Priaulx/Ekstrom on course to deliver top 10
The XBox One Racing wild card entry is on course for a top 10 finish at Mount Panorama with Andy Priaulx stating that himself and Mattias Ekstrom have met all their targets leading into The Great Race.
The Triple Eight-run wildcard entry has ruffled a few feathers at Bathurst with both Priaulx and first timer Ekstrom showing impressive pace in practice and qualifying.
The Xbox One car was 12th quickest in morning warm-up after qualifying 18th fastest.
Swedish two-time DTM champion Ekstrom, with merely a matter of hours behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar under his belt, has particularly turned heads clocking a best time of 2:09 flat, which was third fastest in the co-driver practice on Friday.
British three-time world touring car champion Priaulx believes the team have met all the goals they have set so far this weekend and now they are focussing on completing the job by securing a highly commendable top 10 finish.
“We are where we realistically expected to be”, Priaulx told speedcafe.com.
“I think my pace has been great in the car so race-wise I think we are going to be reasonable. Our goal has been to get a top 10 finish and that hasn’t changed.
“If we can achieve that it will be something very special. I think the car is fast enough to achieve this and both myself and Mattias are quick enough to keep it there throughout the race. Anything less than that and we will be disappointed.
“I’ve said it before but I like to sneak under the radar that works better for me but I must be honest I’m very happy to be back in a touring car again and be fast. This is very important for me for my feeling going into the winter break. I feel that I’ve got a good rhythm in the car.”
While Priaulx and Ekstrom have brought an added dimension to this year’s Bathurst 1000, they could provide Triple Eight with a useful tool in the championship race with the car potentially able to take points away from title rivals.
Priaulx added: “We are not worried about the championship playing out it hasn’t entered my mind.
“For me its committing to the process of doing a solid and professional job and if that helps the Triple Eight guys then great. The goal is to get our car to the front and in the top 10 is where we need to be.”