TeamVodafone steady in opening Perth practice TeamVodafone drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup endured an action packed, red flag interrupted opening practice session at Round 2 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Perth today, ...
TeamVodafone steady in opening Perth practice
TeamVodafone drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup endured an action packed, red flag interrupted opening practice session at Round 2 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Perth today, recording the 5th (Lowndes) and 15th (Whincup) fastest times.
Both drivers struggled with grip early in the session with mediocre practice tyres hampering their chase for the optimal setup.
Jamie Whincup was particularly disadvantaged with his first set of practice tyres and after a small off at Turn 7, the Triple Eight Race Engineering crew were forced to put him onto his newer set earlier than anticipated.
With 15 minutes remaining in the session Lowndes changed to his second set of practice tyres and instantly gained a second, leaping from 19th to second.
A series of red flags late in the session prevented Lowndes from making any further gains but the TeamVodafone driver declared he was happy with the direction they were heading for qualifying.
"We made numerous changes to the car to give us a direction but in the end it was the move to our second set of tyres that made the biggest difference." Lowndes explained.
"The newer tyres not only gave us a second in time, but also completely changed the feel of the car."
"The team made some more minor adjustments but due to the red flags, we ran out of time to finalise our setup."
"I am very happy with what we achieved today, we now have good direction for tomorrows qualifying," Lowndes added.
Whincup's newer tyres coupled with a series of setup changes elevated him to within the top ten where he remained for most of the second part of the extended practice session.
The 24 year old outlined that tyre wear prevented him from improving on his time of .57.3843.
"We had a really poor set of P1 tyres so we were forced onto our second set a lot earlier than we would have liked," Whincup explained.
"The team made a series of changes that really improved the car and it is nowhere near as bad as it looks on paper."
"While we still need to find a little bit more balance most of my deficit is tyre related and the car is a lot better than what we had last year." Whincup concluded.
The V8 Supercars will qualify at 11.00am (AWDT) with the first of three 50-Lap races to get underway at 2.25pm (AWDT).