Murphy Produces Best Sprint Qualifying Of Year

A happy Greg Murphy has produced his best sprint round qualifying effort of the season for the V8 Supercar Challenge on the Gold Coast street circuit today.

The former Indy V8 winner produced the ninth best time in his Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore and will line up alongside the Holden Racing Team's Todd Kelly in tomorrow's first 27 lap race.

"That's our best effort for the year and I must say I enjoyed it," said Murphy.

"We've worked hard on the setup and made some good gains lately and the car feels the best I've had it. It suits my style and I'm gaining more and more confidence to attack the corners.

"I'm feeling good about things."

Team-mate Jason Richards looked set to join Murphy in the top 10 after recording the third quickest time during the first of three qualifying stages, but a brush with the tyre barriers in stage 2 meant he finished 15th - his #3 Firepower Commodore receiving body damage.

"I carried a little bit of speed into turn 1 and the tyre bundles had been dislodged. I thought I'd sneak through but when I hit the kerb the car just went straight ahead," said Richards.

"It only hit the tyres, not cement, so the damage isn't too bad.

"Clearly we've got a good car, but it was disappointing not to stretch its legs. We're there for tomorrow though."

Tasman Motorsport managing director Jeff Grech said he was delighted the team had continued on with the improvements it showed when finishing fourth at Bathurst recently.

"The entire team has worked hard from Bathurst trying to improve on the chassis performance and it has started off as another weekend of improvement," said Grech.

"It's a shame for Jason, but that's the nature of the place in qualifying. Every car on the track has had some touch. But it's certainly encouraging for the team to have both cars potentially in the top 10.

"Bring on the rest of the weekend."

Ford's Mark Winterbottom secured pole position ahead of the Toll HSV Dealer Team's Garth T ander, James Courtney third quickest - Winterbottom's pole time over six-tenths quicker than last year's practice record. The pole time was also two seconds quicker than Murphy's pole lap of 2005 - that day's sessions having been rain effected.

2007 V8 Supercar Series Rd 11 - V8 Supercar Challenge, Gold Coast, Qld (Qualifying)

1. Mark Winterbottom, Ford Performance Racing Ford BF Falcon
2. Garth Tander, Toll HSV Dealer Team Holden VE Commodore
3. James Courtney, Jeld-Wen Ford BF Falcon
4. Jamie Whincup, Team Vodafone Ford BF Falcon
5. Russell Ingall, Caltex Ford BF Falcon
6. Steven Richards, Castrol Ford BF Falcon
7. Craig Lowndes, Team Vodafone Ford BF Falcon
8. Steve Johnson, Jim Beam Racing Ford BF Falcon
9. Greg Murphy, Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Holden VE Commodore
10. Todd Kelly, Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore
15. Jason Richards, Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Holden VE Commodore

-credit: tasmanmotorsport.com.au