Qualifying was set for both thisafternoon’s races in a two-part session this morning.
Times were tight at the top of the tablefor both sessions, with Brad Jones Racing once again showing promise afterFabian Coulthard’s victory yesterday.
But Coulthard only managed second and itwas his teammate who took pole for Race Four of the Championship.
Jason Bright was happy with pole position,but was disappointed he didn’t achieve as well in the second session, whenPepsi Max Crew FPR’s Mark Winterbottom dialed in the quickest time.
Bright didn’t mind the structure of thesession – just one of the various formats running this weekend at the TasmaniaMicrosoft Office 365.
“It’s tough and being just 15 minutes makesit that little bit tougher,” Bright said. “I think 15 minutes at other trackswould be tough again because here (on the short circuit) it’s like a 20 minutesession at other tracks.
“I don’t mind qualifying as short sessions– we haven’t got the tyres to throw for much more anyway.”
Bright liked the quick break, saying hepreferred the opportunity to get out of the car and have a reset. Plus, duringqualifying he doesn’t run a cool suit, so even though cabin temperatures aren’tas high as after a race, it still gets warm inside the car.
On the other hand, while Winterbottom was glad to be p1 – and the first Ford in 2013 to snag pole – he didn’t like theformat.
“I’m not a fan of it, I like to do just onequalifying, especially when they’ve cut tyres for these meetings. You go out onthe first leg with a new set of tyres and get one crack at it, and I’m not amassive fan.
“If we had three brand new sets of tyres,today we could’ve gone out and done one 20 minute session and qualify for bothraces.
“At New Zealand next week there’s even lesstyres, so I don’t like the format. I like what we had in Abu Dhabi – I thinkthat’s the best way to do it. But we do whatever they tell you, we do what we’retold.”
The format in Abu Dhabi in 2012 saw theSupercars run one qualifying session with a driver’s top three times qualifyingfor the three races.
FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards describedtoday’s sessions as intense for the team. “With such a short window between thetwo sessions, it means even simple things like refueling the car was, Iwouldn’t say ‘panic’, but we didn’t have time to mess around.
“The time to put the fuel load in is fiveminutes and by the time the car is turned around after parc ferme, it’s prettytight and intense.