CAT FPR FALCON CONTINUES STRONG FORM IN BATHURST 1000 QUALIFYING October 6, 2006 - Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom will enter tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout with plenty of confidence after Jason was just one-tenth of a second shy of provisional...
CAT FPR FALCON CONTINUES STRONG FORM IN BATHURST 1000 QUALIFYING
October 6, 2006 - Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom will enter tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout with plenty of confidence after Jason was just one-tenth of a second shy of provisional pole in the CAT FPR Falcon in this afternoon's qualifying session.
Team mates David Brabham and Matt Halliday will start the Great Race from 14th position after a locked-up front wheel caused David to run wide at the Chase on a fast lap that would almost certainly have placed the Ford Credit FPR Falcon well inside the Top 10.
Jason's 2 minute 07.0967sec lap was just shy of Mark Skaife's fastest time, and just two-tenths of a second slower than the all-time fastest Bathurst lap time set in 2003 by Greg Murphy.
Jason said the team had used the longer-than-normal qualifying session to work on different car settings, only putting a good set of tyres on towards the end to race for a time. "We actually spent some time working on our race package early on and it turned out to be a good car so we kept it," he said.
Mark described Jason's best lap as "pretty slick".
"To have a car that's capable of a 2.07.0 makes you very confident about hopping in it," he said. "There might be a little bit (of time) left, but not much, but we're only looking for a little bit to get pole.
"Going into a race 1000 kilometres long, anything can happen. At least we've got a strong car and as long as we finish, we're going to be somewhere up the front."
Earlier in the day, Jason was the fastest driver in the third practice session while David was 4th fastest. Mark was 8th and Matt 16th.
#6 Jason Bright: "I'm pretty happy - we've probably placed more focus this weekend on having a good race car than we did at Sandown and to have that pace in Qualifying is pretty satisfying. Our set-up won't be changing a lot whereas at other rounds earlier in the year we've had to change quite a lot."
#6 Mark Winterbottom: "To be P2 and almost a 2.06 time, is pretty impressive. I did a few laps today and the car was very nice to drive, I probably should have ended up P2 in my session. We're up the pointy end like we were at Sandown and if we can stay up there and run all day we'll be somewhere near the podium."
#5 David Brabham: "We made a very small change to the car in qualifying but it just didn't seem as connected as it was this morning. I just couldn't stop for the Chase, it just locked up the right-front. We had the speed for the top ten, it's just one of those things where it didn't quite come together. But we're not far away. Tomorrow we can just concentrate fully on a race set-up."
#5 Matt Halliday: "It's frustrating when it's not you out there because you can't do much sitting in the garage. But we've got a good car. It would have been nice to have been in the top ten but it's a long race. Sunday is what counts and we will push hard then."
FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards: "Ultimately it was a good result, Jason was 2nd and even David's 14th was still a strong result for him. If he hadn't had a drama on the last lap he would have been inside the top ten. The only thing we can be disappointed about today is that we didn't do a 2.06."
Saturday at Mount Panorama starts with the fourth V8 Supercar practice session from 10:00am, followed by the Top Ten Shoot-Out at 3:40pm.