Clever pit strategy by the Cat Racing crew and stunning drives from John Bowe and Jim Richards netted 5th place in today's Queensland 500 - the first Ford over the line. Bowe began the race from position six and made the first pit stop...
Clever pit strategy by the Cat Racing crew and stunning drives from John Bowe and Jim Richards netted 5th place in today's Queensland 500 - the first Ford over the line.
Bowe began the race from position six and made the first pit stop in position ten on lap 51 where he handed over to Richards.
The multiple Bathurst winner charged from position 20 to hand the car back to Bowe on lap 106 under a safety car period.
Bowe moved from twelfth to as high as third in the late stages of the race before a seized rear anti-roll bar adjuster struck the Cat car with 30 laps to go.
The Tasmanian charged on but could not hold out the cars of Steven Richards and Russell Ingall with about 12 laps to go.
"To finish on the podium would have been nice, but the car was pretty difficult out there today," Bowe said.
"We didn't really have the outright pace, but the team made fantastic decisions on the pit stop strategy.
"Unfortunately, the rear tyres went away pretty early but we just had to keep pressing on throughout the day. The rear bar didn't help either.
"The secret however, was to make sure we were there at the finish, and with a little bit more luck, we could have been standing on the podium."
The race was won by the Holden combination of Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife ahead of Garth Tander/Jason Bargwanna and Steven Richards/Greg Murphy.
While his son Steven finished on the podium, Richards would have preferred to swap places to have the Cat Falcon in the top three.
"We didn't have an easy time out there, but this is a great result for the team," Richards said.
"They have had a pretty tough year and this will give everybody a real boost in the lead up to Bathurst.
"The car was strong in the endurance races last year but we didn't get a result.
"I thought before the race that we were in with a big chance, and with a little bit of luck, we could have come away with a podium finish.
"It is nice to be the first Ford home, but we are aiming to be the first car home overall - Ford or Holden.
"JB and everybody in the team worked really well all weekend and I am sure we can be just as strong at Bathurst."
Bowe will be back behind the wheel of the Cat Falcon for solo duty at the Sandown sprint round in Melbourne on October 7-8.
<pre> RESULTS 1. - Lowndes/Skaife (Holden) - 161 laps 2. - Tander/Bargwanna (Holden) - 161 laps 3. - Richards/Murphy (Holden) - 161 laps 4. - Ingall/Perkins (Holden) - 161 laps 5. - BOWE/RICHARDS (CAT FORD) - 161 laps 6. - Radisich/McLean (Ford) - 161 laps 7. - Seton/Crompton (Ford) - 161 laps 3. - Longhurst/Besnard (Ford) - 161 laps 9. - Ritter/Leahey (Holden) - 161 laps 10. - Baird/Wills (Ford) - 161 laps
CALENDAR: October 7-8 - Sandown October 12-15 - Gold Coast Indy November 12-15 - Bathurst