A REMARKABLE effort by the JBS Australia team saw the #32 Lamborghini bounce back from an engine change in between sessions, to finish sixth in Friday’s final practice at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Roger Lago, David Russell and Steve Owen had limited running in yesterday’s practice sessions after experiencing engine difficulties in the opening 30-minute hit out.
The team managed to replace the motor which was giving them trouble between Practice 1 and 4, meaning the drivers missed out on critical track time, however, returned to the circuit in the fourth and final session of the day to finish sixth fastest overall.
Russell, who set the 2:04.508 in Practice 4 to put the car up the order, says the engine change hampered their schedule, but the squad is happy with how everything performed in the last session of the day.
“It’s difficult when your engine lets go, obviously,” he explained to bathurst12hour.com.au.
“The plan was; Roger goes out, does a whole session gets comfortable all the sort of stuff – it didn’t go to plan because after three laps the engine let go.
“In that last practice session, we had to rectify that and do some laps because we didn’t get a chance [earlier on].
“To come out and my first sort of flier, don’t know how many laps we did in that last session, didn’t do many, but to do a 2:06 and then we got a clear lap and did a mid to low four is not that bad.”
The experienced Supercars co-driver says the engine they’ve got in the car for the rest of the weekend has more mileage than the original, but believes it’s a better from a driving point of view.
“It’s a bit of an inheriting problem with this particular car, in certain things that’s not to say, it usually happens in older cars when they’ve done a few kilometres,” said Russell.
“The engine that we had in at the start of the weekend we had in at Highlands, so it’d done all that and did a shakedown at QR and we came here with a motor that we thought had only done 1000kms and it failed.
“The engine we’ve got in now, it’s an oldie but I keep calling it a goodie because I’ve always liked it and it’s always worked well for us.”
Saturday will be full steam ahead for the JBS Australia crew as they try to cycle their drivers through the car in the sole remaining practice session, and qualifying later in the afternoon.
“On Saturday we’ll work through things,” added Russell.
“Roger and Steve haven’t got laps at all, it’s all about giving them some time.
“Our qually is not going to be great because it’s been so compromised, but if I can pull a lap out that I’m comfortable with without jeopardising any of our plans, we’ll see how we go.
“There certainly won’t be any heroics to try and get into the shootout – that’d be great if our program had run well, but we’ll see how we go.”
All of Saturday’s action will be live streamed on the Bathurst 12 Hour website from 8:00am local time, while the afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout is set to be broadcast Live on channel 7mate from 4pm local time.
By: Slade Perrins.