Posting the fourth and fifth-quickest times in today's two Albert Park practice sessions gave Team BOC good reason for optimism going into qualifying, but it was not to be.
Jason Bright was looking good for a top-five lap time on his first set of tyres but ran wide at the last corner. Then, on his final flying lap, the session was red-flagged leaving him with no chance to improve on his P24 time.
Teams will now have to compete in what has been dubbed a 'drop-zone' qualifying race at 11am tomorrow. The 13-lap race will see cars in the 'drop-zone' ? or the last three cars on track ? peel into the pits each lap, starting on lap three and ending on lap eight. The surviving 10 drivers will then race until the finish to determine the starting order of tomorrow's sprint race at 2.20pm.
"I thought we easily had a top ten car today but I just didn't get a lap together. On my first flyer I went off, and you only get one shot on the soft tyres, and on the second I got red-flagged.
"The one lap we completed was at least 0.7s off our potential. We're just going to have to play a bit of a strategy game tomorrow. Hopefully we can work our way through in the qualifying race and go into the three races with better tyres than the front guys."
2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix
ALBERT PARK GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT
2012 V8 Supercars Albert Park Challenge ? Qualifying
01 Jamie Whincup, TeamVodafone, 1:55.0805
02 Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel FPR Ford, +0.4843
03 Shane Van Gisbergen, SP Tools Racing, +0.5997
04 Will Davison, Trading Post FPR Ford, +0.6642
05 Craig Lowndes, TeamVodafone, +0.8499
06 Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, +1.2036
07 Tony D'Alberto, Tony D'Alberto Racing, +1.2792
08 David Reynolds, The Bottle-O Racing Team, +1.3123
09 Michael Caruso, Fujitsu Racing GRM, +1.3569
10 Rick Kelly, Jack Daniel's Racing, +1.4668
24 Jason Bright, Team BOC, +2.2736
Published: 15 March 2012.