UTE: Raj Sharma Friday Adelaide notes

"The Tiger" eases into Adelaide. Following an ultra conservative pair of practice sessions on Thursday, Raj "The Tiger" Sharma upped the tempo and qualified 19th fastest for round one of the Poolrite V8 BRute series in Adelaide at the Clipsal ...

"The Tiger" eases into Adelaide.

Following an ultra conservative pair of practice sessions on Thursday, Raj "The Tiger" Sharma upped the tempo and qualified 19th fastest for round one of the Poolrite V8 BRute series in Adelaide at the Clipsal 500.

Driving his Pentaq/Sydney UD Ford Falcon AU XR8, the Fijian-born Indian computer wiz utilised the new Dunlop control tyre for first time after making do with last year's Pirelli rubber in the build-up.

"I coped a bit of a ribbing from the crew last night, but it was always been my intention to take it very easy on day one. Adelaide was the only round I missed last year, so it was the only circuit I was not familiar with. Therefore I treated the day very circumspect," Sharma explained.

"The other thing to note is that we have been very kind mechanically to the car. The brakes, the tyres etc are in perfect condition," he added. He also pointed out that his times will improve as the weekend progress, something he became renowned for in season 2002.

"Mind you it is very easy to collect a quick time in practice, for everyone is on a different agenda. Some are roading their tyres, some are bedding brakes and others like myself, are finding their way around. Qualifying on the other hand sees everyone pushing as hard as possible and it is so easy to baulk or get baulked, particularly when there is another 28 cars out there.

"This weekend has seen V8 BRutes category lift to a higher level. There are more cars, more two-car teams as some have joined forces, and I think a higher standard has been achieved. The ute category is the fastest growing new category in Australian motor sport, and most certainly very popular with the crowds," he concluded.

Sharma qualified for the second half of the unique lotto grid draw. He effectively loses two positions and will start 21st and will start from a similar position in the second race with is a reverse of the first in the same two halves.

-ams-

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