TeamVodafone maintain optimistic outlook after a challenging day TeamVodafone were left scratching their heads after a lacklustre performance in today's free practice session at Oran Park, with Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup struggling to find...
TeamVodafone maintain optimistic outlook after a challenging day
TeamVodafone were left scratching their heads after a lacklustre performance in today's free practice session at Oran Park, with Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup struggling to find a comfortable setup.
Both drivers finished adrift of the top 10, but were less than a second away from the fastest time of the session.
The leading Ford pairing made a number of pit stops during the session, tweaking setup in the chase for more rear end grip.
Considering their past speed at the technical circuit, and their current championship form, the lack of pace was perplexing for the team, who will look to balance out both cars overnight in readiness for tomorrow's crucial qualifying session.
Lowndes, who won the round here last year, remained optimistic for his and the team's chances during the weekend.
"We didn't use green tyres in the practice session, so we know there is a lot more to come," explained Lowndes.
"We made a lot of changes, some of which made sense of the balance issues we were having."
"For the three races you need a good flowing car, which we are still trying to piece together. We'll sit down overnight and focus our efforts on improving for qualifying tomorrow."
Lowndes was 16th at the conclusion of the 2-hour session, with teammate Whincup just a few placings better in 11th.
For the driver placed 3rd in the championship, it was a difficult day, with little progress to be made.
Whincup was still feeling the slight effects of a virus from earlier in the week, and said he hoped to be back to full health for qualifying and the weekend's races.
"I still didn't feel 100% today but I did feel better than I had expected at the end of the session which is encouraging for tomorrow," said Whincup.
"Like Craig, we have a bit of homework to do tonight. We have been fast here in the past so I am not too concerned at this stage."
"On paper it looks like we are a long way off, but in reality we are a lot more competitive than today's results reflect."
TeamVodafone will be back on track tomorrow from midday, with qualifying kicking off the day's proceedings.
Race 1, which will consist of 46 laps, will take place just over two hours after the conclusion of qualifying. Races 2 and 3 on Sunday will again be fought out over 46 laps.