After a shuffle of schedules overnight, Saturday at the mountain was a mixed bag for the Red Bull Racing Australia Team.
Starting the day with the final practice session, the drivers warmed up to focus on qualifying ahead of the Top Ten Shoot Out.
With storm clouds looming overhead, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup took to the circuit for qualifying.
As the rain fell, high hopes were dampened for Lowndsey, who pulled a qualifying time 2:07.2586 and placing 15th ahead of tomorrow’s 1000km race.
Despite the wet track, JDub pushed past adversity to qualify in P4, securing himself a place in the Top Ten Shoot Out.
Rain continued to fall intermittently over the afternoon, but picked up density just as the Shoot Out kicked off.
With a soaked track, JDub charged the bull around the mountain, clocking a time of 2:32.0536 and placing P8.
Meanwhile, Paul Dumbrell crossed the finish line first in the Dunlop Series race, taking out the title for the second year in a row. Congratulations PD!
Tomorrow’s Bathurst 1000 kicks off tomorrow at 11.00am AEDT. You can check out the telecast times here
What they said:
JAMIE WHINCUP / PAUL DUMBRELL
Practice 6: 18th (Fastest Lap 2:07.1913 ) – JW/PD
Qualifying: 4th (Fastest Lap 2:06.5248) – JW
Shoot Out: 8th (Fastest Lap 2:32.0536) – JW
“Conditions were tough out there during the Shootout, but it was the same for everyone. I don’t think we’re competitive enough in the wet. We need to do some work. I think tomorrow is going to be very, very wet. Most of the running will be in those conditions and I’m not sure how we’ll finish. If we don’t do something we won’t be competitive.”
“Variable conditions in the Shootout are always going to be a challenge. That’s just the nature of Bathurst, it’s been like that before and it’ll be like that again. We’re starting eighth which is a good position and the car has been pretty good all weekend. It was good to have a few laps in those changing conditions out in the Dunlop Series today and hopefully the good results will hold me in good stead for tomorrow.”
CRAIG LOWNDES / STEVEN RICHARDS
Practice 6: 20th (Fastest Lap 2:07.1913 ) – CL/SR
Qualifying: 15th (Fastest Lap 2:07.2586) – CL
Shoot Out: N/A
“We went out on green tyres during qualifying knowing that there might be some wet weather around. The car to be honest was a little bit loose at the beginning of my first flying lap so I backed out of it and tried for a second lap. That then put us out of sync with everyone else when we did a timed lap. I made a mistake into The Chase and then into the last corner, but if I hadn’t made them the predictor said I may have crept into the Top 10 Shootout. I’m a little bit annoyed with myself, but all in all we know the car is faster than where we have put it on the grid. Of course then the rain came as we went to have a second crack at it. We know around this place it’s a long day tomorrow and we know that from last year’s results when you start from further back anything can happen. Richo and I are very happy in the car. We would have liked to be in the Top 10, but it wasn’t to be. Tomorrow is trophy day so we’ll make sure the car is right for then.”
“It may have been nice to get our names up in lights if we had made it into the Top 10, but it does not for one minute reserve your position on the podium here at Bathurst. For us it will be business as usual tomorrow. We’ll have a look at an intelligent strategy now to see if we can mix it up and hopefully that will enable us to gain some track position during the race.”