FRONT ROW START FOR TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL AT SANDOWN 500 Team Betta Electrical's leading endurance combination of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup will start from the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown ...
FRONT ROW START FOR TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL AT SANDOWN 500
Team Betta Electrical's leading endurance combination of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup will start from the front row of the grid for tomorrow's Betta Electrical 500 at Sandown International Raceway.
A tidy 5th placing in qualifying netted the #888 car a Top Ten Shootout berth, and Lowndes made the most of limited tyre grip to set the pace in the session before being bumped from pole by Garth Tander who produced a near-perfect lap.
The championship points leader's one lap dash was strongest in the first and last sectors, but was disrupted in the middle sector as he was forced to contend with tyres at less than optimum temperature.
Lowndes conceded that it was quite difficult to produce his quickest time over a single lap, and said he looked forward to taking to the track for tomorrow's race where the Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford Falcon is traditionally at its best.
"Second place on the grid is a great place to be, I didn't quite get the best from the car in the shooutout, and slid a little through turn 1 as I tried to determine whether the tyres were up to the job," said Lowndes.
"I lost a little bit of momentum around half-way through the lap but managed to gather it up for the run home, the car is simply spot on through the last few corners."
"We know the Betta Electrical Falcon is fantastic over race distance, and the team has a great handle on what it takes to do very well here."
"We really wanted to be in the front few rows in order to get away to a clean start and build our race from there, the car is very good on tyres and great over these long distances with a large fuel load on board."
The team's lead Falcon starts tomorrow's race in exactly the same position it did at the event in 2005 where it went onto win, and Lowndes is confident of once again being in good contention in the latter stages of the challenging 161-lap showdown.
Jamie Whincup took to the track this morning for the second and final practice session, putting the car through its paces and preparing himself for the task at hand.
Enjoying a similar setup to Lowndes, he was quickly up to speed and spent the session refining his approach to the circuit's more difficult corners.
His phenomenal rise to a regular contender for race and round wins has him quietly confident of another good result at Sandown -- he scored his first ever V8 Supercar podium here last year.
"Well that certainly was an easy front row start, I didn't really raise a sweat!" quipped Whincup following today's Top Ten Shootout.
"I worked quite a bit on the car this morning with the team, it certainly is looking like a solid race package and has everything it takes to go the distance tomorrow."
"We're not certain at this stage how we'll structure driver changes and stints, there are a lot of factors that will determine this throughout the race, but I've got a very good idea on what I'm here to do and that's lap quickly and consistently for my time in the car."
"Five hundred kilometres is a very long way, and I'm confident of being both physically and mentally up to the challenge."
Team Betta Electrical's second endurance entry made significant gains in today's opening practice session, improving a massive 17 positions to sit just outside the top 10 in 12th place.
Richard Lyons took over qualifying duties in the #88 Falcon and backed up with a very solid 17th placing, outclassing a string of regular season competitors in just his first V8 Supercar event.
Lyons shares the seat in the Betta-backed Falcon with Allan Simonsen, and the event's only true international pairing are shaping up to be genuine contenders for a top 10 finish in the first of two endurance races for the season.
Team Betta Electrical's two Ford Falcons will take to the track tomorrow morning for a 20 minute warmup in which they will tick the last boxes ahead of the 500km race, scheduled to begin at 1.00pm -- 31 V8 Supercars will be vying for race podiums in what is often the most interesting event on the calendar.
-credit: team betta