Lowndes strikes first blow topping Queensland Raceway practice

#888 TeamVodafone: Craig Lowndes
#888 TeamVodafone: Craig Lowndes

Photo by: Chris Von Wieldt

TeamVodafone's Craig Lowndes has firmed as a front runner for the Coates Hire Ipswich 300, posting the fastest time during today's practice sessions at Queensland Raceway.

The #888 driver ended the first session P6 before leaping to the top of the time sheets with a 1.09.6586 in the second session.

Teammate Jamie Whincup's best time wasnt a true indication of his or the cars potential. The championship leader was told to back off while on what was potentially his fastest lap to avoid spinning off in the worsening weather conditions. Whincup ended the session 23rd on combined results.

TeamVodafone's endurance co-drivers Mark Skaife and Andrew Thompson were back on track in the opening two practice sessions. Both drivers circulated within the top ten albeit on different tyre compounds.

Saturday's on-track activities will see the V8 Supercars qualify at 12.00pm (AEST) followed by the new race format which has Race 16 kicking off at 3.15pm (AEST) followed by a 15 minute service period before commencing Race 17.