Bathurst: Caltex Racing Friday report

INGALL AND LOWNDES MAKE TOP 10 SHOOTOUT FOR CALTEX Caltex Ambassadors Russell Ingall and Craig Lowndes have both guided their Caltex-backed Falcons into the top 10 in qualifying for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama ...


Caltex Ambassadors Russell Ingall and Craig Lowndes have both guided their Caltex-backed Falcons into the top 10 in qualifying for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama today.

Ingall and Lowndes will now take part in tomorrow afternoon's Top 10 Shootout and remain a chance to grab pole position for Sunday's race. The performance of the two former V8 Supercar Champions and Bathurst winners marked a successful day for Caltex, with all four cars supported by the Caltex qualifying inside the top 20.

Ingall qualified sixth today, continuing the strong form of the Caltex Racing Falcon. Ingall was fifth fastest in the third practice session earlier in the day and co-driver Luke Youlden 11th fastest in this morning's co-driver practice session.

Lowndes was similarly fast in Caltex-backed #888 Team Betta Electrical Falcon, qualifying seventh fastest today to join Ingall in tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout. Lowndes's co-driver Jamie Whincup was third fastest in the co-driver practice session and the two drivers, who have both won rounds of this year's series, will be one of the strongest combinations in Sunday's race.

Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon driver James Courtney narrowly missed a start in tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout. Courtney and experienced co-driver Glenn Seton will start Sunday's race from 11th on the grid.

Denmark's Allan Simonsen turned in a good performance to qualify the Caltex-backed #88 Team Betta Electrical Falcon in 20th position. Simon and Richard Lyons form the only all-international driver pairing in this year's race and will start Sunday's race ahead of some much more experienced drivers.

Mark Skaife was fastest in today's qualifying session, ahead of Jason Bright and Rick Kelly. Jason Richards, Greg Murphy, Steven Richards, Dean Canto and Steven Johnson are also in tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout.


Russell Ingall -- #1 Caltex Racing Falcon

"It's nice to be in the Shootout," said Ingall.

"We have had a pretty torrid time qualifying all year.

"You probably wouldn't retire on that lap that we put in at the end but it's against a pretty stiff bunch of opponents. The red brigade have got their things going mighty fast so we have a job on our hands being the second Ford.

"On the positive side the Caltex Falcon is punching in good times on older tyres which is what we have been aiming for.

"We don't need a bullet for one lap; we need a bullet for 161 laps. A few teams may have forgotten that.

"There are two schools of thought; you can be a hero for qualifying or a hero on Sunday afternoon. We have a bet each way, we have a quick car but also one that we are confident will be quick in the race.

"We are looking pretty solid."

Luke Youlden -- #1 Caltex Racing Falcon

"My session this morning was fantastic, I did my fastest lap around here ever; a 2:09.3," said Youlden.

"I actually made a mistake on that lap so there is more in it.

"The Caltex Falcon felt really good and I felt comfortable in it. I can't wait to jump back in it."

"Rusty pulled out a great lap this afternoon to put us in sixth so anything can happen from here. We'll see if we can give the car a tune up and drag out a 2:06 tomorrow!"

Craig Lowndes -- #888 Team Betta Electrical Falcon

?"The car has definitely improved on yesterday but we are still looking for some more speed in the first sector," said Lowndes.

"It was great to end up in the top ten and whilst the car is responding to the changes there is definitely more time to be found.

"We haven't really had a flow going all weekend but we know the car is looking after its tyres and we have a reliable race package for Sunday."

Jamie Whincup -- #888 Team Betta Electrical Falcon

?"There was no need for me to try and be a star today," said Whincup.

"It was my job to circulate, feel the car and stay calm and controlled.

"Overall I was very comfortable with the cars improvements."

Allan Simonsen -- #88 Team Betta Electrical Falcon

?"More time in the car would have allowed me the opportunity to really push my own boundaries," said Simonsen.

"The track is really quite formidable and I am very conscious of keeping the car straight as I am confident that once the race starts both Richard and I can achieve consistent lap times which over the length of this race, is a priority.

"I am pretty happy with where we are at the moment."

Richard Lyons -- #88 Team Betta Electrical Falcon

"It was great to have a practice session to myself today," said Lyons

"It enabled me to learn more about the car and the track.

"This is one of the biggest races in the world and I am starting to understand the track more and more each time I get out there.

"If we can keep improving there is no reason we can't get a top ten finish and bring home some good points for the team."

James Courtney -- #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon

"Being outside of the top 10 is a bit disappointing as we have been quite speedy the rest of the week," said Courtney.

"But in the end it is a 1000km race and we will have good race pace.

"We couldn't get as much out of the JELD-WEN car on one lap but we are not here to go fast for one lap, we are here to go fast for 161 laps.

"We are pretty confident that we have the car to achieve that."

Glenn Seton -- #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon

"We made some changes to the car overnight which made it nervous in the rear so the guys went back to yesterday's set-up in the first practice and there was a big improvement," said Seton.

"With the miles we did and the tyres we were on, we didn't put any new rubber on, I was really pleased with a 2.10.2.

"It would have been nice to be in the top 10 but the race isn't won in the top ten here. I've seen plenty of guys in past come from further back than that. In the end there is two-tenths in it so that is not much around here."

-credit: cr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Steven Johnson , James Courtney , Richard Lyons , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Dean Canto , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup , Glenn Seton , Luke Youlden , Allan Simonsen , Steven Richards