Cat Racing's John Bowe and Jim Richards may have missed out on qualifying for tomorrow's top ten shootout but the duo remain in a confident mood for Sunday's FAI 1000 at Bathurst. With rain still hampering all team's efforts, Bowe set the fifth...
Cat Racing's John Bowe and Jim Richards may have missed out on qualifying for tomorrow's top ten shootout but the duo remain in a confident mood for Sunday's FAI 1000 at Bathurst.
With rain still hampering all team's efforts, Bowe set the fifth fastest time in the morning practice session on a wet track.
However, the track began to dry during the single 95 minute qualifying session. Bowe's best time of 2:14.577 was not fast enough to break into the top ten for tomorrow's shootout.
The duo will now start from position 13 on the grid on Sunday. However, with the winner from the past two years starting from 12th (Steven Richards and Greg Murphy) and 15th (Jason Bright and Steven Richards), the experienced Cat Racing pair still believe they are well placed for the 1000km enduro.
"Our car was really good in the wet conditions, but it is a bit of a handful in the dry," Bowe said.
"With it raining all day yesterday, the qualifying session today was our first chance to try a dry set-up.
"We will have to work on that overnight to see if we can improve the car.
"I was probably a bit unlucky at the end of the session, because it started to rain before I could have one final attack on slicks. I am certainly disappointed to miss out on the top ten, but it is still a very long day on Sunday."
Holden driver Mark Skaife took provisional pole position in a time of 2 minutes 11.888 seconds in the car he will share with Craig Lowndes. Ford driver Paul Radisich was second fastest ahead of Glenn Seton.
With further bad weather predicted for the Bathurst region in the days ahead, Richards believes the race will be a very open event.
"This is the toughest track in the country and with weather like this thrown in, I reckon we will be running a lot of laps under the safety car tomorrow," Richards said.
"The race is really going to come down to who has the best tactics and is on the right tyres at the right time.
"The weather can change so quickly here, so the guys in the pits really have to be on their toes.
"Both John and I have a lot of experience here, but the secret will be to try to keep out of trouble."
Bowe and Richards will have their final chance to fine-tune the #600 Falcon in tomorrow afternoon's one-hour practice session. The FAI 1000 kicks off at 10.00am on Sunday.
<pre> QUALIFYING 1. Skaife/Lowndes (Holden) 2:11.888 2. Radisich/Bright (Ford) 2:12.019 3. Seton/Crompton (Ford) 2:12.362 4. Perkins/Ingall (Holden) 2:12,484 5. Larkham/Menu (Ford) 2:12.762 6. Tander/Bargwanna (Holden) 2:13.117 7. Longhust/Besnard (Ford) 2:13.364 8. Gardner/Bates (Ford) 2:13.491 9. Kelly/Pretty (Holden) 2:13.696 10. Johnson/McLean (Ford) 2:13.699 13th BOWE/RICHARDS (FORD) 2:14.577
TIMETABLE: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 9.55am-10.10am - Warm-up Top Ten 10.25am-11.05am - V8 Top Ten 4.00pm-5.00pm - V8 Practice SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19 7.15am-7.35am - V8 Warm-up 10.00am-4.30pm - FAI 1000