Sandown: WPS Racing Saturday report

ALL TIME BEST QUALIFYING FOR WPS RACING WPS Racing has delivered its best qualifying effort with both cars starting inside the top five for tomorrow's Betta Electrical 500, round eight of the V8 Supercar Championship, at Sandown International...


WPS Racing has delivered its best qualifying effort with both cars starting inside the top five for tomorrow's Betta Electrical 500, round eight of the V8 Supercar Championship, at Sandown International Raceway today.

Brazilian Max Wilson, who is this weekend sharing the driving duties with David Besnard, set the sixth fastest time during today's qualifying session to make his third top ten shootout for 2006.

Former Bathurst Champion Jason Bargwanna, who is this weekend paired with the current Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup Championship leader, Craig Baird, continued the impressive pace for the team by setting the tenth fastest time around the 3.16 km circuit.

Bargwanna's time ensured he secured a berth in the top ten shootout for the first time since Round 11 of 2004 at Surfers Paradise. It was also 21st shootout of the 34-year-old's 10-year career.

The moment marked the first time both WPS Racing Falcons have qualified inside the top ten.

Bargwanna was the first of the pair to take to the circuit in the shootout and held the fastest time until the fifth driver, Wilson, took to the circuit. The ex-Formula One test driver bettered Bargwanna's time by a mere 0.14 seconds to qualify eventually in fourth position with his team-mate fifth.

Today's result is Wilson's best qualifying effort since New Zealand in 2003 when he qualified fourth and Bargwanna's best since Winton in 1999 when he started on pole.

Garth Tander set the fastest time during today's shootout to secure pole position ahead of the Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup combination and the pairing of Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright. WPS Racing was the only Falcon team to have both cars inside the top ten.

Tomorrow's 161-lap race begins at 1pm.


Max Wilson -- Driver #8 WPS Racing Falcon "I'm very happy to be starting from the second row for tomorrow's race. The guys in the team have done a great job all weekend and this is a reward for their work," said Wilson.

"During qualifying my first set of tyres didn't seem to give me the speed I needed and then the second set took a long time to come up to temperature but we got there in the end to set the sixth fastest time.

"I had a good lap in the shootout with no mistakes and finished with the fourth fastest time. Now it's important to make a good start tomorrow and stay out of trouble during the early laps and be near the front at the end of the race."

Jason Bargwanna -- Driver #10 WPS Racing Falcon "That was the best shootout lap I've every done," said Bargwanna.

"It was also one of my best ever qualifying efforts, everything went pretty much to plan. We made a couple of minor changes during the session but the car was close to the mark for the majority of the session.

"Tomorrow's race will be interesting, I really enjoy the endurance races and have finished on the podium five times across Bathurst, Sandown and Queensland. Hopefully that count will be six come tomorrow afternoon."

David Besnard -- Co-driver #8 WPS Racing Falcon "That was the easiest qualifying session I've ever done," said Besnard.

"I've only ever once been a co-driver in my career so it's a bit different not being the leading driver but I'm really enjoying the weekend so far.

"Max did a great job today, now it's time for me to support him well during tomorrow's race which will hopefully end up with us achieving a good result."

Craig Baird -- Co-driver #10 WPS Racing Falcon "During my session this morning I was focusing on ensuring I'm getting comfortable in the car for tomorrow's race," said Baird.

"For me it has been about getting back into the groove before tomorrow's race while Bargs sets the car up.

"I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

Craig Gore -- WPS Racing Team Principal "Given the effort of the team this year, it was bound to happen. We've been knocking on the door for some time and I get great delight knowing the team has been rewarded today with a fourth and fifth. Let's hope we can convert it tomorrow into a couple of podiums," said Gore.

"I can feel an apology coming on real soon. At some point Tom Gorman is going to have to accept that we're a force to be reckoned with and it proves we don't need Ford support to be at the front of the field. The sport is bigger than that. I'm a humble person and I'll be pleased to take his call soon.

"On another note without myself and Larko being there Shane (Gore -- Director of WPS Motorsport), Adam (Perry -- Business Manager) and Keith (Evers -- Team Manager) are doing a sensational job leading the team.

"As far as the race fans go, I'm confident they'll be supporting the underdog team during tomorrow's race."

-credit: wps

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , David Besnard , Garth Tander , Craig Baird , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Jamie Whincup , Mark Winterbottom