The rain stayed away for the first day of racing at the penultimate round of the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship. Track conditions for the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit were cool, dry and overcast as the #97 Darrell Lea STIX Commodore rolled out of pit lane for qualifying for twin 14 lap sprint races.
Shane van Gisbergen showed reasonable speed in qualifying to start out of P6 for Race 31 and P11 for Race 32.
“P6 is alright… I had an OK lap and got a good tow off Scotty (Pye). The wind is always an issue here but it depends which direction it’s going and today it seems to at least be consistent,” said Shane
In race 31, van Gisbergen stormed off the line to overtake Mark Winterbottom but quickly ran out of space on the outside of David Reynolds in turn 1 as he was forced onto the grass. The #97 continued to shadow #5 until minor contact was made with the back of Reynold’s car at Hayshed which sent the Falcon into a spin. The Darrell Lea STIX went on to finish in 4th.
With all the drama left behind in Race 31, starting 11th of the grid Shane van Gisbergen overtook James Courtney and Fabian Coulthard on the opening lap and maintained his position to come home in P9.
Starting 9th in Sunday’s 45 lapper, van Gisbergen made up a couple of spots as the front runners opted to pit on the opening lap. The #97 eventually ventured down the pit lane for fuel and tyres on lap 4 where it would then re-join in 12th. It was an incident free trek for the Darrell Lea STIX Commodore as SVG served his second and final pit stop on lap 21 as he attempted to chase down the #15 of Rick Kelly in the final laps who was running in 6th. Van Gisbergen crossed the finish line in 7th just 8 tenths behind Rick Kelly and currently trails Garth Tander who is 4th in the championship by 17 points.
The Darrell Lea STIX Commodore will next be on track at the Coates Hire Sydney 500 4 – 6 December 2015.