New Zealand's Greg Murphy set a new lap record in a red hot last five minutes of today's qualifying session at a white cold Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 in Bathurst throwing out an ominous warning to rivals before Sunday's ultimate showdown. Murphy ...
New Zealand's Greg Murphy set a new lap record in a red hot last five minutes of today's qualifying session at a white cold Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 in Bathurst throwing out an ominous warning to rivals before Sunday's ultimate showdown.
Murphy (K-Mart Racing) sent his Commodore around the Mount Panorama circuit in a blistering 2:07.9503, breaking the previous lap record set by John Bowe last year (2:08.3873).
The 1996 and 1999 race winner had to upstage Holden Racing Team's Mark Skaife in an amazing final five minutes of the session after a brief shower interrupted proceedings on the cold Bathurst afternoon in front of a crowd of 28,140.
Skaife became the first driver to break 2:08 with a new fastest lap of 2:07.9900 which lasted only minutes in the Bathurst record books.
Not to be outdone Bowe (OzEmail Racing) clocked 2:07.9945 with three minutes to spare to add a BA Falcon to the sub-2:08 club.
But it continued to be Murphy's law as the Kiwi ended the day on top of the charts again, following on from his and co-driver Rick Kelly's practice form yesterday.
"We knew the car was pretty good again today," said Murphy. "The track was awesome in the window after the shower -- it was a lot of fun. That's what racing is all about."
Four-time race winner Skaife was second in qualifying last year and will be hoping that history repeats as he went on to claim pole position and ultimately win the race.
Current series leader Marcos Ambrose (Pirtek Racing) was pleased to be towards the front after a best lap of 2:08.2684 in the final few minutes for fourth fastest.
The 2001 pole sitter wasn't concerned with being 14th fastest in practice yesterday as it was a day spent working on car set-up.
"I have to say I was a little worried with 10 minutes to go in today's qualifying," said Ambrose. "Thankfully the sun came out and gave us a last-ditch crack at it. If we can start on the first couple of rows on Sunday I will be happy, but I will be out there going for pole in tomorrow's shootout."
2000 Bathurst winner Garth Tander (Garry Rogers Motorsport) rounded out the top five with a lap of 2:08.4145 to be one of 14 drivers under 2:09 in today's qualifying session.
In qualifying for the Konica V8 Supercars, Mark Winterbottom (Milligan's Food Group Racing) set a scorching lap of 2:08.9237 to lead the charge ahead of Warren Luff (Dick Johnson Racing) and Owen Kelly in his Astron Technology/PCR Falcon.
Adding to his V8 Supercar top 10 qualifying performance, Jim Richards took out race one of the Carrera Cup in his OAMPS Insurance Brokers Porsche with New Zealand's Kevin Bull in second and Queensland's Marcus Marshall claiming third.
Another Queenslander Jamie Cartwright (MG -- X Power) was victorious in race one of the MGF Trophy by a clear four seconds from NSW's Chris Oxley (Bushley Pty Ltd) and then Adam Bressington (Whiskas Racing/newhair.com.au).
The result of race two of the Historic Touring Cars was nearly a repeat of yesterday's first race with Steve Mason in his Biante Model Cars Camero Chev winning by nearly four seconds from Jervis Ward (The Creative Parrot Ford Mustang) with Jason Foley in a Ford XYGT taking third position.
Day three of the Bob Jane T-Marts 1000 commences at 7.45am tomorrow (Saturday October 11). The V8 Supercars hit the track for their fourth practice session at 10.15am with the Top 10 Shoot Out starting at 3.55pm. For further information visit the website www.bobjanetmarts1000.com