TeamVodafone finish in top five of Sandown practice

Both TeamVodafone drivers finished in the top five in today's practice at the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge, with Craig Lowndes setting the third-fastest time and Jamie Whincup close behind in fourth.

The team spent the two practice sessions putting both cars through a number of set-up changes to ensure their readiness for this weekend's races.

Lowndes, who finished third with a 1:11.0615sec lap, said he was feeling confident in the #888 car but admitted that the team was struggling to find the correct balance.

"We're still struggling with the rear drive of the car and we will be having a hard look at that tonight. The front of the car is feeling great, so it's just a matter of finding that balance," Lowndes stated.

"The track grip is quite poor and I think everyone is struggling to find that balance. The track conditions are vastly different to last year due to the general wear and tear of the bitumen.

"We will be working on trying to make the car flow through those corners. It's a good flowing track but at the moment we are having difficulty matching it," he said.

Despite putting on a brand new set of tyres towards the end of the session, defending V8 Supercar Champion Whincup wasn't able to find the speed he was after.

Whincup agreed with Lowndes and said the Sandown track was extremely slippery.

"We had another tough day in the office. Sandown is a track I'm extremely familiar with but we just lacked the speed," Whincup admitted.

"The track is really slippery and I think every driver is experiencing that. We change a few things on the car today but we are still looking for that perfect edge.

"Both our championship contenders went quicker than us today so we really need to pick up the pace. Despite today's result, I'm really looking forward to the weekend," he added.

-source: teamvodafone