TeamVodafone ready to defend L&H Phillip 500

Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore: Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife
Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore: Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife

Photo by: Edge Photographics

After a day of mixed results, TeamVodafone will start the first endurance race of the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship Season, the L&H 500 from fourth (Whincup/Thompson) and sixth (Lowndes/Skaife) .

The day started with TeamVodafone dominating the opening practice session, Whincup posting the fastest lap time with Skaife following suit, with the second fastest time of the session.

Lowndes and Thompson took the wheel of their respective chariots for the fifth and final practice session and once again Lowndes clocked the fastest lap time while Thompson sat eighth in the timesheets.

Good results ensued in the respective qualifying sessions, Lowndes was second with Thompson third in Qualifying 1 while in Qualifying 2 Whincup showed why he is the current Championship points leader, finishing in the top spot with Skaife third.

Lowndes struggled to get off the start line for Qualifying Race 1, starting second off the grid the defending L&H 500 Champion was pushed back to ninth on the opening lap. Making some head way through the 14-lap race, Lowndes managed to climb to sixth by race end.

Thompson showed precision throughout the race, starting third off the grid and maintaining this position throughout the 60km race.

With both Whincup and Skaife taking the compulsory pitstop, Whincup finished 12th in the final 14-lap Qualifying race. Skaife took the chequered flag behind his teammte in 13th place.

Sunday’s on-track activities will see a warm up session at 10.30am followed by Race 19 of the V8 Supercars Championship Series rounding out the day at 1.35pm.