10 Oct 2009

Bathurst grid positions up for grabs in top ten shootout

4:39 pm on 10 October 2009

Front grid positions for tomorrow's Bathurst 1000 will be determined at during this afternoon's top 10 shootout.

Ford's Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup are shooting for an unprecedented fourth successive win in the one thousand kilometre V8 race.

Kiwi driver Jason Richards has emerged as the dark horse for the second year running.

The New Zealand born 33-year-old took provisional pole position for the big Sunday race with his co-driver Cam McConville, needing to nail a Top Ten Shootout lap today to qualify in pole.

Richards will go last in the Top Ten Shootout as the fastest qualifier so far.

Behind him are were Garth Tander, Lee Holdsworth, Mark Winterbottom, Paul Dumbrell, Craig Lowndes, Shane Van Gisbergen, Todd Kelly, Russell Ingall and Greg Murphy.

Several drivers have threatened to nudge New Zealander Greg Murphy's long-standing qualifying lap record of two minute 6.8594 seconds set in 2003, and could break it during the shootout if predicted wet weather stays away.

Meanwhile, an incident involving the Ford driver, New Zealand's Mark Winterbottom, during morning practice left a rival's car destroyed.

Winterbottom was weaving at slow speed to put heat in his tyres, directly in front of rookie driver Sam Walter's Commodore.

Walter was forced to take evasive action, ploughing his car into a wall.

Holden rivals Rick Kelly and Garth Tander also believe Winterbottom blocked them as they attempted to do quick laps over the previous two days.