INGALL LEADS THE WAY FOR CALTEX AT QR Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall is the highest placed local in the race for Round 7 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series following an eventful practice session at Queensland Raceway today. Ingall, who...
INGALL LEADS THE WAY FOR CALTEX AT QR
Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall is the highest placed local in the race for Round 7 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series following an eventful practice session at Queensland Raceway today.
Ingall, who set the current practice lap record in August of 2001 with a time of 1.09.9367, came in just outside the top five when the two hour and fifteen minute session came to a close this afternoon.
Placing sixth fastest overall, The Enforcer can now claim the mantle as the fastest Queenslander on today's time sheet despite the fact that 11 drivers claim the Ipswich circuit as their home track.
After sitting as high as third throughout the run, Ingall's sixth saw him place behind Ford's Mark Winterbottom and Holden's Garth Tander, Todd Kelly, Mark Skaife and Rick Kelly -- all visitors to the Sunshine State.
While Ingall was mixing it up at the pointy-end of the field, his Stone Brothers Racing team-mate James Courtney was striving hard to place in the highly competitive mid-pack.
Although quick from the start, Courtney was forced to deal with a deteriorating car as he experienced high levels of front end movement, which ultimately saw him fall down the time sheets.
However, with the situation to be addressed overnight, Courtney is set to be back on the pace if his early performance today is anything to go by.
Meanwhile, Lowndes and Whincup were pushing ahead early, only to have a change of set-up backfire.
While both were quick from the start, Lowndes had additional motivation in that he is chasing back-to-back round victories following his win at Hidden Valley last month.
In that aim, Lowndes started the session well, topping the time sheets while team-mate Jamie Whincup sat comfortably in third position.
However, changes made to the se-tup of both cars saw less than the desired affects take hold, ultimately pushing both drivers further back in the field.
Tomorrow's action will kick off with qualifying at 11.35am, to be followed by race one at 3.35pm.
Russell Ingall - #9 Caltex Racing Ford Falcon
"The day was a little different, but at the end of it we have a pretty good race car," said Ingall.
"We struggled a bit with balance and brakes early in the session and actually ended up in the sand trap at the end of the back straight at one stage.
"We changed both brake pads and discs after that and the difference was night and day.
"We are only 0.3 of a second off the quickest car today and we used nothing like new tyres.
"I think we have a solid race package on the Caltex Falcon and I look forward to making plenty of progress tomorrow.
"This is our first home race of the year and we will have plenty of fans out there flying the Caltex and Ford flags for us. It would be great if we could get the job done for them."
Craig Lowndes - #888 Team Vodafone Ford Falcon
"The car is very good on race runs," said Lowndes.
"We made some adjustments after the first half of practice to finalise balance but we actually overcompensated.
"In the end the car balance was very good and I was on for a great lap with 10 minutes to go but made an error on the last corner that ruined our hopes of a top three finish.
"We are very confident of putting together a good qualifying setup and we know we have a great race package.
Jamie Whincup - #88 Team Vodafone Ford Falcon
"By looking at the time sheets it doesn't seem like we did a good job but it this category due to the lack of test days we are forced to explore unknown's on a race weekend," said Whincup.
"We tested our race setup for three quarters of the session it worked so well we though we would check it as a qualifying setup but as you can see it wasn't quite suitable.
"I am not disappointed, we learnt a lot today and will most likely revert back to a known setup for qualifying."
James Courtney - #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Ford Falcon
"The Jeld-Wen Falcon was quite speedy straight out today as we would hope to be at our test track," said Courtney.
"Unfortunately the car deteriorated throughout the session; we had an issue with a lot of movement in the front.
"With a race car you want everything to be as precise as it can be; it affected the car quite a bit so we didn't get a chance to have a good run on new tyres.
"The guys will work on that overnight and we're confident it will be right for tomorrow.
"We definitely have the speed to be in the top three; Russell didn't have a great run today but was still sixth. If I can compete with him we'll be right."