Bathurst 12H: TMR Australia qualifying report

WHITE & SALMON TOAST OF MAYORAL FUNCTION AS TMR QUALIFIES WELL FOR 12 HOUR Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia (TMR) drivers Rod Salmon and Damien White were yesterday (Friday) honoured with the unveiling plaques that will form part of a new ...

WHITE & SALMON TOAST OF MAYORAL FUNCTION AS TMR QUALIFIES WELL FOR 12 HOUR

Team Mitsubishi Ralliart Australia (TMR) drivers Rod Salmon and Damien White were yesterday (Friday) honoured with the unveiling plaques that will form part of a new attraction at the National Motor Racing Museum at the foot of Mount Panorama.

Today they qualified their #1 Pedigree Petfoods a strong fourth for the Armor All Bathurst 12 hour, the sister West Surfing Products car of Crimp, Kostera and Luff scoring sixth place.

The TMR drivers who are shooting for a hat trick were invited along with all drivers and media to a reception at the Museum, hosted by Bathurst Regional Council Mayor Paul Toole who underscored his support for motorsport in the region.

Mr. Toole unveiled plaques commemorating the past three year's winners of the 12-hour race, in an attraction to be known as Endurance walk.

The unveiling of the plaques was a well kept secret and left the drivers overwhelmed.

Damien "Ice" White is rarely stuck for words, but floundered when asked how it made him feel.

"It's a tremendous honour and I feel very privileged to have my name in and around a museum where you can see so many famous cars and famous names.

"To be honoured with your name on a plaque that's going to be here forever and a day is very special," White said.

Salmon was equally overcome. "I feel very honoured to be the recipient of two of the first three plaques. It really does make you feel special, standing in this environment here and knowing that our names will be on the walk forever."

The recognition was a humbling experience for Salmon. "I have to pinch myself from time to time. Events like this, amongst our peers and you're honoured in front of them, you do pinch yourself and realise it's a big deal. It all becomes very special when you're reminded like this."

The team's assault on tomorrow's Amour All 12 Hour production car race moved a step closer to an historic third successive win when both cars qualified at the pointy end of the grid today. (Saturday)

Failing to start from pole position has proved no barrier in the past and defending champion Damien White sees no reason why this year should be different.

"The first year we won it we started from about fourth and last year sixth or seventh. Sure it's good for team morale and the $5,000 from Armour All if you get pole position is nice, but at the end of the day tomorrow's the one we're all here for and twelve hours is a lot different to one lap."

White, Rod Salmon and Ian Tulloch will start the race from fourth position in the Pedigree Petfoods Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RS.

Neither car reported any major problems with divers continuing to gain miles ahead of tomorrow's 12-hour race.

The race begins at 6:30am and will be broadcast live on the internet at www.bathurst12hour.com.au

TMR Australia Driver Quotes:

Damien White (#1 TMR Australia Pedigree Petfoods Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RS):

"We've had two hours and 40 minutes of practice to get a race setup so maybe some of the others focused on qualifying. I don't mean to be rude but who cares. I see on the TV that some of the others were very committed across the top, you know, eleven tenths sort of stuff. I rolled at around at about 9 1/2 or ten tenths. We gave it a go and it wasn't to be (pole) but it's not really of great concern."

Warren Luff (#55 TMR Australia WEST Surfing Products Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X RS)

"We're really confident with what our race pace is. We know we've got a consistent car that can run at a fast pace throughout the race. I don't think some of our competitors are quite as confident in the durability of their cars. TMR have proven their reliability over the years. We've just got to keep our fingers crossed, make some good strategy calls, see what the weather dishes out and hopefully late tomorrow afternoon we can be up there (on the podium) again."

-source: tmr australia

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Series CAMS
Drivers Rod Salmon , Warren Luff , Damien White , Ian Tulloch