Hidden Valley: TeamVodafone Saturday report

Both TeamVodafone cars quick under pressure A consistent day for TeamVodafone saw steady improvements to the Ford Falcons of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, with both cars finishing inside the top five for Race 1 at...

Both TeamVodafone cars quick under pressure

A consistent day for TeamVodafone saw steady improvements to the Ford Falcons of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, with both cars finishing inside the top five for Race 1 at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway.

The morning qualifying saw Whincup record the fifth fastest time whilst Lowndes clawed his way back from 17th in the opening leg to eighth at the end of the third and final leg.

Starting off the fourth row of the grid, Lowndes got a good start which catapulted the TeamVodafone driver into fifth while Whincup struggled for grip and slipped two spots. The race then entered a safety car period immediately after the start, following a multi car incident at Turn 4.

TeamVodafone elected to pit both cars early and a good stop for Lowndes elevated him to fourth.

He remained in this position until Lap 40, and with two laps remaining, overtook Todd Kelly in a classic switchback overtaking maneuver to finish third behind race winner Mark Skaife and second placed Rick Kelly.

"I was pretty stoked with the pitstop result given that I had traffic all around me," said Lowndes.

"It was also good to have a very competitive car right to the end of the race. I didn't have to use up my tyres to pass Todd (Kelly)."

"With a look at the data tonight we are confident we can still find some more for tomorrow's two races," Lowndes added.

Whincup who eventually finished where he started in fifth place, also showed good race pace overtaking a number of drivers including Garth Tander with only four laps remaining.

"I had a disappointing start losing two spots and was more than happy to get through the carnage that resulted at Turn 4," said Whincup.

"The car handled well throughout the race and it really came on strong in the second half allowing me to overtake Will (Davison), Steve (Richards) and then Garth (Tander)."

"I am starting again on the third row of the grid and after today's practice run I am confident I can get the start right tomorrow," Whincup commented.

Tomorrows two remaining 42-Lap races will be held at 11.30am (CST) and 3.15pm (CST).

-credit: tv

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly