Cat Racing¹s stunning Mount Panorama speed continued at the FAI 1000 at Bathurst today with John Bowe qualifying third fastest for tomorrow¹s top ten shoot-out.
Bowe stopped the clocks at 2:10.436, only two tenths of a second from pole position.
The Cat Racing AU Falcon which Bowe will share with Jim Richards was one of four Ford machines which filled the first four placings.
Fellow Ford driver Glenn Seton grabbed pole position but Bowe is looking forward to the opportunity of improving his spot in tomorrow¹s top ten shoot-out.
Each driver will get one solo lap of Mount Panorama tomorrow at 10.05am, with that lap deciding their final grid position for Sunday¹s race.
"The car was still very strong today despite the fact we had to make some changes overnight," Bowe said.
"Yesterday¹s settings were very fast but we had to make sure we have a car capable of completing 161 laps on Sunday.
"My fastest lap was pretty ragged and it was still tough to get a clear lap in traffic.
"Making the top ten was our first priority and now I have to actually psyche myself down, rather than up, to get that single lap right.
"All your good work can be thrown away if you make a little mistake.
"It is a difficult process because it is hard to get the tyres up to temperature in one lap."
The top ten featured six Ford Falcon AUs and four Holden Commodore VTs with Larry Perkins pushing his Holden into the top ten on the final lap of qualifying.
Bowe and Richards worked on developing a strong race package in the morning practice session and Richards is equally as confident as Bowe for strong result.
"The car is still really good with a full tank of fuel and I would have to say it is the best V8 Supercar I have driven here," Richards said.
"Things have gone very well so far, but you can never be too comfortable at Bathurst.
"The team has done a great job so far this weekend and we are certainly looking strong.
"All you can really do at this stage is put yourself in a position to run towards the front and hope the luck runs your way.
"In a 1000km race, there are so many variables but JB and I have plenty of experience here."
QUALIFYING 1. - Seton/Crompton (F) - 2:10.256 2. - Radisich/Ellery (F) - 2:20.408 3. - BOWE/RICHARDS (F) - 2:10.436 4. - Larkham/Jones (F) - 2:10.593 5. - Skaife/Morris (H) - 2:10.654 6. - Tander/Bargwanna (H) - 2:10.980 7. - Perkins/Ingall (H) - 2:10.988 8. - Lowndes/McConville (H) - 2:11.193 9. - Bright/Baird (F) - 2:11.217 10. - Johnson/Johnson (F) - 2:11.231
(F)= Ford (H) = Holden
TIMETABLE: SATURDAY, 12th NOVEMBER, 1999 9.35 - Top Ten Warm-Up 10.05 - V8 Supercar - Top Ten Shootout 4.00-5.00 - V8 Supercar - Non-Qualifying