The countdown is on to The Great Race as Team 18 are looking ahead to Sunday’s Repco Bathurst 1000 after a challenging qualifying session on Friday.
In the 40-minute session on Friday afternoon, Alspec Racing’s Scott Pye qualified 20th in the car he will share with Tyler Everingham, while IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom will start 23rd with Michael Caruso.
Practice 3 and 4 were held earlier on Friday in mixed conditions, with the rain only worsening before Qualifying kicked off at 4:15pm local time.
Pye completed all of the day’s running in treacherous conditions in the Alspec Racing Team 18 Holden, and is confident of moving forward in the race on Sunday.
“Tough qualifying session, we missed the window with the car balance and both cars weren’t where we want to be come Sunday.
“It’s made for a long day but it is a long race and we have plenty of opportunity to move forward.”
Everingham had the opportunity to immerse himself in the garage operations of the team throughout the day.
“It was a pretty good day, got to sit back and watch the operation run which was a bit refreshing, it’s been a pretty busy run in Super2 as well,” said Everingham.
“Qualified 20th, a bit of work to do to improve the car but it’s a long day on Sunday so we’ll improve it a bit and make sure we’re there at the end.”
Winterbottom and Caruso shared the IRWIN Racing Team 18 Holden through Practice 3 and 4 as they continued their preparation for the 1000 kilometres to come on Sunday.
“I only got a couple of laps in the car today but the focus was on qualifying. We had completely different conditions, it was raining, very wet track, it’s going to be an interesting weekend considering they’re expecting a really big downpour tomorrow and who knows what will happen on Sunday,” said Caruso.
“We’ll keep working at it and do the best we can.”
Winterbottom remained optimistic by the performance of the car earlier in the day to take into The Great Race.
“Not a great qualifying. We’re full of potential but we haven’t delivered due to a few different things this weekend,” said Winterbottom.
“In the dry in practice I thought we were quick, I did my time on used tyres and quite heavy fuel, we put some greens on and then had a mechanical failure which stopped us from finishing that session.
“In qualifying with the first set of tyres I was top ten, but the second set of tyres weren’t great and I couldn’t get going, unfortunately all the times were done in that second part when we were least competitive.
“It’s not all bad but once we got stuck on that second set of tyres that was it. I know we’re out of position but we’re straight, we’re clean and we can get the cars ready for Sunday.”
Saturday’s on-track activity includes two more practice sessions at 10:20am and 1:00pm, before the Bathurst 1000 kicks off at 11:15am AEDT.
Scott Pye/Tyler Everingham, #20 Alspec Racing Team 18 Holden ZB Commodore
Practice 3: P20 (2:05.5995)
Practice 4: P28 (2:37.9358)
Qualifying: P20 (2:26.0764)
Mark Winterbottom/Michael Caruso, #18 Racing Team 18 Holden ZB Commodore
Practice 3: P22 (2:05.8353)
Practice 4: P24 (2:35.7535)
Qualifying: P23 (2:27.0162)