Team Darrell Lea STIX has come away with 208 championship points at the ITM 500 Auckland with driver Shane van Gisbergen moving up to 5th place on the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship Ladder.
The action-packed weekend started with two 21 lap sprint races on Saturday utilising both hard and soft compound tyres in each. Starting off the second row in Race 28, Shane got off to a decent start to put an early mid-race move on David Reynolds to climb into the second spot where he would then finish.
“I didn’t even think I could get it done on Davey, and Jamie ahead was just too fast. But it’s good to get a podium here at home. Thanks to my team and it’s great to be here. ” says SVG.
Race 29 on the softs saw Shane van Gisbergen fight his way from 13th all the way up to 5th, including some well-crafted overtakes past Tim Slade and James Courtney.
“Our first quali was pretty good, we had our struggles but the car was pretty fast and we managed to get on the podium, which was great. The soft tyre race pace was much better than this morning’s second quali pace as we made a heap of changes throughout the day. We were just not getting the best out of it, trying to do the one lap straight after the hard in the morning. It put us down the pack but it was fun coming through! It was pretty cool to hear people in the stands going nuts every time I went in for an overtake or something!”
The Sunday out at Pukekohe Park proved to be tough as Shane van Gisbergen hustled to finish 9th after starting 8th in race 30. Seventh at the time a safety car was deployed on lap 7 to rescue to the stranded Nick Percat, the #97 was forced to double stack in the pit lane behind Scott Pye losing track position to re-joining in 17th position. But once again, van Gisbergen demonstrated another “man of the match” performance to fight his way through the field from 17th to 9th.
“The critical point of today was we were behind the Penske car and they did a great job all weekend and that sort of set the set the tone for that first safety car that just killed us so we had to go to the back of the field and fight our way through. It was a pretty exciting race but we were just too far back. We had good speed and had clean battles which was good but that’s just the way it goes this weekend. We’re looking forward to Phillip Island.” says SVG.
The #97 Darrell Lea STIX Commodore will next be on track at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint 20 – 22 November 2015.