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Bathurst 24 - Mitsubishi takes pole for GTP race

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GEELONG team owner and driver Graham Alexander is on track to win back-to-back Exide GTP 2-Hour Showroom Showdown races after claiming pole position during today's final qualifying session at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. Alexander's co-driver...

GEELONG team owner and driver Graham Alexander is on track to win back-to-back Exide GTP 2-Hour Showroom Showdown races after claiming pole position during today's final qualifying session at Mount Panorama, Bathurst.

Alexander's co-driver John Woodberry piloted their Mitsubishi Lancer RS Turbo Evo VII to a blistering lap of 2 minutes 32.43 seconds, less than half-a-second clear of the Pro-Duct Motorsport Mazda RX7 of Bob Pearson and Mark Brame.

The Mitsubishi Evo VI combination of Gary Young and Michael Brock qualified third.

Alexander, who was third during the morning session, was ecstatic with pole position in the final session for tomorrow's race, the sixth annual GTP Showroom Showdown for production touring cars.

"We're very happy with the car, It's basically come straight out of the box and onto the track," he said.

"It was the first time out in the car today and I don't think there's too much we have to do with it to get it ready for tomorrow's race. We're looking forward to it."

Alexander and Woodberry combined to win last year's Showroom Showdown and this year to win their class in the Sandown 500.

However, it wasn't all clear sailing for the team after it had to withdraw its Mitsubishi Evo V from the Bathurst 24-Hour field, due to engine problems.

Alexander qualified in 14th position in this morning's first of three sessions, but the engine problems, combined with time restraints, will see the car stay in the garage while thenew Evo VII does double-duty.

"We had a pretty big problem and it won't be fixed by race time, so we'll race the 2-Hour car in the 24-Hour as well," Alexander said.

"Although it's disappointing, we're still here to have a good time and hopefully we'll be there come both finishes tomorrow and on Sunday."

A total of 25 cars will line up for the Exide Showroom Showdown, which starts at 11am tomorrow.

RESULTS (Qualifying)

1.  Graham Alexander/John Woodberry (Mitsubishi Evo VII)  2 min. 32.43 sec.

2. Bob Pearson/Mark Brame (Mazda RX-7) 2:32.68
3. Gary Young/Michael Brock (Mitsubishi Evo VI) 2:33.04
4. Ric Shaw/Warwick Rooklyn (Mazda RX-7) 2:33.21
5. Don Pulver/Rob Wilson (Nissan 200SX) 2:34.59
6. John Falk/Neil McFayden (Subaru Impreza STi) 2:34.97

-www.bathurst24.com-

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