After dry running all week, the heavens opened up for qualifying for the Bathurst 1000 on Friday evening.
It was a heartbreaking end to a promising qualifying session, with things going against both the 2 and 22 Mobil 1™ Racing cars, bumping them outside of the top 10 in the dying minutes of the 40-minute session.
For Scott Pye, who was inside the top-five for the majority of the session, he had to deal with traffic and yellow flags on the final two laps, as everyone set their best times.
For James Courtney, a windscreen that fogged up, combined with yellow flags on his best lap, meant he also slipped outside of the top-10 after being comfortably inside for the majority.
On the NAPA Auto Parts Racing side of the garage, Alexander Rossi had the task of his first ever wet-weather Supercar laps as he rolled out for qualifying. He did a fantastic job considering the learning curve he faced.
That means tomorrow we focus on the race package of the cars in the final practice session, before we head into Sunday…. pay day.
While disappointing not to make the Top 10 Shootout tomorrow, Car No. 2 has proven that starting position is no barrier to a good result here. There are 161 laps, and 1000km to move forward.
“I think we had a top-six car today so it’s disappointing to not make the shootout. Traffic and yellow flags ruined my last two laps, which makes it hard to swallow.
“We had a really good car in the wet today. We’ve got some more work to do on the car in the dry, but we take confidence heading into Sunday. If we get into a rhythm early, we will be right.”
“For me, the car has definitely been improving all weekend.
“It’s obviously disappointing for the whole team not to make the shootout tomorrow, but we are starting in a better position than we have in the previous two years, and that turned out alright for us.
“Really looking forward to the last practice session tomorrow, and of course, getting stuck in Sunday.”
“I was dealing with a bit in that qualifying that’s for sure. We had a few fog issues on the windscreen, and then a few unfortunate timed yellow flags definitely didn’t help.
“The cars been on the improve all weekend, and was pretty good this morning.
“It’s a long race, we will be right.”
“It’s been good to get some dry laps in practice this year, as opposed to 2018.”
“I’m feeling pretty comfortable in the car, the balance is pretty good, and we did a solid 20-lap race run this morning, which leaves me confident in the consistency of the car.
“Sunday is getting closer and closer; I can’t wait for the race to get underway.”
“Another big learning day for us. We just kept working on driver things from my side, and car things from the team side and made a good step in lap times. Then Alex took over for the rest of the day and, honestly, did a great job. To start your first qualifying in Supercars in wet conditions having never seen one of these cars run in the wet is obviously a big ask. He rose to the occasion, brought it back in one piece and got faster pretty much every lap - that’s all we can hope for at this point. I’m happy with things up until this point and we’ll just keep chipping away at it.”
“It’s been a bit of a struggle from Day 1, we obviously don’t want to be 24th-26th all week, but it’s kind of the way it’s worked out for us with the learning curve. Nonetheless, I think the team did a good job today - again a big improvement. I think we went a second quicker in the dry today compared to yesterday. In the wet, it was a different ball game and a whole new challenge. In the end, I don’t think it affected our qualifying position all that much. So now we focus tomorrow on the race work and see what we can come up with for the NAPA Australia team.”