Pukekohe: Orrcon Racing Friday qualifying report

Second Straight Pukekohe Shootout For Bargwanna Orrcon Racing driver Jason Bargwanna charged into his second consecutive top ten shootout at New Zealand's Pukekohe circuit during qualifying for the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship ...

Second Straight Pukekohe Shootout For Bargwanna

Orrcon Racing driver Jason Bargwanna charged into his second consecutive top ten shootout at New Zealand's Pukekohe circuit during qualifying for the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship today.

Entering this weekend Bargwanna held fifth position the Championship with two top ten finishes in the opening two rounds aboard his Orrcon Racing Falcon.

On a track that he rates as one of his favourites and having a lot of character Bargwanna was consistently inside the top ten throughout the day. During the intensely close qualifying battle around the 2.82km circuit Bargwanna at one stage was placed as high as fourth before finishing the session in tenth.

"At the start of the weekend we set ourselves two goals for today, the first was to be in the top 50% during practice and the second was to make the shootout, we have achieved both" said Bargwanna.

"As can be seen by our consistent start to the year it is a case of slowly but surely we are sneaking up to be serious contenders and our next aim for the weekend as a team is to be on the podium.

"In the opening two races of the year we came close to the shootout and to qualify for tomorrow's shootout is great. You've got to love being in a shootout."

Bargwanna's Orrcon Racing teammate Mark Winterbottom continued his learning curve in the V8 Supercar Championship qualifying just outside the top 20.

The reigning Konica V8 Champion continually improved his times throughout the day slicing 1.3 seconds from his time in opening practice to his qualifying time.

Despite qualifying in 23rd position Winterbottom was a mere half a second from Bargwanna's time that qualified him in tenth.

"We are still not getting the most out of the car at the moment as I am still getting used to the track," said Winterbottom.

"The first time I saw the track was yesterday in the pouring rain and it is a very technical track, one that I think experience counts a lot.

"At Eastern Creek I qualified in a similar spot and still ended up with a good result, hopefully we can do the same over the weekend."

Jason Bright set the fastest qualifying time ahead of Marcos Ambrose and Mark Skaife. With one second covering 26 cars at the end of today's qualifying session tomorrow's opening 36-lap race at the PlaceMakers V8 International will be just as intense as today's qualifying session.

Qualifying -- Top 15
1. Jason Bright (Holden) 56.3655
2. Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 56.6062
3. Mark Skaife (Holden) 56.6209
4. Todd Kelly (Holden) 56.7160
5. Greg Murphy (Holden) 56.7184
6. Steven Richards (Holden) 56.8207
7. Max Wilson (Ford) 56.8786
8. Paul Radisich (Ford) 56.9058
9. John Bowe (Ford) 56.9423
10. Jason Bargwanna (Ford) 56.9425
11. Russell Ingall (Ford) 56.9426
12. Steven Johnson (Ford) 56.9529
13. Rick Kelly (Holden) 57.0208
14. Paul Weel (Holden) 57.0298
15. Glenn Seton (Ford) 57.0829
23. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 57.5168

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Series Supercars
Drivers Steven Johnson , Max Wilson , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Paul Weel , Jason Bargwanna , Paul Radisich , John Bowe , Glenn Seton , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Steven Richards