TeamVodafone to start the Bathurst 1000 from the front row of the grid Defending Bathurst Champions, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup will start tomorrow's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 from the front row of the grid after Lowndes set the ...
TeamVodafone to start the Bathurst 1000 from the front row of the grid
Defending Bathurst Champions, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup will start tomorrow's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 from the front row of the grid after Lowndes set the second fastest time in today's top ten shootout.
Lowndes, who was given qualifying duties for this years' race set a time of 2:08.2231 on a drying track, after a deluge early in the afternoon almost produced a wet shootout.
The TeamVodafone driver made little error as he negotiated the 6.2km circuit in difficult conditions and was the biggest mover in the shootout, gaining four places on his qualifying result.
"Thankfully the track dried quicker than we thought it would, but there were still some damp patches across the top," Lowndes said.
"I am really happy with where we are starting especially considering the conditions in which we did the lap. The car was a lot better than we thought it would be.
"We softened the front slightly before the shootout which make it a lot nicer and we will now look at making it more tyre friendly for tomorrow race," he continued.
Earlier in the day the duo used the hour long practice session to refine their race package for tomorrow's 161 lap race.
"Craig did a fantastic job today," Whincup said. "To be honest I didn't think we had the qualifying pace to put it on pole so to be starting second and off the front row is a very very good result.
"Looking on from the garage and knowing Craig was on a half wet half dry track actually made me quite nervous.
"It is going to be a long day tomorrow," Whincup added. "We have a great race car that we are both comfortable in so we will just do the best job possible and hope we are in the mix when the race really starts 20 laps from the end."
After qualifying 17th yesterday car 88 pilots Allan Simonsen and James Thompson had a relatively quiet day with Thompson taking advantage of the hour long session to get some more miles under his belt.
"It was great to finally get in some good consistent laps," Thompson explained. " I feel a little more comfortable with the circuit now.".
"The car is good and both Allan and I are happy with our race package.
"Allan will start tomorrow's race and the plan is we will try and swap every hour. The main aim is to stay on the lead lap and out of trouble," he added.
The 2009 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will commence at 10.30am (AEDST) following a 20 minute warm-up at 8.00am (AEDST).