Red Bull duo Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup dominated qualifying with Whincup getting the upper hand on his teammate in both sessions.
Coates Hire Racing’s Nick Percat endured a frustrating day in the HHA Racing Commodore that began with two disappointing qualifying sessions for races four and five of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship, at Symmons Plains Tasmania.
Percat triggered a red flag in the race four qualifying session when he ran off the track in turn four, didn’t set a time and had to start 25th. In the race five qualifying session Percat qualified 22ndRed Bull duo Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup dominated qualifying with Whincup getting the upper hand on his teammate in both sessions. Completing the top five grid spots for race four were Russell Ingall, James Courtney, David Reynolds and Mark Winterbottom.
Starting from the back of the grid Percat drove a solid race and stayed out of trouble to work his forward to eventually finish 17th.
The major talking point of the race was a coming together between Whincup and Lowndes following a safety car period to retrieve Rick Kelly’s Nissan from the gravel trap. Lowndes was pushed off the track and eventually finished eighth.
Whincup went on to win from James Courtney, Mark Winterbottom, Russell Ingall and Scott McLaughlin. Lowndes eventually crossed the line eighth.
Due to an infringement in qualifying, Lowndes dropped from his second grid spot for race five to the rear of the grid, leaving Whincup and Winterbottom sharing the front row. On the opening lap Will Davison ended in the gravel trap at the hairpin, triggering a safety car.
Racing resumed on lap eight with Whincup leading from Winterbottom, Coulthard, McLaughlin, Tander and Bright.
Percat and Russell Ingall tangled in turn six on lap eight, with the HHA Racing Commodore immediately heading to the pits with a bent steering arm. Once repaired, he rejoined only to retire a few laps later to end a disappointing day.
A late safety car period occurred when Chaz Mostert hit Rick Kelly into turn six and bunched the field up with six laps to go,
Craig Lowndes was the star of the race moving from last on the grid to finish fifth behind Whincup, Winterbottom, Coulthard and McLaughlin.
Nick Percat: “I think my car woke up on the wrong side of the bed today as we couldn’t get the pace out of it we had yesterday. The first race wasn’t too bad and I moved up eight or nine spots and then race two I got tangled up with Russell (Ingall), bent the steering arm and maybe caused some power steering issues.
“Thankfully there is an 84 lap race tomorrow to put it right, qualify better and be at the right end of the field”.
Coates Hire Racing