Red flag halts red-hot lap for Lowndes in Bathurst qualifying Lead TeamVodafone pairing Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup are satisfied with a solid Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 qualifying effort despite a number of red flags littered ...
Red flag halts red-hot lap for Lowndes in Bathurst qualifying
Lead TeamVodafone pairing Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup are satisfied with a solid Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 qualifying effort despite a number of red flags littered throughout today's sessions.
Whincup kicked off proceedings this morning and dialled in the #888 V8 Supercar, showing strong pace during practice.Lowndes then took the wheel for the two-leg qualifying session held over a duration of 85 minutes.
A number of stoppages proved frustrating for much of the field and a final red flag in the dying stages ultimately cut short a flying lap for Lowndes as he looked set to challenge for provisional pole.
His effort on lap 20, a 2.07.5477, qualified the car in sixth place and secured a comfortable berth within the Top Ten Shootout to be held tomorrow.
"We saved everything we had for the end of qualifying and were looking at a top three time at least but the red flag ended that," explained Lowndes.
"On a positive note, we know the car has the goods and our tyres are in good shape.
"We still have a couple of spots to work on across the top of the mountain but I am very pleased with where we are at this stage of the event.
"I'm looking forward to the shootout tomorrow where I feel we can put together a very good flying lap."
Teammate Whincup opened the day with a solid second place in the 30-minute practice, which was also interrupted by red flags.
"To be honest, I couldn't be happier with the car and the way things are running," said Whincup.
"Craig had some bad luck in qualifying but the car was quick and he was on course for a top-two time when things came to a halt.
"We are sixth at the moment but have the shootout tomorrow and in all honesty, row three of the grid has served us well the past three years."
Car #88 also made solid progress with Allan Simonsen and James Thompson behind the wheel, finishing 17th.
"Unfortunately we didn't get the time on our second set of tyres due to the red flag," said Simonsen. "We probably wouldn't have made the top ten but certainly would have jumped up the order.
"I tried to push as hard as possible while still keeping it safe.
"We will use tomorrow's sessions to get James some more track time as he only managed to get three flying laps in his session today with all the restarts."
Thompson said he was frustrated with the session delays and hoped to make more productive steps forward tomorrow.
"I really need to get some good laps in tomorrow," he said. "I only managed three laps at full pace with all the red flags and I am hoping to be able to simulate some race runs during practice.
"A single 60-minute session will be held tomorrow morning ahead of the Top Ten Shootout, with both cars fielding separate objectives.
Lowndes and Whincup will look to further refine the #888 racer to ensure it is quick over the course of the all-important shootout showdown.
Simonsen and Thompson will continue to get valuable laps on the board and prepare for Sunday's race.The Top Ten Shootout starts at 3.45pm (AEDST).