Bathurst: Tasman Motorsport Friday report

Richards bounces Tasman into Top 10 at Bathurst Tasman Motorsport has firmly placed its Bathurst 1000 assault back on track after Kiwi Jason Richards rocketed the team's Firepower Commodore comfortably in the field for tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout...

Richards bounces Tasman into Top 10 at Bathurst

Tasman Motorsport has firmly placed its Bathurst 1000 assault back on track after Kiwi Jason Richards rocketed the team's Firepower Commodore comfortably in the field for tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout that will determine the final grid positions.

Richards clocked the fourth-fastest time in today's qualifying sessions after the car failed to set a lap time in yesterday's opening practice when co-driver Andrew Jones crashed at McPhillamy Park.

The Tasman team worked until 9.30pm last night to fully repair the car before it returned to the track for morning practice today.

After initially not being on the pace, the team made a range of setup changes and the car was instantly transformed into a highly competitive machine for qualifying.

After topping the slowest group of qualifying, Richards' time was only topped by three drivers in the second group session.

In the #23 Firepower Commodore, Owen Kelly recorded the 24th fastest time after struggling for overall grip.

He and co-driver Mark Noske will be moved back two spots on the grid as a result of doing one too many laps in yesterday's practice session.

QUOTEBOOK

Jason Richards (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"I was confident the car would be fine this morning after the team repaired it but I went out in practice and radioed back to my engineer Wally (Storey) and told him it was the worst car I've ever driven around Bathurst! From that point on I was actually more concerned about things than I was after the crash yesterday. We had a bit of a chat over the data and really improved the car out of this world. We used three sets of new tyres for qualifying and we've got one left to use tomorrow in the Shootout."

Andrew Jones (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"It was an absolute cracking effort by Jason today in qualifying. The lap was really good and the pace was very strong. He said to me that the car was a lot nicer to drive than it was earlier in the day and that gives me confidence heading into tomorrow for practice before Jason has a shot at the Shootout."

Owen Kelly (#23 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"It wasn't a great qualifying day for us. It's a bit baffling really because the #3 car was really good and we just lacked grip overall. It just didn't happen for us today. We changed some setup stuff but it was just an overall lack of grip and not one particular area of the car or track where we were losing our time."

Mark Noske (#23 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"As much as we'd like to be further up the grid, we've qualified and we can now focus on getting the car tuned to race conditions and making it comfortable to drive over 1000 kilometres."

-credit: tm

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Andrew Jones , Jason Richards , Mark Noske , Owen Kelly