Considered among the favourite Ford teams for tomorrow's Sandown 500, OzEmail Racing's Brad Jones and John Bowe will start the first of the season's two endurance races from eighth position.

After being the second fastest team in yesterday's practice session, the pair a little disappointed with today's effort, which dropped them down to eighth in regular qualifying before Bowe held the spot during the top ten shootout..

"We did say yesterday, after being second fastest, that anything could happen and I guess it has," said Bowe, "It was really difficult to get temperature into the tyres on the single flying lap of the shootout and my time showed it. At the end of the day, however, we did the best we could do, and I'd much rather be starting from eighth than 28th!"

Whilst not entirely happy with the qualifying result, team boss Brad Jones remained full of confidence for tomorrow's 500km race.

"I'm actually quite happy that we are at least starting from inside the top ten," he admitted, "The race is a long distance, so the difference between second and eighth is not as important as one of the shorter races. Nothing has changed my opinion that we are still a real chance to win tomorrow."

The black sister Falcon will start from 19th position after young driver Andrew Jones - the nephew of the team boss - completed a sterling effort in the qualifying session.

Competing in the lower 50 per cent qualifying bracket, Jones set a time of 1min 11:8secs, good enough to beat a number of the upper bracket qualifiers, with several more fancied teams placed behind the car he shares with Scottish veteran John Cleland.

"Today was a great learning experience and, overall, I'm pretty happy with where we ended up," Jones said, "We had a goal of qualifying inside the top twenty and we've managed to do that."

The highly-experienced Cleland was full of praise for Jones' first time V8 Supercar Series qualifying effort, but has asked Mother Nature for a touch of help on race day.

"Andrew did a good job today and showed a lot of maturity in the pressure cooker situation," Cleland confirmed, "Starting from 19th is a good position for us but, if the rain that is forecast comes, watch out for the black OzEmail Falcon - we'll be right up there."

 

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