October 5, 2001 - A tough 45 minute qualifying session for Sydney's Lansvale Racing Team saw 27 year old lead driver Cameron McConville qualify 21st for Sunday's V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst. Given the speed displayed by McConville yesterday in...
October 5, 2001 - A tough 45 minute qualifying session for Sydney's Lansvale Racing Team saw 27 year old lead driver Cameron McConville qualify 21st for Sunday's V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst.
Given the speed displayed by McConville yesterday in the team's new VX Commodore, (when he set the 12th fastest lap using worn tyres), the Victorian felt confident that new rubber would help the team break into more competitive lap times during the warm 45 minute qualifying session.
Despite some significant handling improvements made during the day and the addition of new tyres, top speed and engine power delivery proved to be the team's major problem. McConville set a fastest lap only marginally faster than yesterday's best at 2:12.1408s. This placed the 1999 Bathurst 1000 runnner-up 19th, but with Paul Weel and Jason Richards setting faster times during the second fifty percent qualifying session, McConville was relegated to 21st overall.
McConville was disappointed with his and co-driver Rick Bates' 2001 V8 Supercar 1000 starting position, McConville remains confident of a strong performance on Sunday.
"Obviously I would have liked to have made the Bathurst top ten as I enjoy attacking this circuit in qualifying, but no matter how aggressively I drove, the car was only going to be so fast and no more. We have a top speed problem that the team will be working on to ensure that we have the power that we need to compete strongly in the race. Other than that we are still working on the overall balance as well so we can have a top race car for Sunday," McConville said.
McConville's co-driver, Canberra based Rick Bates is not overly concerned about the Lansvale Racing Team's lower than anticipated starting position for the V8 Supercar 1000.
"In many ways it can be better to start from where we are then to be caught up in an early melee when nerves are high and tension to gain the early lead is at its peak. While we both would like to be further up the order here at Bathurst, it is a long race and consistency pays excellent dividends over 1000 kilometres. There is no doubt that we will be strong on Sunday if we stay out of trouble and set consistent lap times all day. During my practice laps this morning the car was much better although our top speed problem is something that we will be working hard on overnight," Bates said.
51 year old Trevor Ashby has qualified 31st out of the 41 car V8 Supercar 1000 field for what will be his and team mate Steve Reed's 16th Bathurst 1000 on Sunday. Ashby's fastest lap of 2:14.4264s was 3/10ths of a second faster than yesterday's fastest lap, but well below that expected by the Bathurst veteran.
"The car had too much understeer in low speed corners so I couldn't get the power down early enough out of the corners, our balance was out and it was difficult to set a better time. Now our thoughts are on Sunday's race and we know what has to be done to set a faster pace," Ashby said.
The team are changing both Lansvale VX Commodore engines overnight along with the replacement of all major components as the team goes into endurance race set up mode in time for tomorrow's final practice session.
The Lansvale Racing Team are back on the track at 4:20pm tomorrow (Saturday) for a 60 minute practice session to ensure that all systems are in order for Sunday's grueling six hour 1000km enduro. Trevor Ashby and Steve Reed will be featured on Network Ten's Sports Tonight Saturday edition discussing 16 years of racing at Mount Panorama.