LOWNDES THIRD FASTEST IN OPENING PRACTICE OF SERIES CLOSER
Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes has recorded the third quickest time in the opening practice session at the BigPond Grand Finale at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit today.
Lowndes time of 1.34.5204 was .2 of a second slower than session leader Jason Bright with Marcos Ambrose finishing second. Lowndes team mate Steve Ellery finished thirteenth after sitting in the top ten for most of the two hour session.
Lowndes, who is currently second in the V8 Supercar Championship Series, is one of six drivers in contention to win the title this weekend with Series leader Russell Ingall currently commanding a 49 point lead. However the championship door was slightly ajar this afternoon with Ingall completing practice in tenth position.
A relaxed Lowndes said it was business as usual at Triple Eight this weekend.
"The guys are comfortable with the setup, I'm comfortable with the challenges facing me and Nat is here with Chilli so hopefully we will have a family celebration," Lowndes said.
"We had a good run on old tyres early in the session then made some big changes to see which direction to go.
"This circuit is unique and frequently changes so I think weather will definitely play a hand in tomorrow's setup.
Steve Ellery was optimistic overnight changes would move him further up the grid tomorrow.
"It is great to back at Phillip Island I don't think there is any driver who does not racing here," Ellery said.
"I am happy with the car. We got on top of setup quite quickly today allowing me to do some consistently fast laps.
"And the time was pretty good considering the tyres we had, we know what we need to do to make it even better for tomorrow," Ellery added.
Tomorrow's qualifying sessions will get underway at 10.45am, the top ten shootout will follow at 11.45am and race one commences at 3.40pm.