Hidden Valley: TeamVodafone weekend summary

Lowndes celebrates his birthday with third at Hidden Valley After enduring a gruelling 200km race in the scorching Northern Territory heat TeamVodafone's Craig Lowndes has reaped the rewards of a cleaver team strategy, finishing third in Race ...

Lowndes celebrates his birthday with third at Hidden Valley

After enduring a gruelling 200km race in the scorching Northern Territory heat TeamVodafone's Craig Lowndes has reaped the rewards of a cleaver team strategy, finishing third in Race 10 of the 2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Lowndes qualified second for today's longer distance race and a good start on yesterday's soft compound tyres saw him take an early lead. After a good pitstop, the TeamVodafone driver made a mistake at Turn 1, running off track on cold tyres and dropping back down the order.

Lowndes worked his way back through the field and battled with Tander through the middle section of the race. A late safety car bunched the field and Lowndes passed Tander on the restart. The multiple champion had gotten as high as second before being passed by Alex Davison on soft tyres on the second last lap of the race.

This weekend's solid points haul for Lowndes elevates him to fourth in the championship.

"I made a bit of a mistake after the pitstop running off track on cold tyres which lost me a lot of positions," Lowndes explained. "I managed to save the tyres and then put my head down and concentrated on regaining those lost positions. "I had a great battle with Tander in the middle of the race and the safety car helped me to get past him towards the end of the race."

"I was happy with third considering what happened earlier in the race and we have achieved our main goal of moving further up the championship order," he added.

Yesterday's race winner Jamie Whincup had a vastly different day today with brake and throttle problems hampering both his qualifying and race results.

After qualifying 13th Whincup got a poor start and had to fight his way back through the order before his first compulsory pitstop. By mid race distance Whincup began to experience throttle problems but continued to push as hard as could, eventually finishing 10th and extending his championship lead.

"All --in-all it was a tough day," Whincup said. "I had a problem with my brakes in qualyfing and then a throttle problem during the race."

"I just did the best I could with only 80% throttle and thankfully I was still able to gain some good points."

"On a positive note I ticked another box this weekend with yesterday's win and to extend my championship lead is a bonus," he concluded.

The next event on the V8 Supercar calander is the inagural Dunlop Townsville 400 which will be held on July 10 -- 12.

-credit: tv

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Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Alex Davison