Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) has secured two major deals this week - Shane van Gisbergen has signed a three year deal that will see him remain with the three time Championship winning team until the end of 2015. Major sponsor of his #9 Ford Falcon, SP Tools, have also confirmed they will be sticking with the young talent for another three years.
The two re-signings set new SBR records with van Gisbergen becoming the longest serving driver at the team. At the end of his contract he will have driven for SBR for eight years, topping the five years that both Russell Ingall and Marcos Ambrose spent with the team.
SP Tools is now the team’s longest standing sponsor and have been SBR’s only consistently running sponsor since their inception in 1998.
With the commitment of van Gisbergen and SP Tools assured, Team Principal Ross Stone is more determined than ever to finish what the team set out to achieve and believes the timing is now perfect for them to win a V8 Supercars Championship.
“Having Shane and SP Tools on board for the next three years gives Jimmy and I great stability so we can carry on achieving the targets we set ourselves. Shane is 23 now and timing is just perfect to try and win a Championship or two in the next few years.”
“Everyone in the team is happy that Shane and SP Tools are staying on with us, and it gives us the opportunity to finish off something we have started. We can smell it, we can see it and we can hear it, we just need to go and do it [win a Championship] now.”
“I believe Shane is more than capable of winning the Championship. He has natural talent and he is one of those drivers who actually has the V8 Supercar dream. He doesn’t have the desire to race for a European team and he isn’t using this as a stepping stone.”
“Shane, other than the racing he did in New Zealand, has never driven anything other than a SBR car. It has taken some time for us to get the engineering right so we can give him a car capable of winning a Championship, but I think the timing is now right for that.”
“With a confirmed driver line-up; Shane resigning, and Lee and Tim still contracted; we have a young and very talented team. This is a strong position for us to be in and Jimmy and I are excited about our racing future,” said Stone.
Shane van Gisbergen said he is very happy to continue racing with SBR, in the SP Tools Falcon, for the next three years.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling to be able to keep all our relationships going. I definitely think I can win a Championship with SBR, that is the main reason I wanted to stay. I wouldn’t have stayed if I didn’t think that. Everything is really exciting now and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with SBR and SP Tools. I’m very happy.”
“Stone Brothers gave me my start back in 2007 and have shown great faith in me. I have always been hungry to win races and I still am. I think Ross realises that I have only ever wanted to race V8 Supercars – I’ve never wanted to race F1 or anything like that.”
“SP Tools had been with SBR for a long time and when I started they became naming right sponsor of my #9 Ford Falcon. They took a pretty big punt on me and have stuck with me ever since. They have been a great brand to be an ambassador for and I love having them on the side of my car. Now they are going to stick with me for another three years, so hopefully we can keep getting great results for us and the company.”
“Our relationships have kept on getting better and better and we’ve kept improving in the car. It’s great to be the longest standing driver at SBR, now I just need to get the results and start winning Championships,” said van Gisbergen.
SP Tools Managing Director Kevin Davis said: “It is great for us to continue our in involvement with SBR. We have been with them since 1998 and the major sponsor of Shane’s car since he joined the team.”
“We came on board as naming right sponsor for Shane’s car because we believed he was capable of one day winning a Championship and I think that time is now close.”
Van Gisbergen joined SBR in back in 2007 at the Round 8 Oran Park event. He was a 17 year old rookie who made his debut in the SBR prepared #021 Ford Falcon BF. In 2008, he took over the #9 Ford Falcon (now sponsored by SP Tools) which was previously driven by racing legend Russell Ingall.
In 2011 van Gisbergen had his best race year ever with SBR and took out his first race win in Hamilton, New Zealand. He then went on to win his second race in Darwin and he finished 4th overall in the Championship, his best results to date.