WHINCUP AND INGALL PUT CALTEX IN TOP FIVE IN PHILLIP ISLAND PRACTICE
Jamie Whincup and Russell Ingall have led the charge for Caltex drivers in practice for this weekend's final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Phillip Island in Victoria today.
Whincup and Ingall were fourth and fifth respectively in today's session around the 4.44-kilometre Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, a good start to this weekend's Caterpillar Grand Finale.
Whincup, who is looking to win his third round of the championship this weekend, drove the Caltex-backed #888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Falcon to fourth fastest.
Ingall pushed the Caltex Racing Falcon to within a second of the fastest time of the session around the fast and flowing seaside circuit, finding a suitable set-up quickly in the 135-minute session.
Caltex Ambassador Craig Lowndes was 14th fastest in today's practice in the Caltex-backed #888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Falcon.
Lowndes was one place behind championship rival Rick Kelly, with seven points separating the pair heading into this weekend's 13th and final round of the series.
James Courtney was a solid 12th fastest in the Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon, and like Lowndes will join the all-important second and faster group for qualifying tomorrow by virtue of timing in the higher 50 percent in practice.
Jason Bright set the fastest time in today's practice ahead of Garth Tander and Mark Winterbottom.
Russell Ingall -- Caltex Racing Falcon
"We had a pretty calm and logical practice session today," said Ingall.
"Philip Island is one of the hardest tracks to set up for so it's nice to get a bit of a result.
"Having said that, we still have a bit of time to make up. Both Bright and Tander are very quick but there is no reason we can't get down to those times.
"Marcos did a 1:33.5 here last year in qualifying so we had a look over those laps and it's achievable.
"If we can get the Caltex Falcon tuned up a bit better there is no reason why we can't be in the 33s as well."
Craig Lowndes -- Triple Eight Race Engineering
"We had a relatively good session and learnt a lot today," said Lowndes.
"I was happy with our race run simulation but we didn't quite get the car balance right on our second set of tyres in the later part of the session.
"We will compare our data with Jamie's tonight and I am sure we will come up with a better set-up for qualifying tomorrow."
Jamie Whincup -- Triple Eight Race Engineering
"It was good to get back to Phillip Island as it is a real drivers circuit," said Whincup.
"We used today's practice session to do a lot of development work for 2007 and seemed to make a lot of gains.
"While I was happy with the car we still need to find some more time for tomorrows qualifying session."
James Courtney -- Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon
"We haven't really got a balance in the car yet," said Courtney.
"I was a bit surprised. I was confident that we would be further up this weekend.
"We had a few things go wrong in that session. My window got sucked out and that upset the car and the tyres that we ran were pretty average. It wasn't a very clean session.
"That's put us back a bit and that puts us in a position where we are guessing a bit for qualifying tomorrow.
"I would have been happy with 12th a few races ago but now that we have been up the pointy end we want to stay there.
"There's a bit of work to do overnight."
-credit: caltex racing