Cat Racing duo John Bowe and Jim Richards performed strongly on the opening day of practice for this weekend's Queensland 500 today. Bowe headed the timesheets for much of the first session before ending up in fifth position, while the team were...
Cat Racing duo John Bowe and Jim Richards performed strongly on the opening day of practice for this weekend's Queensland 500 today.
Bowe headed the timesheets for much of the first session before ending up in fifth position, while the team were pleased with the second session when they concentrated the race package for Sunday's 500km event.
Richards also quickly re-acquainted himself with the Cat Falcon, running strong times including an impressive run on full fuel tanks.
Despite the warm and windy Queensland conditions, both Bowe and Richards were pleased with the day's performance.
"The car had a little bit of understeer through turn one and two, but overall, we are quite pleased with the progress so far," Bowe said.
"We still have a lot of work to do, but at least the car is quite fast straight out of the truck.
"If you are out of the top 10 in the first session, it is very hard to make enough improvement to claw your way back.
"We have a pretty strong package and it will be interesting to see how much time we can gain on new tyres tomorrow.
"I don't know how many teams have already tried new rubber, but out main aim today was to get our race package right."
Multiple Bathurst winner Jim Richards was pleased with his first session back behind the wheel of the Caterpillar V8 Supercar.
"The car is a lot nicer to drive this year and feels really consistent," Richards said.
"We ran the car with a full tank of fuel and it wasn't dramatically different. Of course it was a bit slower, but the balance wasn't ruined.
"The suspension changes we made during the day certainly improved the car and I think we are going to be in a pretty strong position on Sunday. I am sure John will do a good job in qualifying tomorrow and our chances are as good as anybody's."
The Cat Racing squad also used the sessions to practice pit stops - a crucial part of Sunday's event.
Yesterday, the Cat squad challenged the Network Ten commentary team to a pit stop challenge with the men in the commentary box swapping their microphones for rattle guns.
The Ten team's efforts can be seen prior to the Queensland 500 telecast on Sunday.
<pre> PRACTICE 1 1. - Radisich/McLean (F) - 1:11.440 2. - Longhurst/Besnard (F) - 1:11.457 3. - Lowndes/Skaife (H) - 1:11.504 4. - Richards/Murphy (H) - 1:11.826 5. - BOWE/RICHARDS (F) - 1:11.909
PRACTICE 2 1. - Longhurst/Besnard (F) - 1:11.399 2. - Ellery/Stokell (F) - 1:11.422 3. - Ritter/Leahey (H) - 1:11.425 4. - Radisich/McLean (F) - 1:11.440 5. - Lowndes/Skaife (H) - 1:11.497 10. - BOWE/RICHARDS (F) - 1:11.837
TIMETABLE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 9.10 - V8 Practice 11.35 - V8 Qualifying (top 50%) 12.05 - V8 Qualifying (bottom 50%) 2.15 - Top 10 Shoot-out SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 9.00 - V8 Warm-up 12.00 - Queensland 500