Bahrain: Tasman Motorsport race one report

Murphy Tenth In The Desert, JR Just Misses Points Greg Murphy finished today's Race 1 of the Desert 400 in Bahrain tenth, while Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Holden team-mate Jason Richards has finished just out of the points in 16th. Polesitter...

Murphy Tenth In The Desert, JR Just Misses Points

Greg Murphy finished today's Race 1 of the Desert 400 in Bahrain tenth, while Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Holden team-mate Jason Richards has finished just out of the points in 16th.

Polesitter Mark Winterbottom won the race for Ford, Garth Tander eight seconds back in second for the Toll HSV Dealer Team, Steven Johnson third - the top 10 cars separated by a whopping 35 seconds.

A first lap incident saw championship contenders Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes take themselves out along with Holden driver Paul Morris.

For Murphy, apart from a late race, doorhandle to doorhandle dice with Jason Bargwanna over three laps, the race was uneventful - a lack of grip making life difficult and stretching out the field.

"The first lap was chaotic and the contest with Bargwanna was good, but the rest was very ordinary," said Murphy.

"Winterbottom's done a terrific job to win, but I'm sure he'd say winning by eight seconds after 31 laps wasn't a great race.

"The track has no grip and with this tyre it's not great for racing."

Earlier in the day, Murphy qualified the #51 Firepower Commodore a solid ninth, a strong improvement over Thursday's 18th best practice result, while Richards qualified 21st - his qualifying efforts cut short by a bent roll bar in the #3.

"Qualifying was difficult and we didn't make it through to the second leg - the car was awful and we discovered a bent roll bar link after the session," said Richards.

"In the race I was hopping to make a comeback and get into the points. I got a ripper start but got caught out wide on the first lap and lost a few spots. After that it was all follow the leader.

"We just don't have the car to threaten the top 10 at the moment, so we'll try find a solution tonight. Tomorrow we need to try work out way forward and bank some points."

The round concludes tomorrow (Saturday) with two further 31 lap races.

-credit: tasmanmotorsport.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Steven Johnson , Garth Tander , Greg Murphy , Jason Bargwanna , Paul Morris , Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup , Mark Winterbottom