Australian V8 Supercars Series Winton Friday Practice Report At Winton

Australian V8 Supercars Series Winton Friday Practice Report At Winton

Winton Raceway

Lowndes and Skaife ready for more V8 Supercar success

If Craig Lowndes takes over from team-mate Jamie Whincup as V8 Supercar Championship leader in the near future he may well have veteran Mark Skaife to thank.

In his TeamVodafone Holden today, Lowndes repeated his constant good form at Winton Raceway in Victoria today with the best in practice from veteran Russell Ingall (Supercheap Auto Racing) and young gun Tim Slade (Lucky Seven Racing).

Skaifey had a drive today and it was great to have him in the car again.

Craig Lowndes

Earlier Skaife assumed Lowndes’ seat in the 888 Commodore as endurance co-drivers got their first practice of the year, in preparation for their defence of the prized Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 title they won last year.

“Skaifey had a drive today and it was great to have him in the car again,” Lowndes, winner of both races at Winton two years ago said.

“Truth be known he was probably the reason why we are on top today. Of course the endurance races have been very kind to us over the years so that’s where we can make up a lot of ground. He’s here and comfortable in the car – and it’s great.”

Lowndes’ partner and clear Championship leader Whincup was sixth today with current Champion James Courtney back in 18th on the track he won both races at this time last year. As always practice is no real guide but still an advantage to have things in order.

“I know Jamie, he will be back in the garage now going through all of the data,” Lowndes said. “He will be here until 11 o’clock tonight looking at how he can get better. It would be nice (to lead the Championship).”

#39 Supercheap Auto Racing: Russell Ingall
#39 Supercheap Auto Racing: Russell Ingall

Photo by: Chris Von Wieldt

Ingall made a welcome return to the front of the pack in a refreshing reflection of his former Championship days as his team looks to get back to basics.

“We have done a lot of soul-searching since Perth a couple of weeks ago,” Ingall said. “We are working with (Lowndes’ team) 888 a bit more in our technical alliance and taking a far more logical approach. We are heading the right way, I feel a lot more confident.”{{

Karl Reindler, the subject of the Perth fireball a few weeks ago, returned to the drivers’ seat earlier, pleased with how well the third and second degree burns on his right hand particularly have healed.

Celebrated Australian burns specialist Dr Fiona Wood was involved in his recovery, which is still ongoing, and responsible for having him back behind the wheel so quickly.

Reindler will still have to wear a pressure bandage on his right hand for an extended period of time to help him retain movement long term.

It’s been the most magnificent recovery.

Karl Reindler

“I’m feeling really comfortable in the car,” Reindler said.

“We put a new seat and a few different things in the car that I’m coming to grips with, but physically I feel fine – there’s no pain in my hand. I haven’t taken any pain killers today either.

“It’s been the most magnificent recovery. I was in the best of care with Dr Fiona Wood, and I couldn’t believe how quickly it has healed. Five to ten years ago it would have taken triple the time to heal.”

Bundaberg Racing’s Fabian Coulthard was fifth today clear of Whincup, Garth Tander, Greg Murphy, Will Davison and Steven Johnson.

There is an even mix of five Victorian and five Queensland teams in the top 10 positions, with no hometown team having won a race at Winton since 2008.

Qualifying and Race 10 will be held tomorrow, qualifying at 11.05am AEST and the 40-lap Race 10 at 4.05pm AEST.


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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Steven Johnson , James Courtney , Garth Tander , Will Davison , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Fabian Coulthard , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Tim Slade , Karl Reindler
Tags lowndes, skaife, victoria aus, whincup