Albert Park: Caltex Racing Friday report

INGALL BATTLES - WHINCUP QUALIFIES SECOND Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall struggled on the opening day of the Foster's Grand Prix in Melbourne today. Ingall could not get anywhere near the best from his Caltex Falcon as the team experimented...

INGALL BATTLES - WHINCUP QUALIFIES SECOND

Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall struggled on the opening day of the Foster's Grand Prix in Melbourne today.

Ingall could not get anywhere near the best from his Caltex Falcon as the team experimented with set-up and will start tomorrow's opening race from 21ST position.

More successful than most in V8 Supercar support races on the Albert Park layout, Ingall is resigned to the fact that a trophy is unlikely this weekend, but he has his eye on the big picture -- back-to-back V8 Supercar titles.

Jamie Whincup, fresh off his round win in the opening round of the championship in Adelaide last weekend, has qualified on the front row in his Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical Falcon.

Whincup was 0.4 of a second behind Holden's Todd Kelly, while Rick Kelly qualified third.

Whincup's teammate and Caltex ambassador Craig Lowndes was eighth fastest in his Team Betta Electrical Falcon after struggling to get a clean lap and battling some over steer.

Ingall's Stone Brothers Racing teammate James Courtney had a solid day being fourth in the morning practice before qualifying 11th in his Caltex-lubricated Jeld-Wen Ford.

There will be a 10-lap race tomorrow, a 19-lap race on Saturday and another 10-lapper on Sunday.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--..

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING

"We made the decision before the Grand Prix that we would have to use this event to some degree as a test session," said Ingall.

"I have won the V8 Supercar support races here a couple of times before and it's a special event. We would love to win here but it is more important to try and win the championship again so we have to try different set ups, possibly sacrificing results.

"We have the New Zealand round in three weeks so we have to find out why we haven't got the sort of pace that won us the championship last year. I'm sure we can find it and looking at the bigger picture, if we are holding the trophy at the end of this year again, it will be worth it."

CRAIG LOWNDES -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL

"I really only had one good lap as I kept getting held up in traffic today," said Lowndes.

"The car setup is still being reviewed as we didn't quite get it sorted and I some oversteer issues throughout both sessions today.

"We will get the car right overnight and without a doubt there is more speed still to come."

JAMIE WHINCUP -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL

"I am very happy with my qualifying result," said Whincup.

"I couldn't ask for better than starting off the front row of the grid, I just hope I can get off the line this time.

"Due to the track conditions we made some changes to the setup we had in Adelaide and the car responded well.

"I did use both sets of tyres in qualifying but it is not really an issue as they have only done a couple of laps each.

"It takes the same amount of effort going to this race meeting as the all the others.

"At the end of the day we are all racers and I know I will be giving it my all.

JAMES COURTNEY - JELD-WED MOTORSPORT

"This morning the Jeld-Wen car went really well. I think if I had this morning's car in qualifying it probably would have been a bit better for us.

"It didn't all come together in qualifying; I didn't push quite hard enough on the first set of tyres and then on the second set I was pushing hard but there was some oil on the track from Winterbottom's car.

"Eleventh in the end was not too bad, it's near the pointy end and we can give it a crack tomorrow."

-cr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly