SBR Experiments In The West The Stone Brothers Racing team trialed an experimental suspension set up on the newly resurfaced Barbagallo Raceway during the opening practice for round five of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship in Western Australia...
SBR Experiments In The West
The Stone Brothers Racing team trialed an experimental suspension set up on the newly resurfaced Barbagallo Raceway during the opening practice for round five of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship in Western Australia today.
Caltex Havoline Ford driver Russell Ingall also celebrated his 100th V8 Supercar Championship Round start in style driving through an AFL-style banner made by the Fremantle Football Club banner squad.
With the dramatic improvement in the grip levels of the surface the times tumbled in today's session, rewriting the record books. The times were up to three seconds faster than the corresponding session last year with many of the more fancied teams experimenting with their set up, including the SBR outfit.
The team trialed a new suspension package on Ingall's Caltex Havoline Falcon and came away from the session in 12th, but confident of moving well up the order tomorrow.
"We knew the grip levels were going to be way different than last year so we tried something fairly radical," said Ingall.
"You could put it down to an experiment that was nowhere near perfect, about the only good thing about it is that we know how we can improve for tomorrow."
With the Barbagallo circuit notoriously hard on tyres defending series champion Marcos Ambrose battled with old rubber throughout the session finishing just outside the top 20.
By using his older tyres in the practice session Ambrose provided the team with valuable set up data for Sunday's two 42-lap races where tyre-wear will be crucial.
"Although it has been a long time since I have been so far down the time sheets I am confident when we bolt on some new rubber tomorrow afternoon for qualifying we will be in good shape," said Ambrose.
"The track is a lot grippier than last year and I still think tyre wear will be an important factor on Sunday afternoon."
A second practice session will be held tomorrow morning at 9:15am followed by qualifying at 11:30am, top ten shootout at 2:15pm followed by the opening 42-lap race at 4:10pm. A further two 42-lap races will be held on Sunday at 10:35am and 1:00pm.
Greg Murphy set the fastest time in today's session followed by Steven Richards and Mark Skaife.
<pre> BARBAGALLO -- PRACTICE TIMES 1: Greg Murphy Holden 0:55.6847 2: Steven Richards Holden 0:56.2231 3: Mark Skaife Holden 0:56.2774 4: Jason Bright Holden 0:56.3753 5: Paul Morris Holden 0:56.4456 6: Steven Johnson Ford 0:56.5162 7: Garth Tander Holden 0:56.5474 8: Todd Kelly Holden 0:56.5914 9: Max Wilson Ford 0:56.7040 10: John Bowe Ford 0:56.7337 12: Russell Ingall Ford 0:56.8689 21: Marcos Ambrose Ford 0:57.0250