The Mountain is open for business Solid day of running for Dodo Racing at Mount Panorama's first practice session A two hour practice session at Mount Panorama has kicked off proceedings today for the 2005 Super Cheap...
The Mountain is open for business
Solid day of running for Dodo Racing at Mount Panorama's first practice session
A two hour practice session at Mount Panorama has kicked off proceedings today for the 2005 Super Cheap Auto 1000 with Dodo Racing's Jason Richards clocking the 14th fastest time.
The Kiwi ace, fresh from the podium result he achieved with partner Jamie Whincup at Sandown, began the session in the team's #3 Commodore before alternating with Whincup and stepping back aboard for the final part of the session.
Due to an earlier red flag stoppage following a crash involving the Falcon of Dale Brede, the session was shortened by some 15 minutes, halting the team from making further setup changes.
"It's a good start to the weekend and we just spent the day working on the car and running through our schedule," said Richards, who clocked a 2m09.7484s lap.
"Our car's straight and we're not light years away from the pace at the front. We haven't mounted a real attack on the Mountain as yet.
"Day one is a bit early for that so we'll creep up on it and aim to fit our peak come race day on Sunday - that's the one that goes in the history books.
Today was also the first time the V8 Supercars used the longer final drive ratio that has been introduced as mandatory for all cars in this year's Bathurst classic.
"The only place it feels a bit slower is on the climb out of turn two with the taller final drive," said Whincup.
"But overall, it's not slower than last year at all. Today was a nice way to warm up and begin our race week.
"We made some big improvements to the car's handling over the top of the Mountain which made it a lot nicer to drive.
"We only had a maximum of 30 laps allowed in the session. This place is the sort of track where the more laps you can do the better, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
The team's second car of Fabian Coulthard and Tony D'Alberto was 27th fastest in the session, the duo able to build their Bathurst experience by competing in the Carrera Cup and HPDC V8 Supercar Series events respectively today.
"There's no point trying to be a star today so we just worked away at becoming comfortable with the car and finding the balance between speed and it being predictable to drive," said Coulthard.
Sandown 500 winners Craig Lowndes and Yvan Muller were fastest in today's practice, heading the Holden Racing Team Commodore of Sandown runners-up Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly and the Falcon of Marcos Ambrose and Warren Luff.
The Mountain will again return to life when qualifying for the 1000- kilometre classic is held tomorrow at 2pm AEST after two 30-minute practice sessions are run in the morning.