Lowndes tops Bahrain practice TeamVodafone's pace setting Commodores have carried their momentum through to the V8 Supercar Championship Series second instalment in the Middle East with Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup topping the timesheets in...
Lowndes tops Bahrain practice
TeamVodafone's pace setting Commodores have carried their momentum through to the V8 Supercar Championship Series second instalment in the Middle East with Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup topping the timesheets in today's final practice session at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The duo, who under the new rules were ineligible to participate in the first two practice sessions due to their championship positions, used their first 40 minute hit out to familiarise themselves with the longer 5.41-kilometre Grand Prix layout of the circuit.
The hard working team experimented with a number of setup changes throughout the final session before electing to run on green tyres to gauge car balance.
"It is a great start," Lowndes admitted. "It is nice to come out and top the timesheets in practice as it gives us a lot of confidence heading into qualifying.
"I am 90% satisfied with the car balance but there are definitely areas we can still improve on.
"The new section of track is quite technical and it is easy to get sucked into some of the corners and run wide," he added.
Defending Champion Jamie Whincup was three tenths of a second off his teammate and said the abrasive track surface made finding the ideal car balance quite difficult.
"It was great to see both TeamVodafone cars up the front," Whincup said. "It was a tough session due to the fact that the track is abrasive which means we have huge tyre degradation.
"Trying to fine tune the car when the tyres are dropping off by over a second is a real challenge.
"Although we were one of only a few teams to run on new tyres we still feel we have a very quick car," Whincup explained.Tomorrows on track action will see qualifying for the Desert 400 commence at 6.10pm (AEST) and Race 3 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series (200km) get underway at 10.30pm (AEST).