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The Great Race - Bathurst 1000



<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Craig Lowndes heads an all-Ford front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. The Team Betta Electrical Ford driver continued his dominant form to grab pole position after being fastest in practice and qualifying, then recording a 2:08.59 in the Top-10 Shootout at Mount Panorama this afternoon.

The 30-year-old, who won Bathurst nine years ago, edged out V8 Supercar Champion Marcos Ambrose (Stone Brothers Racing Ford) by .025 of a second.

Defending Bathurst champion Greg Murphy (Super Cheap Auto Holden) improved to third alongside Holden Racing Team’s Mark Skaife.

Lowndes, delighted with his team’s form, said a delay after Russell Ingall left the track with a mechanical failure helped his cause. The resulting delay after Ingall’s gears locked and he went into the sand at the end of the downhill mountain chase gave the track time to dry after light rain earlier in the day.

“We were lucky Russell put it in the gravel and allowed the track to dry more,’’ Lowndes said. “We are delighted as a team. The car is basically the same as it rolled out of the transporter.

“Conditions did not allow any records but the car was very good across the top of the mountain. Being fast in qualifying and racing 1000km are totally different things. The last half of the season has been the best for me in the last five years and I’m not prepared to let that go.’’

Lowndes, after trailing pace-setting Ambrose through the first sector, was a full half a second quicker than the next best across the mountain.

However Ambrose said he was more than happy with his performance.

“Craig was unbelievable today,’’ Ambrose said. “We choose to be a little conservative across the top. We didn’t expect to be on the top row. I would have been happy with a top six.’’

Murphy, the lap record holder with his brilliant 2:06.84 two years ago, was pleased with improvements to his car but disappointed with his effort in the shootout.

“It was a very average performance. I was too aggressive on top of the mountain and ran wide at the Chase so it was very disappointing,’’ Murphy said. “The track was fine. I couldn’t fault it. It was the nut behind the wheel.’’

Murphy said his team had made real gains in this morning’s practice where he was the fastest with a 2:07.87.

“The car was not bad at all this morning. Tomorrow will tell the story though.’’

Ingall is the only driver to face a testing time in tomorrow’s early practice after his gear lock-up with no other significant casualties today.

There are six Holdens in the top 10 on the grid which includes all the main pre-race favourites.

Garth Tander, stepping up to the No 1 driver with Rick Kelly still suffering from a virus, produced the fifth fastest time for the HSV Dealer Holden beside Steven Richards (Perkins Holden).

Jason Richards (Dodo Racing Holden) is seventh alongside Glenn Seton (Westport Ford) with the final spots on the top-10 filled by veteran and seven-time Bathurst champion Jim Richards in the second Holden Racing Team car and Ingall.

The 161-lap, 1000km Super Cheap Auto 1000 gets underway at 10am tomorrow.

The Top-10 qualifiers:

C Lowdnes Team Betta Electrical Ford 2:08.59
M Ambrose Pirtek Racing Ford 2:08.85
G Murphy Super Cheap Auto Holden 2:09.10
M Skaife Holden Racing Team 2:09.37
G Tander HSV Dealer Holden 2:09.66
S Richards Perkins Racing Holden 2:09.81
Jason Richards Tasman Motorsport Holden 2:12.20
G Seton Westpoint Racing Ford 2:19.60
J Richards Holden Racing Team 2:20.12
R Ingall Caltex Ford DNF (mechanical failure[/b]

What will it be at the end of the race today... 7... 8 years in a row for Holden?

Kiwi Greg Murphy going for 3 in a row, Ford trying to end the streak of the mighty Holdens, gonna be a good one.
Freakin' hell what a incident packed race. Just lucky that Kangaroo slipped otherwise it would have been just like the majority of roos I see, road kill.
Originally posted by Groen_en_Goud@Oct 12 2005, 08:02 PM
Freakin' hell what a incident packed race. Just lucky that Kangaroo slipped otherwise it would have been just like the majority of roos I see, road kill.
Yeah..................freaky dodging by the driver as well.

That would have never made it on the news if the car had hit the roo. Too graphic.

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