BAIRD SET TO CHARGE AT SANDOWN Team VIP Petfood's reigning Carrera Cup champion Craig Baird has today fought a brave battle against variable weather conditions and bad luck to qualify in the top eight for tomorrow's first two races of round ...
BAIRD SET TO CHARGE AT SANDOWN
Team VIP Petfood's reigning Carrera Cup champion Craig Baird has today fought a brave battle against variable weather conditions and bad luck to qualify in the top eight for tomorrow's first two races of round six of the championship at Sandown International Raceway.
After coming home fastest in this morning's practice session - 0.67 ahead of nearest challenger Marcus Marshall - Baird was optimistic heading into qualifying.
Unfortunately for Baird it wasn't to be, with the first half of the session looking dire for Baird with the stalwart languishing behind traffic and in the bottom two before rallying on lap six to jump 11 places to 10th.
From there he rallied to chip away at the times with consistent improvements lap by lap, however at no stage during the session was he able to find a clear lap so as to be able to post a higher qualifying time.
Although consistently improving, time had slipped away before he could move further up the order, instead posting the eighth quickest time with his fastest of the session set on his last recorded lap.
"I just could not get a clear lap today and it was really very frustrating," said Baird.
"The potential was there, the car was on the money which was obvious from the practice session earlier on, but I just could not convert that into a top qualifying time.
"Even so, it could have been worse and I could have been further back in the field, so I will be mustering everything I have tomorrow morning to come back from this result for the first races."
While Baird struggled with traffic, Team VIP Petfoods chief Tony Quinn was left searching for the optimum set up in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car.
"The car was not playing it the way we expected today, and we will be working hard overnight to try and find the source of the problem," said Tony.
At the same time, Tony's son Klark was putting in a big effort in the mid-pack, posting his fastest lap in the closing seconds of today's sessions to be qualified twelfth.
"I am feeling pretty good after today's session, there was something a bit off after we pitted for tyres but hopefully we can work that out overnight and be ready for tomorrow," said Klark.
Outside of the Carrera Cup series, Team VIP Petfoods' Aussie Racing Car defending champion Paul Kemal was pulling out a massive effort to qualify second ahead of tomorrow's first two races for the category's sixth round.
In the greasy conditions during this morning's practice session Kemal was quick straight out of the box and that form continued to see him post the second quickest time ahead of this afternoon's qualifying -- a trend that flowed on into qualifying where a solid performance in greasy conditions will see him line up beside David Sieders on the front row for tomorrow's first race.
Tomorrow's racing action will see Team VIP Petfoods line-up first of all for opening tilt of the Carrera Cup at 9.00am, followed by the Aussie Racing Car's first race outing at 12.25pm. Also tomorrow will see Baird slot in with V8 Supercar team Toll HSV for the endurance races after a strong performance during practice today.