Cat Racing star John Bowe is preparing for a tough battle tomorrow after tackling one of the closest V8 qualifying sessions in the category's history at Calder Park today. Bowe will start from position 15 on the grid after stopping the clocks ...
Cat Racing star John Bowe is preparing for a tough battle tomorrow after tackling one of the closest V8 qualifying sessions in the category's history at Calder Park today.
Bowe will start from position 15 on the grid after stopping the clocks at 56.480 seconds around the 2.28km Melbourne circuit.
The top 25 cars were covered by less than a second with Holden's Craig Lowndes on pole ahead of veteran Larry Perkins.
The Cat team improved by more than a second on fresh rubber and were placed twelfth after the top 50% qualifying session.
However, Perkins, Neil Crompton and Todd Kelly improved in the second session to move Bowe back to 15th.
"It is very tough to find time around this circuit because it is so short," Bowe said.
"The level of competition is extremely fierce and you can gain several rows on the grid just by finding a 10th of a second.
"The car had bad understeer at the start of the day, but we made some good improvements.
"I was set to start another flying lap and was racing to beat the chequered flag, but didn't quite make it.
"There is probably a little more speed in the car, but we now have to concentrate on a race package for tomorrow."
Bowe and the other leading Ford drivers contested qualifying and practice with the new front undertray which mirrors that used on the Commodores.
"It is a good idea to standardise the front bars, but it really doesn't make a great deal of difference around here because it is not a high speed circuit.
"I really don't think you will see a big change until they look at standardising the front track on the Commodore and the Falcon.
"The Holden is still about 2 inches wider across the front which gives it a much more stable platform."
Bowe believes tomorrow will produce a fierce battle with the Calder circuit only offering limited passing opportunities.
"There is really only two places at the end of the front and back straight where you can try to make a move," Bowe said.
"It is going to be very tight, especially when you look at the qualifying times.
"I hope some common sense prevails and we don't end up with a big accident like Craig Lowndes suffered here last year."
<pre> QUALIFYING 1. - Lowndes (Holden) - 55.912 2. - Perkins (Holden) - 55.999 3. - Ingall (Holden) - 56.001 4. - Radisich (Ford) - 56.031 5. - Larkham (Ford) - 56.051 6. - Skaife (Holden) - 56.079 7. - Seton (Ford) - 56.098 8. - Richards (Holden) - 56.079 9. - Longhurst (Ford) - 56.155 10. - Tander (Holden) - 56.182 15. - BOWE (CAT FORD) - 56.480
TIMETABLE: SUNDAY, AUGUST 20th 9.30am - Warm-up 11.30am - Race One - 21 laps 1.30pm - Race Two - 21 laps 3.30pm - Race Three - 21 laps