INGALL LEADS CALTEX CHARGE INTO TOP 10 SHOOTOUT Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall has led a successful start for Caltex-backed drivers at the Gillette V8 Supercar on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland today. All four Caltex drivers...
INGALL LEADS CALTEX CHARGE INTO TOP 10 SHOOTOUT
Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall has led a successful start for Caltex-backed drivers at the Gillette V8 Supercar on the streets of Surfers Paradise in Queensland today.
All four Caltex drivers will participate in tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout as a result of today's performance, with defending V8 Supercar Champion Ingall the fastest in sixth place.
The Bathurst-winning Triple Eight Race Engineering pair of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup followed Ingall, finishing qualifying in seventh and eighth position. Lowndes is the defending V8 event winner at the Lexmark Indy 300.
James Courtney was the final car to make tomorrow's Top 10 Shootout and also one of ten cars that was under the previous V8 Supercar qualifying record for the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
All four drivers and their teams are confident that their cars are not only fast but also set-up to cope with the rigours of three races around the demanding Gold Coast circuit. Brakes are an especially crucial issue, with the crews at Caltex Racing, Team Betta Electrical and Jeld-Wen Motorsport preparing their Falcons to last the distance.
Team-mates Rick Kelly and Garth Tander topped today's qualifying ahead of Mark Winterbottom, Todd Kelly and Jason Bright.
Russell Ingall -- #1 Caltex Racing Falcon
"To be more than a second quicker than last year; they are unbelievable times," said Ingall.
"It shows the improvement and development in the cars over the last 12 months.
"It looks like the other camp have a bit of an edge here. To be up with the front running Fords is some consolation but we really have to shave about half-a-second off to be anywhere near the top.
"The upside is that SBR has been concentrating on brake life. We are doing everything to prolong brakes, which is definitely an issue here. If you run out of brakes here or your pedal starts to go away a bit you're in deep trouble. The race will show which teams have done their homework the best.
"If we can hang in there in the shoot out we will be a good show in the race."
Craig Lowndes -- #888 Team Betta Electrical Falcon
"I am really happy with the way the car is," said Lowndes.
"Whilst we suffered some minor understeer in the first few laps of qualifying, it is responding well as tyres warm up and I get into a rhythm.
"It is definitely a good race car, we just need a little bit more for tomorrows Top Ten shootout and Race One."
Jamie Whincup -- #88 Team Betta Electrical Falcon
"This qualifying session is the most intense session we ever do," Whincup said.
"To get your car into the top ten around this track requires 100 percent commitment and I was lucky enough to get clear air and firm a spot in the short time I was on track.
"Clipping the wall on my first flying lap was caused by me anticipating more understeer but thankfully the car was not damaged badly enough to dramatically impact the rest of the session."
James Courtney -- #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon
"We said that it would be great if we could get in the top ten and have a straight car and we have done both of those things," said Courtney.
"We lost a couple of mirrors along the way but we can live with that.
"It was my first look at the circuit today and there is no room for error! It's gong to be a tough race tomorrow, it will be a matter of trying to stay out of trouble. I'm sure there will be a lot of people with brake dramas. The Jeld-Wen car is really strong on brakes so I think we are looking pretty good.
"The car is running quite well; it's just me learning the circuit and we are only going to get faster and faster.
"We hope to make up some positions in the shootout and have a good day tomorrow."
-credit: caltex racing