V8 SUPERCAR - SHELL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES QUALIFYING - ORAN PARK - ROUND ELEVEN
Cat Racing star John Bowe¹s hopes for qualifying success were dashed by mechanical dramas at Sydney¹s Oran Park Raceway today.
Bowe¹s Ford Falcon AU suffered a power steering failure in the opening practice session and had no better luck in the second session.
A broken front suspension arm kept the #600 machine off the circuit, severely hindering the team¹s chance to find an ideal set-up for qualifying.
Bowe finished the single 15 minute qualifying session only 1.19 seconds from pole position - unfortunately back in 17th spot.
Last round winner Jason Bargwana actually qualified in 18th position after suffering an off-track excursion in morning.
Holden driver Mark Skaife took pole position ahead of team-mate Craig Lowndes.
"We are obviously very disappointed, but a lack of on-track time destroys your chances," Bowe said.
"Sometimes you can be lucky and find a set-up straight away that works well, but the level of competition makes that very tough.
"Bargwanna is in the same boat this weekend - it is very easy to go from hero to zero.
"I threw everything at it, but couldn¹t squeeze enough time out of the car." Bowe will concentrate on improving the car overnight with team engineers and trying to solve the handling dilemmas in the Sunday morning warm- up.
"Our cars has never worked that well on bumpy circuits, but we will have to do a lot of work overnight to find a solution," Bowe said.
"Our engine is a little down on torque in some places as well. It spins the tyres in one gear, but is not strong enough in the higher gear.
"Starting from 17th the plan will be to try to gradually move through the pack and try to work your way through to the front.
"We would have loved to kick things off a little better for our new team owner, John Briggs, but all the Cat boys are not going to give up without a fight."
QUALIFYING 1. - Skaife (Holden) - 1:07.490 2. - Lowndes (Holden) - 1:07.502 3. - Ellery (Ford) - 1:07.875 4. - Bright (Ford) - 1:07.949 5. - McLean (Ford) - 1:08.029 6. - Ingall (Holden) - 1:08.032 7. - Tander (Holden) - 1:08.133 8. - Longhurst (Ford) - 1:08.134 9. - Seton (Ford) - 1:08.161 10. - Richards (Holden) - 1:08.232 17. - BOWE (CAT FORD) - 1:08.689
TIMETABLE: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 9.00 - V8 Supercar Warm-up 11.25 - Race One 1.45 - Race Two 3.40 - Race Three
Paul Ryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>