Dane still hopeful of Bathurst win for #1

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 11/10/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Red Bull Racing Australia team boss Roland Dane didn't seem too worried about Jamie Whincup's error in qualifying yesterday, which ultimately sees the Championship leader starting from the back of the grid on Sunday.

Whincup stuck his Commodore in the wall mid-way through the session, in what he described as an amateur mistake - and while his Red Bull Holden Commodore sustained damage, Dane was convinced it was just a minor problem.

Dane said he didn't expect an error from Whincup - but didn't seem too distressed over the incident in the Red Bull garage.

"I was surprised, he doesn't do that very often," Dane told v8supercars.com.au.

"But he was chasing it pretty hard. We wanted to make Sunday more interesting, and so we have."

The session saw Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard claim provisional pole, ahead of today's ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout, and lower the V8 Supercar lap record to a 2min05.608.

While the usual suspects featured in the 10 - including Mark Winterbottom, Shane van Gisbergen, Scott McLaughlin and the sister #888 of Craig Lowndes - there were a couple of surprises with Dale Wood and Jack Perkins set to line up for a hot lap around Mount Panorama tomorrow and vie for pole.

"It certainly has the makings of a different one when you look at the potential grid out there," Dane said.

"It's interesting and probably eminently watchable for people I hope."

His confidence in Whincup - driving with Paul Dumbrell for the Pirtek Enduro Cup - didn't seem dented as he referred to the last-to-first win at Mount Panorama in 1995.

"It has been won before from the back and that's what we hope to do.

"My old friend Larry Perkins has done it from the back here. It's a 1000km race, anything can happen, and we are going to make the most of the strategy options it gives us on Sunday."

Whincup believed the team had made progress with the car on Saturday and that it had genuine top three pace - he and Dumbrell will have the chance to run in one practice session today, with one 50-minute practice session at 10.20am, and in the 20-minute warm up before the race on Sunday.

"We all know that it's such a long race," Dumbrell said after the incident.

"With the new track surface this year it's really thrown up a few different variables which, I don't think most of the team expected to happen. It obviously wasn't in the plan, but the guys will rebuild the car, we'll focus on a race car in the morning practice and we get to sit back and enjoy the Top 10 Shootout from the side, and hopefully cheer on Lowndesy and Richo on.

"Hopefully Sunday is our day."

Whincup wasn't only the uncharacteristic mistake this weekend, with David Reynolds also getting caught out in qualifying and set to start from the back, Garth Tander crashing out at the Dipper in practice that saw HRT mending the Commodore until 5am yesterday morning, and Chaz Mostert passing under red flag, which led to being excluded from qualifying and starting dead last on Sunday.

The ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout begins at 5.10pm this afternoon at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

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