Ipswich: Subject: Paragon Motorsport practice notes

V.I.P. drivers ready for Qld 500 qualifying. BRISBANE duo Cameron McLean and Tony Scott are looking forward to qualifying in the V.I.P. Pet Foods Queensland 500 after a promising run in their Ford Falcon X8 V8 Supercar during official practice...

V.I.P. drivers ready for Qld 500 qualifying.

BRISBANE duo Cameron McLean and Tony Scott are looking forward to qualifying in the V.I.P. Pet Foods Queensland 500 after a promising run in their Ford Falcon X8 V8 Supercar during official practice at Queensland Raceway today.

McLean says the V.I.P. Racing-Paragon Motorsport car is in good shape, after recording a best time 0f 1 minute 12.65 seconds this afternoon before an engine oil leak curtailed his session.

³We only did a handful of laps and the best one was not truly representative of the car¹s potential, because I mucked up turn two on to the back straight and dropped some time,² McLean said.

³Back in the garage, we analysed the computer data and it seems we would have got into the 11-second bracket if not for that one mistake, so the suspension set-up we¹ve found is close to the money. Also, we were on old tyres while some of the front runners were on new rubber, so the difference between us is smaller than it appears.

³We¹ll try some fresh tyres for the morning practice session tomorrow to make sure the set-up is right for qualifying. In the Top 15 tomorrow is where we want to be.²

The Paragon crew tested a different set-up in the morning session, but it was slower and the Falcon was converted back to spring and shock absorber settings worked out during recent private practice at Queensland Raceway.

³When we found the engine oil leak the guys pulled the car in straight away rather than risk ruining an engine,² McLean said.

³It¹s a fresh engine, just like everything else in the car. We¹ve renewed everything from front to back and made a few extra tweaks for long-distance racing,² McLean said.

Co-driver Tony Scott, an experienced V8 Supercar driver who was signed to the team just two weeks ago, also took his turn in the V.I.P. Falcon and settled in quickly to consistent times.

McLean is competing in his third Queensland 500 race, but only the second in his own car. He finished sixth in 2000 in a Dick Johnson Racing Falcon shared with Paul Radisich.

He predicts that despite the distance, Sunday¹s 161-lap race will be run as a sprint and a good result will require his team to stay on the same lap as the leaders.

³Qualifying won¹t be quite as important as in a sprint race, but strategy and efficient pit stops will be vital,² he said.

³The current plan is that I¹ll start the race, hand to Tony for the middle leg of about 54 laps and then take over again for the run to the end. If we¹re still running well and on the lead lap, we¹re in with a chance.²

Also competing this weekend and using the pit facilities of the Paragon team are V.I.P. Pet Foods owner Tony Quinn and co-driver Andrew Miedecke, in a Holden Commodore.

The car had clutch problems today and ran only in the second session.

RESULTS (Practice):

28. Cameron McLean/Tony Scott (V.I.P. Pet Foods Falcon XR8) 1 min. 12.65 sec.

1. Rick Kelly-Nathan Pretty (Commodore) 1:11.075
2. Mark Skaife-Jason Bright (Commodore) 1:11.146
3. Paul Morris-Wayne Wakefield (Commodore) 1:11.238
4. Brad Jones-John (Falcon) 1:11.338
5. David Besnard-Simon Wills (Falcon) 1:11.364
6. Marcos Ambrose-Paul Weel (Falcon) 1:11.477
7. Dale Brede-Simon Owen (Falcon) 1:11.517
8. Mark Larkham-Will Power (Falcon) 1:11.563
9. Anthony Tratt-Paul Stokell (Falcon) 1:11.627
10. Greg Murphy-Todd Kelly (Commodore) 1:11.650

TIMETABLE: Saturday ­ 9.55 Practice (45 min.), 12.35 Qualifying (top 50%, 25 min.), 1.05 Qualifying (second 50%, 25 min.), 3.`15 Top 15 Qualifying (45 min.). Sunday - 10.30 Warm-up (20 min.) 1.00 V.I.P. Pet Foods Queensland 500 (161 laps, 500 kms). TV - Network Ten, Sunday 12.00 - 5.00.

-www.paragonmotorsport.com-

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Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Nathan Pretty , Rick Kelly , Brad Jones , Mark Skaife , Paul Weel , Mark Larkham , Paul Morris , Paul Radisich , Todd Kelly , Simon Wills , Anthony Tratt , Dale Brede , Cameron McLean , Tony Quinn , Will Power , Paul Stokell , Wayne Wakefield , Dick Johnson , Andrew Miedecke