Bathurst Thursday practice report

Murphy sets hot pace at Bathurst Greg Murphy has upped the ante at Bathurst, topping the times today in his Kmart Commodore from the FPR Falcon of David Besnard by nearly one second while race favourites Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall ...

Murphy sets hot pace at Bathurst

Greg Murphy has upped the ante at Bathurst, topping the times today in his Kmart Commodore from the FPR Falcon of David Besnard by nearly one second while race favourites Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall languished outside the top 10.

While not declaring his lap perfect, Murphy said it was now going to take a superhuman effort and a bit of luck to better the time and drop down into the 2m07s bracket.

"You never know, there might be a bit of time somewhere," he said. "It's not like you go out there now and brake 4 metres later there and carry a bit more speed here. It didn't feel like a hard lap, and it wasn't that difficult, so I really don't know at the moment where we can find some extra speed.

"It's a testament to the guys in the workshop and Eric Kinder who puts up me with me day-to-day. I am very confident at this, but I'm not getting carried away yet and saying we are top of this car.

"Rick (Kelly) will get a lot of laps tomorrow, and we'll be working really hard to narrow the loss that we get on the tyres. But we are lucky here because the track is quite flowing and you carry a lot of speed through the corners, even the slow corners, so it doesn't hurt the tyres too much.

"We come to every race meeting wanting to be fastest on every lap of every session and to win every race, but it doesn't always happen. This is race is very important to all of us, and we are in with a very good chance of winning."

David Besnard was a surprise second fastest in only his third outing in the newest of thew FPR Falcons. His quickest lap was more than one second ahead of teammate Craig Lowndes, but he realises he still faces an uphill battle to fulfil one of his motor racing dreams and win Bathurst.

"It takes time when you put 35 guys together and build a new three car race team, you can't expect to kick butt," Besnard said. "We are not dumb enough to think that one good session means we don't need to work hard anymore. We've had one good session, that's it."

Third fastest was the HRT pairing of Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly, with both drivers recording quick laps in the car that won the Sandown 500 just four weeks ago. Skaife was earlier very quick in the team's second car as he took the opportunity to drive both cars while he settles on the best combination for the race on Sunday.

Skaife is hunting for three wins in a row at Mount Panorama, taking the chequered flag first last year with Jim Richards and the year before with Tony Longhurst. Both those drivers will share the team's second car.

OzEmail Falcon drivers John Bowe and Brad Jones were next quickest, Jones setting the car's fastest time in the morning and Bowe in the afternoon. Jones holds the lap record here after a sizzling opening spell here last year, while Bowe holds the qualifying record.

The pair is quietly confident its early speed will have it well places to challenge for pole on Saturday.

Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup rounded out the top five in their Repco Valvoline Cummins Commodore, Tander declaring the car the best he has driven at Bathurst.

"We didn't have a very good run at Sandown and we had planned to test the car after that, but we decided to spend some more time engineering the car - crossing the t's and dotting the i's," the 2000 race winner said. "And it has paid off because this is the best car I have ever driven here.

"Every time you come here you are trying to win the race, and this one is obviously no different. We've got a great car with a good engine, so there is no reason why we can't win."

Tomorrow's V8 Supercar action starts at 9:45am with record crowds expected to roll into the famous road circuit in record numbers.

<pre> Top 10 Practice Two - Thursday 9th October 1. 51 K-Mart Racing Team R.Kelly/G.Murphy Holden Commodore VY 2:08.3282 2. 19 Ford Performance Racing D.Besnard/O.Kelly/G.Seton Ford Falcon BA 2:09.2038 3. 1 Holden Racing Team M.Skaife/T.Kelly Holden Commodore VY 2:09.3301 4. 21 OzEmail Racing Team B.Jones/J.Bowe Ford Falcon BA 2:09.7605 5. 34 Garry Rogers Motorsport G.Tander/J.Whincup Holden Commodore VY 2:09.9372 6. 65 Betta Electrical P.Radisich/R.Rydell Ford Falcon BA 2:10.0609 7. 11 Castrol Perkins Racing Team S.Richards/L.Perkins Holden Commodore VY 2:10.2471 8. 29 Sirromet - Life,Style,Wine P.Morris/J.Faulkner Holden Commodore VY 2:10.4977 9. 18 Shell Helix Racing M.Wilson/D.Brabham Ford Falcon BA 2:10.5605 10 6 Ford Performance Racing C.Lowndes/G.Seton Ford Falcon BA 2:10.5934

-avesco-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Garth Tander , Marcos Ambrose , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Jim Richards , Brad Jones , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , John Bowe , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly , Garry Rogers , Tony Longhurst
Teams Holden Racing Team , Garry Rogers Motorsport