Friday, September 01, 2006
TASMAN Motorsport's Jason Richards and Andrew Jones have started their campaign on the 39th running of the Sandown 500 with strong form, setting the sixth fastest time in today's opening practice session.
The #3 Firepower Commodore had clocked the fastest time of the day at one stage, though never really got a clear lap on his new tyres in order to improve.
Co-driver Jones ran two separate stints to acclimatise to the Commodore, which is Richards' regular championship mount.
Endurance signings Owen Kelly and Mark Noske settled in comfortably in the #23 car and, while clocking the 27th fastest time, simply ran out of their allocation of laps for the day to improve their time on new tyres.
Jason Richards (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"It was a good day for us. We got through a few things and the car was pretty reasonable on old tyres. We were in the top five or six for most of the session and didn't really get much of a clear run when we put on the new tyres. The time we posted was on a pretty good used set, so I look forward to tomorrow to get a bit more out of it. There's areas we can work on for sure."
Andrew Jones (#3 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"I started the session and did five laps and was really happy with how comfortable I was in the car. Jason drove it for the remainder of the first half and then again at the start of the second part I ran some more laps. The job of co-driver at the endurance events is to be comfortable and quick in as few laps as possible and we achieved both."
Owen Kelly (#23 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"I didn't get much of a good run on the new tyres so where we've ended up on the timesheets isn't really indicative of where we are really at. But we had a good day all up and everything ran along quite well with the #23 car. We simply ran out of laps to get a good run on the new tyres as well, which we'll get tomorrow."
Mark Noske (#23 Firepower/Tasman Motorsport Commodore VZ)
"It's all about time in the car for Owen and I. The areas we are lacking in, which are mainly over the top of the back straight and into the Esses, and under brakes in general, are areas we expected to initially struggle with a little as we don't drive the cars regularly. The car's good, there's just more time to come and it's in the drivers."
Practice Results, Round 8, V8 Supercar Series, Sandown 500, Melbourne
1. Craig Lowndes/Jamie Whincup, #888 Triple Eight Falcon BA, 1m10.9708s
2. Mark Skaife/Garth Tander, #2 HRT Commodore VZ, 1m11.0554s
3. Jason Bright/Mark Winterbottom, #6 FPR Falcon BA, 1m11.1705s
4. Russell Ingall/Luke Youlden, #1 SBR Falcon BA, 1m11.2221s
5. Max Wilson/David Besnard, #8 WPS Falcon BA, 1m11.2372s
6. Jason Richards/Andrew Jones, #3 Firepower Commodore VZ, 1m11.2608s
7. Brad Jones/John Bowe, #14 BJR Falcon BA, 1m11.2993s
8. Steven Richards/Paul Dumbrell, #7 Jack Daniel's Commodore VZ, 1m11.3929s
9. Steven Johnson/Will Davison, #17 DJR Falcon BA, 1m11.4075s
10. Dean Canto/Lee Holdsworth, #34 GRM Commodore VZ, 1m11.4170s
27. Owen Kelly/Mark Noske, #23 Firepower Commodore VZ, 1m12.4371s