Marcos Ambrose has taken his fifth pole position of the season, blitzing this afternoon's Top 10 Shootout to claim pole by more than 4/10ths of a second. Mark Skaife was second in the HRT Commodore, with Greg Murphy sharing the second row of the...
Marcos Ambrose has taken his fifth pole position of the season, blitzing this afternoon's Top 10 Shootout to claim pole by more than 4/10ths of a second.
Mark Skaife was second in the HRT Commodore, with Greg Murphy sharing the second row of the grid with Paul Radisich.
Ambrose will share his re-badged Caltex Havoline Pirtek Falcon with Russell Ingall tomorrow in the first of the season's two-driver endurance races
"It was a conservative lap," Ambrose said of his pole winning lap, "once you get the first split and you know you are in control you can then cautious and make sure you bring it home... the last sector was maybe a bit too cautious though.
"Yesterday was all about making sure the car was comfortable for both of us to race with, today was all about speed, and I feel sorry for Russell that he hasn't got in the car today, but that is the way it had to be.
"I haven't done all that well in endurance races in the past for one reason or another, and maybe inexperience was one of those, but I'm looking forward to turning it around tomorrow."
Mark Skaife said his new car was performing well in its first outing, and that he and Todd Kelly were able to lap in almost identical times, but said his shootout lap was just not good enough for pole.
"It was a very average lap," he said, "we lost 3/10ths of a second in the first sector and you can't afford that in a shootout. Marcos has been doing well with them, and I didn't do that well and you can't expect to be on pole when you do that.
"We've got a pretty good package, it is responding well to changes, but clearly being such a new car it isn't perfect - it is definitely a car than I have been driving though."
Greg Murphy was third fastest in the second race for his new Kmart Commodore.
"I thought the first sectors were good, not the last," Murphy said, "but they were pretty poor though and luckily the third one was a blinder and pushed us up a couple of spots."
A season's best Top 10 Shootout run by Paul Radisich has landed his Betta Electric Falcon fourth on the grid after earlier in the day topping qualifying for the first time in two years.
"It is great to be up here," he said, "there's a lot of people we need to thank, and one of them is John Briggs who has got the programme to were it is before handing over to Triple Eight.
"We knew that car would be good here, but to be the top qualifier and fourth in the shootout is better than we expected. It is not a race winning car in any respect, but it is a car that can finish in the top 5, and will be a great result for Triple Eight.
British-based Triple Eight has taken over the running of the Betta Electric Falcon from Briggs Motorsport, and has, according to Radisich, already had a positive impact on the team.
"Ludo (Triple Eight Technical Director Ludovic Lacroix) has had a big influence this weekend, he's taken a lot of pressure of the engineers and drivers by providing good direction and decision making."
Simon Wills rounded out the top five with another solid effort in qualifying after a troubled day and a half. Each of the three sessions leading into qualifying was interrupted by mechanical gremlins in the Team Dynamik Commodore, and he said that meant qualifying and the shootout were being used to fine tune the car.
"To be honest we've had a tough weekend so far, and we had barely any laps in practice we had so many problems, so qualifying was a real learning experience," he said.
"We still trying to tune the car, and we changed the shocker settings for the shootout. It got a bit of bounce up into turn 7 and then locked a wheel... up until then it was third of second fastest so that was a little disappointing."
The Betta Electric Sandown 500 starts tomorrow at 1pm.
<pre> Shootout Results 1. Marcos Ambrose (Russell Ingall) Caltex Havoline Pirtek Falcon BA 2. Mark Skaife (Todd Kelly) HRT Commodore VY 3. Greg Murphy (Rick Kelly) Kmart Commodore VY 4. Paul Radisich (Rickard Rydell) Betta Electrical Falcon BA 5. Simon Wills (Jason Richards) Team Dynamik Commodore VY 6. Steven Johnson (Warren Luff) Shell Helix Falcon BA 7. Craig Lowndes (Glenn Seton) CAT FPR Falcon BA 8. John Bowe (Brad Jones) OzEmail Falcon BA 9. Paul Morris (John Faulkner) Sirromet Wines Commodore VY 10. Steven Ellery (Luke Youlden) Super Cheap Falcon BA