WALL TOPS QUALIFYING FOR TOMORROW'S WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR
Second-generation racer David Wall has shown impressive speed to be set to start tomorrow's WPS Bathurst 12 Hour from pole.
The Carrera Cup and Australian GT front-runner topped the time sheets in this afternoon's qualifying session ahead of the reigning champion Eastern Creek Karts entry of Paul Morris.
The 26 year old Victorian was the first to post a time in the 2.30s with his 2.30.3s seeing him claim the top spot by the end of the 60 minute session.
"We always thought we would do a good job," said Wall.
"We knew that from testing at other tracks - we are in a good position for the race."
Morris was second fastest aboard last year's WPS Bathurst 12 Hour winner -- Garry Holt's BMW 335i.
With his 2.30.4s coming after a succession of increasingly quick times it looked likely that the Gold Coast V8 Supercar star just might make it to pole as he did in 2007's Event, however at the end of the session he and his team were placed barely a tenth from the top spot.
"We are two seconds quicker than last year in the same car," said Morris.
"When I saw David do his time I was surprised, but we just threw some Yokohamas at it and did what we could."
Outside of the top two outright, another exciting qualifying battle was playing out in Class D, with Nathan Pretty taking his Holden Sportwagon from being a tenth slower than the eventually second placed in class Garth Walden to a tenth faster on his final flyer.
"It is a huge credit to the team, to have it (the Holden Sportwagon) here before it hits the showrooms," said Pretty.
"It is surprisingly good across the top -- it is a heavy car and it has old Melbourne tram springs in it, but it handles well."
While Wall, Morris and Pretty were celebrating their performances post-qualifying, it was announced that the Briffa Smash Repairs entry will mount a two-man attack tomorrow, with team-owner Steve Briffa and V8 Supercar driver Lee Holdsworth to hit the track without Holdsworth's brother Brett as planned.
The older Holdsworth will unfortunately miss the Race, having failed to complete the minimum three laps in the practice and qualifying sessions after yesterday's crash in the opening practice session.
While the 110 endurance competitors were putting in their all to ensure a good start for tomorrow's long haul, those in the support categories - including WPS Bathurst 12 Hour competitor Morris - were duking it out for overall honours as the support categories wrapped up their weekend campaigns this afternoon.
Proving that he just can't get enough of racing and can easily turn his hand to anything, Morris took the win in the final race after placing third in race two to be second for the round - an incredible effort when one considers that his first ever drive in a HQ was for yesterday's practice session. The round winner was Gary Bonwick after he placed second, second and third over the group's three races.
In the Saloon Cars, Steve Kwiatkowski took a clean sweep of the category's two races for the weekend, while the Formula Vees saw Benjamin Porter take the honours in the final two races of the three after placing second in the first outing.
The final chapter of the open wheel category's weekend saw some unexpected fireworks, with Jon Gaspero from Victoria coming to a firey stop the wrong way up at Griffins Bend, yet while it ended his race Gaspero thankfully escaped any serious injury.
The second field of Holden HQs were the last support category to hit the mighty Mount this afternoon, but were certainly not short on action. Race one winner Kieran Pilkington took the final race win with approximately 12 seconds over runner-up Mark Bucknell, while race one runner-up Neil Corey came back from a drive-through penalty for jumping the start to charge from 36th to sixth over the ten laps.
With the support category action for this weekend now wrapped up, fans have tomorrow's final race and 12 hour acid test to look forward to -- the 2008 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour.
Whatever happens, race fans will be able to keep up to the minute with all the Race's occurrences with live timing for the 2008 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour on the official Event website --www.bathurstmotorfestival.com.au.
Updated direct from Mount Panorama every two minutes, live timing means fans will also have the opportunity to see the actual race positioning and fastest lap achieved by each entrant as it happens.
The 2008 WPS Bathurst Motor Festival concludes at Mount Panorama tomorrow with the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour, which kicks off at 6.30am.
Tickets can be purchased from the gate, with all patrons receiving free entry to the Bathurst National Motor Racing Museum with each ticket, and children under 12 are free when they enter with a paying adult.
Access to the top of Mount Panorama will be open throughout the three day Event, with patrons able to catch a shuttle or drive their own car to the Mountain top for a unique viewing point of the track, with the Big Screen ensuring they miss none of the action.