Holden Racing Team into Saturday’s top 10 shootout

After an action packed qualifying session this afternoon, the Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander has secured a spot in tomorrow’s top 10 shootout.

With qualifying underway, Tander was only on his second lap when he locked the front right wheel –his #2 Commodore sliding off the track at the end of Mountain Straight coming to rest partially lodged under the tyre barrier.

Determined not to have his day ended, Tander managed to release his Commodore and returned to pit lane where the crew quickly went to work.

After assessing the impact of the incident, Tander was given the all-clear to return to the circuit. Back on track, the lap times began to improve and despite nursing a damaged car, the reigning Bathurst champion clocked the eighth fastest time of the session posting a very respectable 2:08.1045 lap.

On the other side of the garage, James Courtney and Cam McConville had a good start to the day finishing fifth on the time sheets at the conclusion of this morning’s 50-minute practice session.

Their good form continued into the early part of qualifying and a place in the top 10 was looking likely. However, as the session continued the overall balance of car #22 did not evolve as planned and Courtney finished 14 th .

The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 continues tomorrow with the fifth practice session of the weekend commencing 10:25am and the top 10 shootout getting underway at 4:30pm.

Please check you local guides for full coverage details.

Garth Tander, #2 Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Series II:

“I thought the session was over.

“The first challenge was getting the car out of the tyres – usually when you go under them like that you don’t have enough weight on the rear to dig it out.

“We got ourselves out, got back to the pits and then had to deal with whether we’d still be able to keep going –but in the enduros you can re-start qualifying, which was good for us.

“The HRT guys did a fantastic job, repairing the car and then all the way through to continually get it closer to where it should be. It was close aero-wise, but mechanically it pretty much right. What damage I did they fixed pretty well. It was enough to get us into the shootout, which I didn’t think we’d do five minutes into qualifying. We got away with it.

“We won last year’s race from ninth and I think Brighty won from 15th back in ’98. Being in the shootout is a prestige thing, but at least it gives us an opportunity to start from up the front.

“If you can start in the first two or three rows it makes life a lot easier in the first stint of the race. That’s the plan. We’ll tune the car up in the morning and be ready for the shootout.”

James Courtney, #22 Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Series II:

“We started out well this morning and had a good run in practice.

“This afternoon the car was a little ‘pushy’ out of the gate and we found ourselves chasing the set up throughout the qualifying run.

“We didn’t manage to get the phasing of the tyres quite right (front to rear) in the back part of the session and missed nailing a run at the top ten which was disappointing.

“We’ll work through some race simulations in practice tomorrow morning and then get ourselves sorted for 161 laps on Sunday.”

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