Qualifying in V8 Supercars is never more important than at street tracks, like this weekend?s Townsville 400.
So the pressure is on for Team BOC?s Jason Richards, who has jumped on board with the development of a new set-up, previously run by team-mate Jason Bright.
The new approach, which Richards used during Darwin's races, saw him lap in the top-five fastest cars but the qualifying set-up has not yet been perfected. All three Brad Jones Racing-operated cars will now be working on finding the right balance for a one-lap flyer during tomorrow?s practice.
?If you look at history, 888 used to be good in the races and nowhere in qualifying but a couple of years ago they rectified that; we?re in the same boat now. There?s no doubt what we?ve done is a progression and we feel like the car?s much stronger, but only in the race. Our challenge now is to make it stronger in qualifying and every lap of the race.
?There are probably a million different combinations available to you on the car. Sometimes you can get lucky and choose the right set-up early on but if you just go through the matrix, testing different changes, it could take you 10 years. The timeframe?s unknown but I?m confident that by having three cars onboard we?ll be going quicker sooner; hopefully we?ll get there three times as quick.
?My goal is to run consistently top eight. When I achieve that, I?ll want to improve it to top five and then it won?t be long before we?re winning races.?
?If you look at the splits the car was capable of throughout the race at Darwin, JR and Brighty were always up there with the fastest cars on the track, but qualifying was very hit and miss. Brighty struggles with it and JR is up and down so that?s what we?ve got to focus on now.
?Townsville is not a circuit that I?ve driven on but one of our strengths is high-grip circuits and this is one of those. The danger is Turn One. If you?re in the mid-pack you run the risk of getting belted from behind so the pressure?s really on us to get our qualifying set-up working by Saturday.?
Jason Richards V8 STATS
Current championship position: 12
Current championship points: 912
V8 Supercar Championship race starts: 277
Previous best Townsville qualifying: 6 (2009)
Previous best Townsville result: 12 (2009)
Published: 08 July 2010.