Lowndes triumphs in first leg of Tasmania Challenge
TeamVodafone's Craig Lowndes has won the first leg of the Falken Tasmania Challenge today, while team-mate Jamie Whincup finished sixth.
Lowndes has enjoyed a tremendous start to the weekend, posting the quickest time in Qualifying before finishing second in the Top Ten Shootout.
The car #888 driver completed today's 50 lap race on one set of soft tyres and benefited from an early pit-stop on the 23rd lap.
Lowndes, who is now 188 championship points off championship leader James Courtney, said he was thrilled with today's win.
"We had a great day today. We didn't quite manage to get pole but we got a fairly good start and I managed get around Garth Tander," Lowndes said.
"The car felt sensational and we managed the tyres well. We changed our strategy and decided to pit a few laps earlier and it really worked in our favour.
"We had good pace and managed our tyres well using a diagonal cross approach. Now we just have to focus on tomorrow and keep our eye on the weather," he added.
Whincup, who fell short of the Top Ten Shootout after qualifying 11th, was disappointed by today's results but remained in good spirits.
Despite pitting on the 18th lap to avoid a throng of cars, the driver wasn't able to make headway in the race.
He admitted that he wasn't comfortable in the car and believed there was a lot of work to be done before tomorrow's race.
"Today was really tough and we went as hard as we could. We missed out on the Top Ten Shootout, which put us on the sixth row of the grid," Whincup said.
"We took a few risks and it didn't really go our way but we still managed to claw some good points towards the championship.
"I thought we made an improvement in the car for the race which I'm confident will help us tomorrow in both qualifying and the race. Although we won at the Gold Coast event, I feel like we've been slightly off track," he stated.
Qualifying will kick-off at 12:30pm tomorrow before Race 22 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at 3:05pm.