Strong debut for TeamVodafone's chassis 12 Car ...
Strong debut for TeamVodafone's chassis 12
Car #888 drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have hailed their new car a weapon, following the V8 Supercars first on-track appearance at Mount Panorama today.
The duo topped the time sheets for much of the two hour practice session before slipping back through the order to seventh in the closing stages, after most teams changed to better tyres. TeamVodafone, in simulating race runs opted to use only one set of practice tyres, their final placing not a true indication of the cars potential.
Confident of a much quicker car for qualifying Craig Lowndes acknowledged they were not testing for outright speed today.
"The car was fantastic," said Lowndes. "It responded very well to the changes we made and improved every time we went out on track."
"We only used one set of tyres, as we wanted to see what the car would be like in race simulation once they started to go off. I have to say the results were very positive."
After posting the team's fastest time of 2.09.1861 teammate Jamie Whincup had a nervous moment at McPhillemy late in his run admitting he scared himself.
"If there was ever any doubt about this car it was eliminated after the first lap," Whincup said.
"I probably got a little too confident out there during my run and had a very close encounter with the wall at McPhillamy where I scraped the rims and the driver's side mirror."
"Both Craig and I have a lot of confidence ahead of tomorrows qualifying we were only beaten today by cars on better tyres," Whincup commented.
The international pairing of Richard Lyons and Allan Simonsen also enjoyed a good opening session with both drivers getting plenty of laps as they also simulated race runs.
Opting to go to a better set of tyres late in the session saw Lyons break into the top ten and both drivers agreed they were a lot more confident in the car this year.
"We had a great session," said Lyons. "Both Allan and I got plenty of laps which is very important at this track.
"I am finding things a lot easier this year and I am also more confident to push the car."
After completing 17-laps Dane Allan Simonsen was pleased with the direction they were heading.
"We had a very productive session where we kept making good steps in terms of setup," said Simonsen.
"The car speed is very good and we will keep moving in the direction we are going with setup."
The V8 Supercars will practice again at 9.20am tomorrow ahead of qualifying at 2.05pm.