Lowndes disappointed with poor showing in Bathurst qualifying

Craig Lowndes admits he’s disappointed with the poor start to the Bathurst 1000 weekend, which culminated in him missing out on a spot in the Top 10 Shootout.

Lowndes disappointed with poor showing in Bathurst qualifying
Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Craig Lowndes, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan

Lowndes and Steve Richards, the reigning Bathurst champions, have struggled to land a decent blow so far this weekend. Despite being in crack Triple Eight equipment, the pair were outside the Top 20 in three of the five practice sessions, with a best position of 12th in the final pre-qualifying session earlier today.

But things went backwards in qualifying proper, Lowndes not troubling the Top 10 Shootout spots as he locked down a 21st grid position for Sunday’s Great Race.

"We'll obviously now focus on making the car a good race car,” he said afterwards. “We're not in the Top 10 Shootout, so we'll make sure we have a good race car for Sunday.

“It is disappointing. I think that we've had a pretty tough run into the weekend and it just shows that you've got to be on your game around here and the competition is really tight.

“We made an adjustment in the last run [in qualifying], which improved the car, but not as much as we needed to be in the Top 10.

“It's disappointing starting 21st, so we'll try to stay out of trouble on Sunday and see where we end up."

De Silvestro “wanted it too much”

Lowndes wasn’t the only driver left deflated after qualifying for Australia’s biggest race.

The much-publicised Supergirls entry had its session cut short when Simona de Silvestro buried the Harvey Norman-backed Nissan in the gravel on the exit of the chase – right when she was about to log her best time of the weekend.

“The day overall was good, you know, maybe I wanted it a little bit too much,” said de Silvestro.

“I was up on my lap time and I was getting more confident in the car, and I think it’s the only mistake I have made this weekend, so it happens.

“It just shows that we are pushing, and we’re trying to be as fast as we can out there… I guess the good thing is that you always learn from your mistakes.

“I think it would have been to be in the [two minute] sevens, it is what it is. But the race is really long on Sunday, it’s what we have to focus on, and it’s what we have our minds on.”

De Silvestro and co-driver Renee Gracie will start from 26th on Sunday.

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