pressure increases with speed. He would start Race 33 23rd and Race 34 24th.
The 23-lap Race 33 started under grey skies, however there was no real threat of rain, and a dry race ensued. Shane had a great race up front, starting well to gain two spots immediately, before a great drive got him to P3. He then battled Chaz Mostert for most of the race, holding off the young gun in a sprint finish after a safety car period for a well-earned podium.
Jonathon had a poor start, falling to the back of the pack in the opening lap melee, before a great drive that was far better than his track position, to end the race 18th.
TEKNO had high hopes leading into Race 34, after our good showing in Race 33, but it wasn’t to be. When you’re racing in the pack, it always gets messy. Jonathon was the unfortunate recipient of a stray wheel from Lee Holdsworth’s Mercedes, which broke car #19’s front bar mounting points and put him out of the race.
Shane ran up in the top-five until the end of the second safety car period, when he was dispatched at turn 1 by James Moffat, falling to 13th. He spent the last five laps of the race pushing hard, eventually earning himself tenth place for the race, and sixth for the weekend.
Shane remains seventh in the series points chase, but has narrowed the gap to Garth Tander to only five points. Jonathon also stays steady in 12th place. TEKNO is fifth in the Team’s Championship, 162 points behind the Holden Racing Team.
How they saw it:
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore
Race 33 Finishing Position: 18th
Race 34 Finishing Position: DNF
“We haven’t had heaps of pace all weekend, but having said that, I’m trying to bring it home and have a straight car. Again, we didn’t really have the speed, but we were cruising around and would have gained a few positions due to the carnage out there. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance, with the wheel departing Holdsworth’s car. I was watching for the car, and missed it, but wasn’t expecting a wheel to come flying at me! I clobbered it with a fair bit of speed, and that was the end of our race. I’m still not 100% sure what’s going on with that vibration, which is very strong through the front of the car. We think it’s aero or something like that, but we’re not 100% sure. It obviously upsets the balance of the car a bit, and is distracting me from what I need to focus on. I’m looking forward to going to Sydney; it’s the last one, and a chance to finish the season right – which hasn’t gone how we intended it to.”
Shane van Gisbergen
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore
Race 33 Finishing Position: 3rd
Race 34 Finishing Position: 10th
“The first race was pretty good – I’m stoked to get a podium. It was pretty crazy out there! We didn’t really have much pace, but had a really good run in the first few laps, and that set us up for a good result. In the second race we were pretty settled in fifth, but after the safety car restarts I had no grip both times, and then got escorted off the road by Moffat. I passed two cars after that, tenth for race and sixth for weekend, so that’s not too bad. I really had to battle for that podium today, had some issues for the car, so I’m pretty pleased with that.”