Bathurst 1000: TeamVodafone Thursday notes

Whincup sets the pace in race for fourth consecutive Bathurst victory TeamVodafone have launched their assault on a fourth consecutive Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victory with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes finishing at the top of the time ...

Whincup sets the pace in race for fourth consecutive Bathurst victory

TeamVodafone have launched their assault on a fourth consecutive Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victory with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes finishing at the top of the time sheets at the conclusion of today's three practice sessions at Mount Panorama. The day provided the successful TeamVodafone pairing with the opportunity to dial in their base set up, with further refinements set to be made for tomorrow's qualifying session.

Whincup's fastest lap, a 2:07.3745, was set on the final lap of Practice C, with the defending series champion indicating there was still more speed to be found in the #888 V8 Supercar.

"The car was great," said Whincup. "We put a good set of tyres on at the end and the car had excellent balance. "We were quick but not on the limit so there is definitely a lot more in it.

"Today is about learning the track again but we capitalised and the cool conditions and tail wind certainly helped."

Lowndes said that the day provided the team with the opportunity to work on their basic setup and tomorrow would be dedicated to finding the perfect balance for qualifying.

"Most of my time in the car was spent working on a baseline setup. The car was nice and predictable which is what you want and for the tyres we were on the time was pretty good," Lowndes said. "Today's result is encouraging but there is a long way to go - who knows what the next few days are going to bring.

"We will both use what happened at Phillip Island as motivation for this weekend."

In car #88, endurance race pilots James Thompson and Allan Simonsen also had an encouraging day with the pairing finishing 13th despite not working on car setup until the final half of practice session C.

"Today was about getting James some kilometres," Simonsen explained."We did work on setup during the last session and we have a very good direction to go on with."We put on a new set of tyres at the end but only got two laps; encouragingly we got better and better."The car is good and we didn't make any mistakes so it has been a good start to the event."

Thompson said that following today's practice sessions he was feeling a lot more confident about his Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 debut.

"It is a very impressive track not an easy one to learn in 12 laps, you can't force it, I just need miles," Thompson said.

"The main thing for today was to familiarise myself with the track and keep it off the walls so we can come back tomorrow and really work on setting some times."

A further 60 minutes of practice will follow tomorrow. Teams will then take to the track for the all-important qualifying session to determine placings within the Top Ten Shootout.

-credit: tv

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Series Supercars
Drivers James Thompson , Craig Lowndes , Phillip Island