AMP BATHURST 1000 SUPER TOURING ENDURANCE MOTOR RACE MOUNT PANORAMA, BATHURST: Qualifying Report, Friday, October 2 MURPHY WINS PROVISIONAL POLE FOR HOLDEN New Zealander Greg Murphy today provided Australian car manufacturer Holden with a ...
AMP BATHURST 1000 SUPER TOURING ENDURANCE MOTOR RACE MOUNT PANORAMA, BATHURST: Qualifying Report, Friday, October 2
MURPHY WINS PROVISIONAL POLE FOR HOLDEN
New Zealander Greg Murphy today provided Australian car manufacturer Holden with a memorable debut in Super Touring motor racing when he claimed provisional pole position for Sunday's AMP Bathurst 1000 endurance event.
Murphy, who is driving a British-sourced Holden Vectra with South Australian Russell Ingall, emerged fastest in the four qualifying sessions yesterday and today with a best lap of 2-mins 16.40-secs around the 2.6km Mount Panorama circuit in fine conditions. The 26-year-old from Hastings in New Zealand's North Island set his time in the fourth and final session. His time was 0.40-secs inside the race lap record of 2-mins 16.80-secs set by Britain's Jason Plato in a Williams-Renault in 1997.
Grid positions for the first five rows of the grid will be determined by results of the traditional one-lap dash by the top 10 qualifiers tomorrow. Newly-crowned British Touring Car Champion Rickard Rydell qualified second in the four sessions over the past two days with a time of 2-mins 16.51-secs in the works Volvo S40 he is driving with five-times Bathurst 1000 champion Jim Richards. British-based Australian Nissan works test driver Steven Richards was third quickest with 2-mins 16.91-secs in the works Primera he is sharing with Englishman Matthew Neal.
Australia's 1998 Australian Super Touring Champion Brad Jones, who was second in the 1997 Bathurst 1000, finished fifth in a works Audi. Jones is driving with Victorian Cameron McConville. Other Australians in the top 10 included Queenslanders Paul Morris, Cameron McLean, and Tony Scott, and NSW privateers Peter Hills and Dominic Beninca in a Knight Racing Ford Mondeo.
GREG MURPHY (888 Racing Holden Vectra): "This is the first time I've raced the Vectra so I'm a little surprised to be fastest. Both Russell (Ingall) and I are working our way into it, and we're learning as we go. I did my best lap on a new set of soft tyres. I'll have to go with a harder compound for the race."
RICKARD RYDELL (Volvo S40 Racing): "This is my second year here, and this time I think we can win. The car is very stable across the top of the Mountain, although we're struggling to get some clear laps like everyone else. Sometimes you have to pass seven or eight cars in a lap."
PETER HILLS (Knight Racing Ford Mondeo): "Making the top 10 at Bathurst is the biggest thing that's ever happened to this team. The first time I came to Bathurst I qualified last, so we're over the moon. We've got about 30 people here helping out, mostly volunteers, and a few more seem to show up around lunchtime!"
QUALIFYING TIMES (Friday): POS DRIVER CAR TIME
1. G. Murphy (NZ)-R. Ingall (SA) 888 Racing Holden Vectra 2:16.40 2. R. Rydell (Sweden)-J. Richards (Vic) Volvo S40 Racing 2:16.51 3. S. Richards (Vic)-M. Neal (GB) Team Dynamics Nissan Primera 2:16.91 4. T. Harvey (GB)-J. Nilsson (Sweden) Volvo S40 Racing 2:17.59 5. B. Jones (NSW)-C. McConville (Vic) ORIX Audi A4 quattro 2:18.36 6. J. Cleland (GB)-D. Warwick (GB) 888 Racing Vauxhall Vectra 2:18.84 7. P. Morris (Qld)-P. Radisich (NZ) ORIX Audi A4 quattro 2:18.90 8. C. McLean (Qld)-T. Scott (Qld) Greenfield Mowers BMW 320 2:18.98 9. R. Gravett (GB)-L. Brookes (GB) Brookes Motorsport Honda Accord 2:19.40 10. P. Hills (NSW)-D. Beninca (NSW) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 2:23.52 11. T. Newman (NZ)-M. Williamson (NZ) TC Motorsport Peugeot 406 2:23.96 12. T. Searle (NSW)-L. Searle (NSW) Roadchill Express BMW 318 2:25.59 13. B. Smith (NZ)-J. Cornish (NSW) Priject Racing Nissan Primera 2:25.63 14. W. Luff (NSW)-M. Zonneveld (A.C.T.) Knight Racing Ford Mondeo 2:26.27 15. R. Wilson (Vic)-R. Forbes (NSW) Playboy Racing BMW 318 2:28.80