Bathurst: Mark McNally preview

MCNALLY SWITCHES MACHINES FOR BATHURST Mark McNally will step from his regular car for Round 6 of the 2008 Fujitsu V8 supercar Series at Mt Panorama Bathurst next week and into a sister car kindly loaned by West Coast Racing team sponsor ...

MCNALLY SWITCHES MACHINES FOR BATHURST

Mark McNally will step from his regular car for Round 6 of the 2008 Fujitsu V8 supercar Series at Mt Panorama Bathurst next week and into a sister car kindly loaned by West Coast Racing team sponsor John Silverthorne of NRW.

The car that will be used is Walkinshaw Racing chassis #50 which was used by Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly to win the Bathurst 1000 in 2005.

The decision to change cars was made after the team back-to-backed the two cars after the Winton round of the series and found that chassis #50 was more consistent and drivable.

"I really have to thank John (Silverthorne) for the opportunity," Mark said.

"To allow me to test the car first, and now to race it is a great opportunity; hopefully I can repay him with a good result at Bathurst."

After the original test, the team fitted Mark's race engine and adjusted the driving position for the final test yesterday.

"We had a strong test day with the car having good rear grip and allowing me to punch out strong lap times over a long period of time," Mark said.

Mark completed 110 laps in the day with his best times coming after checking data against Andrew Jones' and making some adjustments to the car and driving style.

"My best lap was a 1:25.0 which was 8/10ths faster than my qualifying time at Winton, with consistent mid 1:25's all day."

This contrast's well against Jones' best of 1:24.8 in his later model car.

The main difference between Mark's regular car and chassis # 50 is the shock absorber set-up which gives it increased rear grip, something that is needed at Bathurst.

"We can really go to Bathurst with confidence," Mark said.

"I feel like we have turned a corner and will have a good end to the year."

Mark also had the opportunity to complete a few laps in the BJR VE Commodore of Cameron McConville at the end of the day and impressed the BJR team with his adaption to the car.

"The seat was in the wrong place, the pedals were different and the car has a sequential gear shift," Mark said.

But he was still able to do a 1:25.7 on his third lap and was on track for a 1:25.00 before a mistake at the hairpin.

"It gives me a lot of confidence to go fast in my first drive of a main series car; hopefully I will get more opportunities next year."

With two rounds of the Fujitsu Series remaining Mark is hopeful of finishing the year off on a high to set himself up for a stronger 2009.

Mark will be on track at Bathurst from Thursday to Saturday next week.

-credit: westcoastracing.com.au today

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Cameron McConville , Andrew Jones , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly , Mark McNally