Team Darrell Lea STIX’s Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb have finished 8th in an eventful 161 lap battle at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Friday’s qualifying session was postponed after a horrible crash involving Chaz Mostert on the first timed lap in the session. In Saturday’s rescheduled qualifying session, Van Gisbergen banked a 2:06.4470 lap early on before the rain arrived where he would end up second fastest.
As the second last car out in the Top Ten Shootout the #97 was unfortunately met with heavy rain which saw Van Gisbergen slot the Darrell Lea STIX Commodore in P6 to start on the third row for the big race.
“We had a good run in qualifying to get into the shootout, I got a good lap in before the weather, the car is really hard to drive and predictable but fast,” said SVG before adding “in the wet shootout the car felt good it’s just that the track was so much wetter than the earlier runners. I did what I could but we just had the wettest track out there basically.”
An electric start from SVG in the 161-lap main event saw the #97 charge up to P2 after starting from P6 before handing over the reins to Jonathon Webb for a double stint.
Rain had threatened all day and storms were predicted for the afternoon, on lap 90 the dark clouds rolled in and it began to rain at the top of Mount Panorama; with the track too wet to continue on slicks, Webb was forced into the pit lane for wets while stacking behind the DJRTP Ford which caused the #97 lose bulk track position.
The final safety car was called on lap 133 after Pye came together with the concrete at Sulman Park.
With Van Gisbergen back in the hot seat for the final 40 laps, the #97 lit up the timing screens in typically flamboyant fashion to climb from 17th to an eventual eighth.
“[The double stacking] put us 20 seconds behind so we couldn’t recover it all back. Sad the race was defined by one lap, would have been nice to up the front there but tough for me fight back through.” said Shane van Gisbergen
The Darrell Lea STIX Commodore will be back on track for the final event of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup on the streets of Surfers Paradise 23-25 October.