THREE CALTEX DRIVERS IN RACE ONE TOP TEN AT EASTERN CREEK Caltex-backed drivers Jamie Whincup, Rusell Ingall and Craig Lowndes finished inside the Top Ten during Race One of Round Five in the V8 Supercar Championship at Eastern Creek in Sydney...
THREE CALTEX DRIVERS IN RACE ONE TOP TEN AT EASTERN CREEK
Caltex-backed drivers Jamie Whincup, Rusell Ingall and Craig Lowndes finished inside the Top Ten during Race One of Round Five in the V8 Supercar Championship at Eastern Creek in Sydney today.
After qualifying in fourth position Whincup, who won the previous round of the series at Winton, finished second in today's 31-lap race aboard the #88 Caltex-backed TeamVodafone Falcon.
Caltex Racing's Rusell Ingall was one of the big movers during the race moving up seven spots from his starting position outside the Top Ten to cross the line seventh aboard his Caltex Racing Falcon.
Another Caltex driver to climb up the order in the round opener was Craig Lowndes. The multiple Series Champion qualified in 16th position before showing some impressive speed in the #888 Caltex-backed TeamVodafone Falcon to cross the line inside the top ten in ninth position.
James Courtney was on track to make it four Caltex-backed drivers inside the Top Ten until he was hampered by an electrical issue with his pit lane speed limiter following his pit stop. As a result of this issue he ran off the circuit on several occasions which led to a flatspotted tyre which eventually disintegrated forcing him onto the sidelines.
Mark Skaife won today's race ahead of Whincup and Championship leader Rick Kelly. Polesitter Todd Kelly finished fourth.
Tomorrow's V8 Supercar action at the 3.93km circuit consists of two 31-lap races at scheduled to start at 11:50am and 3:40pm.
Russell Ingall - #9 Caltex Racing Ford Falcon "We had a good race today but it's the same old problem; a bad qualifying position makes it all hard work," said Ingall.
"It was a shame, especially after the first leg of qualifying where we were quickest; the next leg we just couldn't get enough out of the car.
"The track is changing a lot as well and the car just didn't like it in qualifying.
"In the race, the car was very consistent and we were pretty quick at the end of the race.
"We had good speed throughout. We probably didn't have the pace to run with (Jamie) Whincup and (Mark) Skaife but it was pretty encouraging.
"We are not looking for much; just a couple of tenths that will make all the difference."
Craig Lowndes - #888 Team Vodafone Ford Falcon "Today was quite frustrating," said Lowndes.
"The first qualifying sector went to plan but we made some changes for the second sector which sent us the wrong way and we ran out of time to rectify them.
"I got a great start and made sure I stayed out of trouble early on. I got a few more in the pitstop and we maintained our pace throughout the race.
"The car balance is quite good we will just look for a bit more turn overnight."
Jamie Whincup - #88 Team Vodafone Ford Falcon "My car was good from the start," said Whincup.
"It balanced out as the race went on and was even better after the safety car period.
"I thought I might have had a chance to pass Mark (Skaife) after the safety car but I a pushed a little too hard at Turn 9 and ran wide.
"My goal this year is to be consistent, today's second place is another positive result but it's a long championship I am very conscious of not getting ahead of myself."
James Courtney - #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Ford Falcon "We qualified inside the top ten which was where we wanted to be and everything was going to plan early in the race," said Courtney.
"I got a great start and jumped a whole row and had a very quick stop early where we got Steve Richards in the pits.
"It all started to go wrong when the pit speed limiter came on on the race track. I couldn't accelerate when the rest of the field was and I was in everyone's way. I think someone touched me on the way past and knocked the front guard into the tyre.
"A couple of laps later we got a puncture and it was all over.
"Once that one thing went wrong with the pit speed limiter it all just snowballed from there.
"We've got a lot of hard work to do from the back tomorrow."