The OzEmail Ford Falcons of John Bowe and Brad Jones will start side-by-side for Saturday's opening New Zealand V8 International 300 race at Pukekohe Raceway - but, unfortunately for the team, it will from the eighth row.

Bowe's time sees him start on the inside line in 15th place, with just two-hundredths of a second separating him from Jones in 16th. Whilst close on the timesheets, both drivers experienced car set-up problems from opposite ends of the spectrum.

"Basically, I had an unhappy car," Bowe reported, "It was too stiff and, with the Pukekohe circuit being so bumpy, it was difficult to get any sort of balance. Our times in practice weren't too bad, but we didn't get the type of gain on new tyres in qualifying that we should of.

"With three races over the weekend, I guess that qualifying isn't as important as it possibly could have been, but we really need to make our way through the field to get some sort of respectable result."

Jones was able to make up almost a full second over his practice time in qualifying, taking full advantage of his new tyres but, at the same time, demonstrating the differences in the characteristics of the two OzEmail cars.

Whilst getting the gain, however, Jones was still unable to improve from his placing in the morning practice sessions.

"We went the wrong way with our set-up in the first part of qualifying, which wasted our first set of new tyres," he admitted, "By the time we had worked out what we needed to do to fix the problem, we had lost a good part of the session.

"The good news is that we did make a fair bit of improvement and I think we are going to have a very competitive race car for tomorrow."



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