Impressive rookie Bryce Fullwood was left ‘gutted’ after late rain dashed his chances of a maiden berth in Bathurst’s ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout.
The 22-year-old, who on Thursday re-signed with Walkinshaw Andretti United for 2021, was a surprise packet in the last practice prior to qualifying, roaring to second behind only Scott McLaughlin.
Fullwood was in the mix in qualifying too as drivers geared up for their final runs, only for rain to effectively end the session three minutes early.
That left Fullwood stranded in 11th, a mere half-tenth shy of the cut-off time held by Nick Percat and his ailing Brad Jones Racing Commodore.
“I’ve got to be honest, I’m gutted,” said Fullwood. “We’ve got the speed to be in the Shootout, no doubt about it.
“It’s just one of those things when you’ve got this type of qualifying session.
“You’re trying to burn fuel as the session goes on and we were just setting up for our lap and then obviously there was rain up the top. So yeah, I’m gutted.”
The positive is Fullwood will now be able to solely focus his attention on race set-up during Practice 6 and 7 tomorrow, while others ahead continue work on one-lap pace for the Shootout.
“The story is only just about to start,” he continued.
“I was just talking to my engineer [Rob Starr] – every podium he’s had [here] he’s started 19th and 22nd so we’re starting further up than that and this race isn’t a qualifying race.
“It’s just one of those things, you have a go, and 11th is tough when we know we’ve got it.
“But at the end of the day, it is what it is… I’m happy to have the car speed to I suppose have the potential to be in the 10.”
It was a different story on the other side of the WAU garage as Chaz Mostert snuck through in eighth.
“We’re just super-pumped to be in the top 10, pretty much that has been the goal the last couple of practice sessions, to keep trying to get this car some one-lap pace,” said the 2014 Bathurst winner.
“I feel like we have probably got a better race car than we do a qualifying car so I’m pretty ecstatic.”
He added of the track conditions as rain began to fall: “I was one micro-sector before The Dipper where it just turned into slight ice, the slicks didn’t like it, and you’re like ‘oh ok, we should come in’.
“In these situations you’re just glad everyone got their car back safely because it’s literally like ice when the track turns into those conditions.”
Fullwood and Mostert will be partnered by Kurt Kostecki and Warren Luff, respectively, in Sunday’s Great Race.