Hidden Valley: Team Betta Sunday race report

Lowndes inaugural Top End victory Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes has won his second consecutive round of the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway today, collecting a solid point's haul which has ...

Lowndes inaugural Top End victory

Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes has won his second consecutive round of the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway today, collecting a solid point's haul which has elevated him to second in the series.

The round victory is Lowndes first at the Darwin circuit where his best results to date, were seventh in 1998 and 2004. Team mate Jamie Whincup had mixed results, overall tying for 11th place with 180 points.

After starting the reverse grid race from 28th position Lowndes weaved his way through to third with Whincup close on his heels finishing fifth, setting up for the final race with an ideal pole position for Lowndes and fourth on the grid for Whincup.

While the multiple champion did not get the ideal start in Race 3, slipping back to third, a perfect pit strategy and execution by the Triple Eight Race Engineering squad put Craig back out on the track leading the field, a position that was not challenged for the remainder of the race.

"I was pretty happy to be called in to pit early as the tyres we had on at the start did not have any grip," Lowndes said.

"After my pitstop the car had great drive and felt very balanced giving me every confidence it could go the distance. As a total package the car is brilliant and I congratulate Campbell and the other engineers on their consistency and preparation.

"Our focus is now to improve on qualifying speed ahead of our home race at Queensland Raceway in three weeks time," Lowndes added.

After an inspiring drive in Race two Jamie Whincup would probably like to forget Race 3. The Team Betta Electrical driver dropped two spots at the start and after pitting early, locked a front tyre at Turn 1, running wide onto the grass and on lap 38 was forced into the pits with flat left front tyre dropping him to 26th position.

"I had a great pit stop and was settling into the race when I locked the front brakes coming into Turn 1 and ran off track," Whincup said. "As a result I flat spotted the tyre causing me to lose a couple more spots and creating the puncture I encountered later in the race.

"It was very disappointing especially as I had excellent race speed.

"I am yet to string three good races together in this sprint format that reflects the amount of effort both myself and the team are putting in," Whincup concluded.

While Lowndes has moved to second in the championship only eight points behind series leader Garth Tander Whincup has dropped a position and is currently ninth on 1046points.

Team Betta Electrical has improved its standing in the Team's championship, moving to second place on 2362 points behind the HSV Dealer Team.

Triple Eight Race Engineering will now prepare for Round six of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Brisbane based team's local test track, Queensland Raceway July 21 -- 23..

-tbe-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup
Teams Triple Eight Race Engineering