What a weekend! Team Darrell Lea STIX are back on the podium after the first enduro round of the year. Shane Van Gisbergen was accompanied by Jonathon Webb for the 161 lap attack at the Sandown 500, to take home 3rd place.
The weekend’s events started off well with Lola finding her feet, or should I say tyres, early on Friday, reinforcing the success of an earlier shakedown and test day at Queensland Raceway. After a morning session SVG handed over the reins to Webb for the remainder of the day, finishing practice two and three in 5th and 6th respectively.
A quiet sense of confidence was in the air come Saturday morning, with issues facing the number 97 appeared to be ironed out for the weekend of racing. SVG went on to qualify the Darrell Lea STIX Commodore in P7 on Saturday morning before Webb took hold of the wheel for the first 20 lap qualifying race where he would finish in 5th place. In the hot seat for the second qualifying race, SVG started 5th but brought it home in 4th place which slotted the #97 onto the second row for the Sunday 500km race. “It’s so good to be fighting up the front again, we’re actually in a good position to be competitive” said SVG.
Sunday kicked off to a smooth start, the car feeling dialled in during warm up and driver changes well-rehearsed. The 161 lap bout kicked off to a flying start, Webb claiming 3rd from the line proving he meant business and finding 2nd before SVG found himself in the hot seat. “Lola was back to normal and it was so good to be at the front and in reaching distance” said Shane who brought home number 97 for its first podium finish in the new chassis. “Everyone did a great job to be up the front the whole time and the car was competitive, no mistakes in the pit stops all day and we were fighting all day”.
Photos courtesy of www.speedcafe.com and V8supercars.com.au
The Darrell Lea STIX Commodore will next be on track at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, 8-11 October 2015.