Bathurst 1000: TeamVodafone Thursday report

Whincup tops Bathurst practice TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup has topped the timesheets following today's practice sessions of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama. There was a strong showing by both TeamVodafone cars with Craig ...

Whincup tops Bathurst practice

TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup has topped the timesheets following today's practice sessions of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama. There was a strong showing by both TeamVodafone cars with Craig Lowndes posting the third-fastest lap time in his Holden Commodore VE II, which was successfully debuted at Phillip Island.

Whincup, who set the fastest lap time at 2mins 07.1309secs, spent the three sessions putting his car through a number of setup changes to ensure it would be ready for the challenge of Sunday's 161-lap race. Although thrilled by today's result, Whincup believes there is room for improvement in the coming days.

"We have a long way to go but it is a very good start. I was happy with the car handling and I am very comfortable in the car which is very positive at this early stage," Whincup said. "Steve (Owen) is doing a fantastic job, I couldn't ask for more in a co-driver.

"We had a few little issues that we fixed and I know the car has more in it. Reliability is the key to winning this race so that is what our focus is on," he added.

Teammate Steve Owen did a solid job on the opening day, heading much of the second practice session before settling in with the third-fastest time.He was the standout performer in both practice sessions of the Fujitsu Series and was optimistic about his start to the weekend.

"The car is good and everything is going to plan. Jamie is speeding in the car and I'm enjoying watching him," Owen stated.

Car #888 driver Craig Lowndes, who posted the third quickest time at 2mins 07.5068secs, said he didn't quite get the result he had anticipated.

"The car rolled out of the truck and was very good. It is comfortable to drive and to be honest we haven't changed a whole lot," stated Lowndes. "I went out on my good tyres and then there were two red flags so I did a lot more laps than I would have liked before I got the hotlap in.

"We know the car has more in it but it is almost perfect," he said.

Co-driver Mark Skaife made solid gains in his quest for another Bathurst title, maintaining the momentum gained from the Phillip Island win alongside Lowndes.

"The track is great and the grip level is extremely good for the first day," Skaife said.

The V8 Supercars will be back on track for two practice sessions tomorrow morning, followed by qualifying from 2.35pm to determine provisional grid placings and the running order of the all-important Top Ten Shootout

-source: teamvodafone

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Steve Owen , Phillip Island