Good points haul sees Lowndes break into Championship top ten TeamVodafone drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes consolidated their top ten positions with consistency and patience in an otherwise uneventful 50 lap procession in the opening...
Good points haul sees Lowndes break into Championship top ten
TeamVodafone drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes consolidated their top ten positions with consistency and patience in an otherwise uneventful 50 lap procession in the opening race at Round Two of the V8 Supercars at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway today.
While Lowndes is now well placed for addition points in tomorrow's races after finishing 4th Whincup's 7th place is in jeopardy of receiving a time penalty for an altercation with fellow Ford driver Will Davison while exiting the pits.
Lowndes got off the start line well and held position on the opening lap. A battle soon erupted between Lowndes and Holden Racing Team driver Mark Skaife, with the duo swapping for position numerous times before Skaife pulled a gap.
The TeamVodafone driver continued to struggle with cold tyre speed in the ensuing laps and was eventually passed by Todd Kelly as well.
A slick stop by the pit crew put Lowndes back on the track behind Kelly and with heat in the tyres he was able to apply pressure to the Holden driver. A small made error by Kelly on Lap 37 allowed Lowndes to regain fourth.
While Lowndes was happy to finish in the top five he acknowledged the Team would need to look at cold tyre speed for tomorrow's two races.
"I got a great start and had a really good battle with Mark (Skaife) but our cold tyre speed was not the best," Lowndes said.
"The car balance from the middle to the end of the race was really good and we were able to match pace with the front runners.
"All-in-all the car is working well and I am confident we can find some more improvements for tomorrow's races," Lowndes added.
Whincup got a good start and held position for the first part of the race. Pitting on Lap 18 the TeamVodafone driver had a minor altercation with his flatmate Will Davison while leaving the pits.
Despite the prospect of a penalty, teammate Jamie Whincup feels he has shaken his Barbagallo voodoo, qualifying ninth and racing consistently inside the top ten.
"I think it is a true indication of the experience I have gained working with a fantastic team," Whincup said.
"We have met with the IPO over the incident with Will (Davison) and we are now waiting for the stewards to review it."
With each car allowed two wildcard engine changes throughout the year Whincup's #88 Falcon will also undergo a precautionary change overnight.
The V8 Supercars will contest the final two 50-lap races tomorrow with Race 2 to start at 11.10am (AWST) and Race 3 at 2.20pm (AWST).