Perth: Caltex Racing Friday report

LOWNDES AND INGALL INSIDE THE TOP FIVE AT BARBAGALLO Caltex Ambassador Craig Lowndes and Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall have both begun the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship in impressive form to set times inside the top five during...

LOWNDES AND INGALL INSIDE THE TOP FIVE AT BARBAGALLO

Caltex Ambassador Craig Lowndes and Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall have both begun the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship in impressive form to set times inside the top five during today's practice session.

Lowndes set the third quickest time aboard his Caltex lubricated Team Betta Electrical Falcon with the defending champion, Ingall, two spots further back aboard his Caltex Racing Falcon in fifth.

Ingall, who recorded a career best result at the West Australian venue last year, is confident of continuing his impressive early pace throughout the weekend.

Lowndes' team-mate Jamie Whincup, who won the opening round of the championship in Adelaide, recorded the eighth fastest time around the 2.41km Barbagallo circuit in his Caltex lubricated Team Betta Electrical Falcon.

In his first visit to the Perth circuit young gun James Courtney recorded the 11th quickest time in his Jeld-Wen Falcon, lubricated by Caltex Havoline. Courtney's time was less than six-tenths of a second behind the fastest time set by local ace Garth Tander.

As anticipated the practice session was a tight fought affair with the top 21 times separated by less than a second. Qualifying will be contested tomorrow at 11:00am local time with the opening 50-lap race in the afternoon.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY----.

Russell Ingall -- Caltex Racing
"The Caltex Falcon was strong today. The biggest obstacles we faced were other cars running off the track and the red flags," said Ingall.

"The track was a bit dirty so it made for hard going but you expect that with the sandy nature of the circuit.

"The car speed was good on old tyres. We didn't have an ideal run with new tyres but the time was good enough for fifth position so we were satisfied with that. There is definitely more to come."

James Courtney, Jeld-Wen Motorsport
"The first part of the session today wasn't real fun with a sticky throttle but once we got that sorted out we were able to get into it," said Courtney.

"We ironed out some other problems with the set up and got the Jeld-Wen car handling really well by the end of the session.

"The times were good on old tyres. We are happy to be in 11th position without using new tyres.

"Barbagallo is an unusual circuit to get used to. Some of the racing lines are not what you would expect.

"Overall we are quietly confident of improvement tomorrow."

Craig Lowndes -- Team Betta Electical
"We had a fairly strong car here last year and started today with a similar setup," said Lowndes.

"The team spent the first hour working on race consistency and trying to determine optimum grip levels.

"We bolted on a better set of tyres towards the end of the session but with everyone on track it was very difficult to get a clear lap.

"The momentum of both sessions was regularly interrupted through a combination of red flags and cars re-entering the track and leaving sand and debris behind.

"While the car has definitely got a little bit left in it we still have to get it right tomorrow but it will be easier with only half the cars on track," Lowndes explained.

Jamie Whincup -- Team Betta Electrical
"We have some news parts we are still trying to maximise and I struggled with a bit of understeer today," said Whincup.

"The car 88 crew adopted a slightly different strategy to car 888 as I had not driven a Falcon on this track before and I wanted to make sure I got my base reasonably solid right from the start.

"There is still room for improvement but nothing a few turns and clicks won't fix," Whincup added.

-cr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Russell Ingall , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup