LOWNDES CLOSES IN ON CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AT BAHRAIN Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes has re-ignited his 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series campaign after finishing 5th and 3rd in races 2 and 3 respectively at the Desert 400 in Bahrain ...
LOWNDES CLOSES IN ON CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD AT BAHRAIN
Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes has re-ignited his 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series campaign after finishing 5th and 3rd in races 2 and 3 respectively at the Desert 400 in Bahrain today.
Lowndes' forward march through the field came at an opportune time, with the Blue Oval's best hope for the title making up significant ground on Holden's Rick Kelly.
He now sits just 7 points shy of Kelly, with the championship set to be fought out at the Phillip Island Grand Finale next month.
With data from the previous days and a full race on the Bahrain International Circuit under his belt, Lowndes and his Triple Eight crew emerged with a safer setup for the final day, aiming to combat the high tyre wear on the unusually abrasive circuit and extract some extra speed from the Falcon.
He emerged reasonably happy with the weekend, and said the team had done an excellent job to prepare the car for conditions virtually unseen on the Australian tracks.
"We achieved what we set out to do this weekend and that was close to gap to Rick Kelly," said Lowndes.
"The car was at its best today after some minor adjustments overnight, there was little to change between races 2 and 3 which was very positive considering the unknowns surrounding the circuit."
"We'll go away with some great data from Bahrain which will no doubt be of very good use in the future."
"For once, luck was on our side, everyone has worked extremely hard for this result and its great to be right back in contention as we go home now and prepare for Phillip Island."
Jamie Whincup was headed towards a top finish for the round before engine failure halted his progress while running in 4th in race 3.
The Team Betta Electrical #88 pilot had enjoyed similar confidence to his teammate on the final day and looked set to collect a strong haul of points before making an early exit on lap 14.
"The car was good yesterday and much better again when we came out today," said Whincup.
"I finished in sixth for the race 2 and was definitely looking good for a top 5 finish before the engine let go, putting pay to a really good weekend for myself for a first time visit here."
"It's very disappointing as I feel we had very good pace in that final race, reflected by Craig's good speed and top result."
Drivers and team members will now return home to prepare the Triple Eight Falcons for the final round of the season, to be held at the picturesque Phillip Island. 320 points are on offer once again for the weekend.
-credit: team betta electrical