Skaife shoots to provisional pole position for Bathurst 1000 with blistering near record lap A lap time just over a tenth of a second slower than Greg Murphy's 2003 blistering record setting effort has been enough to vault the Holden Racing...
Skaife shoots to provisional pole position for Bathurst 1000 with blistering near record lap
A lap time just over a tenth of a second slower than Greg Murphy's 2003 blistering record setting effort has been enough to vault the Holden Racing Team's Mark Skaife into provisional pole position for the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.
The #2 Commodore flew around the 6.213kilometre circuit in 2m06.9764s, just over a tenth of a second faster than the Falcon of Jason Bright.
Skaife, who has started from pole position at Bathurst six times previously, will be the final car to run against the clock in tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout that will determine the final grid positions for Sunday's race.
While Skaife was blisteringly quick around the Mountain, his teammate Jim Richards was equally impressive in the team's #22 Commodore.
The 59year-old, lining up for his 35th start in The Great Race, was the fastest of the non full-time V8 Supercar drivers with a 2m08.4501s lap.
The time was good enough to put the car he will share with Ryan Briscoe in 12th position on the grid and narrowly miss a berth in the Shootout.
Mark Skaife (#2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"I think there are probably a couple of tenths of seconds left in the car. On the second set of tyres I had a fair bit of a `whoops' in the Chase and that didn't make the end of the lap as nice as I would have liked. There's certainly a bit more time in it but it was one of those laps where you are 100 percent committed and one of those tracks you have to be like that but not make a mistake at the same time. The track conditions tomorrow will be what makes the difference as to whether breaking Murph's record is possible. If it as good as it was today we are capable of doing a 2m06.5s, but if it's slower then I think we'd be aiming for a low 2m07s lap."
Garth Tander (#2 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"It was a pretty good day from where I was in the garage during qualifying! When I jumped out of the car after the morning practice session I said to Skaifey that I had no doubt the car was good to do a 2m06s lap. We fine tuned the car all day and it was actually a fair bit warmer ontrack in the qualifying session than it had been earlier in the day in the practice session. We've struggled for front tyre temperature in the early part of the lap in the first sector so that's an area we'll focus on."
Jim Richards (#22 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"We had a good day. It would have been great to get into the Top 10 but considering the level of the competition in V8 Supercars these days and to get in being a part time driver in the category, I thought we went really well. Now the boys can concentrate on getting the car ready for the race."
Ryan Briscoe (#22 Holden Racing Team Commodore VZ)
"I did the morning session and got a new set of tyres to play with, so that was good to get out there with some grip and I was able to let the track come to me and go faster and faster each lap. The car feels fantastic though. I was in the pits cheering on Jim during qualifying and he did a very good job. I don't think the starting position really makes much of a difference around here but we're looking good. I'll do most of the practice session tomorrow morning and get into a rhythm. Every lap I do around here I'm gaining more and more confidence."