Second row start for Lowndes in Sydney Supercar round. May 3, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Craig Lowndes will start tomorrow's third round of the 2003 Australian V8 Supercar Championship at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway from the...
Second row start for Lowndes in Sydney Supercar round.
May 3, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Craig Lowndes will start tomorrow's third round of the 2003 Australian V8 Supercar Championship at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway from the second row after a spirited Qualifying and Top Ten shootout performance.
The 28 year old triple V8 Supercar Champion and winner of the second round of the series at Phillip Island last month, managed to convert his result of 8th during qualifying to 4th during the high pressure single lap shootout held late in the afternoon in fine conditions.
The CAT FPR BA Falcon driver's lap time of 1:32.1608s set during the shootout was his fastest of the weekend, representing more than a two second improvement from Lowndes' best lap set during the first practice session held on Friday.
The CAT FPR BA Falcon was also the second fastest Ford of the field, behind Pole setter and SBR Falcon driver Marcos Ambrose (1:31.5582s). The two Ford drivers will have two Holden drivers between them on Sunday's starting grid, defending Champion Mark Skaife who claimed the second spot (1:31.8212s) and his HRT team mate Todd Kelly (1:31.9319s).
It was a more difficult day for FPR drivers Glenn Seton and David Besnard, who despite their best efforts behind the wheel, were unable to qualify within the top twenty. The Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver will start from 23rd (1:33.0147s), with his Ford Performance Vehicles sponsored team mate starting from 27th (1:33.2930s).
Sunday's long 77 lap / 300 kilometre race at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway is scheduled to start at 1:30pm. As with all endurance races, strategies will come to the fore, particularly in the case of predicted unsettled weather in Sydney tomorrow.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "The team has been working very hard to ensure that we have an excellent car for a lot more than one lap so I am not disappointed to be fourth. It is particularly pleasing to have made up four spots during the shootout - it is good to be in a starting position where I can actually see the starting lights. After Phillip Island we have a good idea of which strategies work best for us and this gives us a bit more confidence."
#5 Glenn Seton - "New tyres certainly improved the car compared where we were in practice and my fastest qualifying lap was virtually identical to last year. The most surprising thing was that the car was not as well balanced as it was at Phillip Island, even though we are using the same set up. We thought that this would suit this circuit, but it hasn't and we have a fair bit of work to do to improve it. Bring on the BA!"
#19 David Besnard - "It has been a bit of a struggle - I drove three very good laps and extracted the most that I could from the car. It is frustrating but the team is doing all they can and I have to do the best with what we have got. I know that my team mates don't want it to rain tomorrow - but I don't mind at all if it does!"