Cat Racing's John Bowe endured a tough day in qualifying for the opening round of the Shell Championship at Phillip Island today. Bowe battled understeer aboard the Cat Racing Falcon throughout the morning practice sessions and despite finding...
Cat Racing's John Bowe endured a tough day in qualifying for the opening round of the Shell Championship at Phillip Island today.
Bowe battled understeer aboard the Cat Racing Falcon throughout the morning practice sessions and despite finding improvement for qualifying, he could not break into the top-ten shoot-out.
Bowe's time of 1:33.959 placed him in position16 for the first of tomorrow's two 100km races.
"We made quite a few changes which improved the car for qualifying, but the understeer really hurt our speed today," Bowe said.
"The car was a lot better balanced in the qualifying session, but the long sweeping corners here were a problem.
"It is tough to get back on the throttle when the car doesn't want to turn as you would like.
"We have a few more ideas to try in the warm-up tomorrow to try to improve things."
Holden driver Mark Skaife earned pole position after topping the timesheets in the top-ten shoot-out.
New team-mate Jason Bright earned the second fastest spot.
Each race tomorrow will feature a compulsory tyre stop - bringing the race crews and mechanics into the action.
"The longer races are going to be interesting and our guys are really looking forward to the challenge," Bowe said.
"Traditionally, we have tended to be stronger during the longer races so I am still confident of a good result despite being a little further back on the grid than we would have preferred.
"The local teams have a big advantage because they have had the chance to test here on the new tyre which was introduced last year.
"We were still on the old-spec tyre when we raced here last year and the car is behaving quite differently.
"I am not surprised to see eight of the top ten spots being taken by Melbourne based cars."
Race one kicks off at 11.30am tomorrow with the second race scheduled for 3.00pm.
<pre> TOP TEN SHOOT-OUT 1. - Skaife (Holden) - 1:32.512 2. - Bright (Holden) - 1:32.796 3. - Ambrose (Ford) - 1:32.874 4. - Radisich (Ford) - 1:33.026 5. - Seton (Ford) - 1:33.069 6. - Richards (Ford) - 1:33.069 7. - Lowndes (Ford) - 1:33.298 8. - Ingall (Holden) - 1:33.531 9. - Tander (Holden) - 1:33.616 10. - Kelly (Holden) - 1:33.653
QUALIFYING 16. - Bowe (CAT FORD) - 1:33.959
TIMETABLE: Sunday March 25th 11.30 - Race One - 100km 3.00 - Race Two - 100km