LOWNDES FOURTH IN ORAN PARK SHOOTOUT Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes will start from the second row of the grid for tomorrow's opening 54 lap race after qualifying fourth at Oran Park Raceway this afternoon. Lowndes, who was second...
LOWNDES FOURTH IN ORAN PARK SHOOTOUT
Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes will start from the second row of the grid for tomorrow's opening 54 lap race after qualifying fourth at Oran Park Raceway this afternoon.
Lowndes, who was second in the mornings practice session, struggled with his Triple Eight Race Engineering prepared Falcon throughout qualifying due to the rapidly changing track conditions.
Both Engineer Campbell Little and Lowndes battled to optimize the handling of the car throughout qualifying due to grip problems experienced in the middle sector of the track. In the final ten minutes of the session the team tried varying tyre pressures and tyre combinations in an attempt to alleviate the problem.
After finishing the qualifying session in sixth place Lowndes was pleased he gained two places in the shootout recording the fourth fastest time of 1.08.6532.
"We struggled a bit through qualifying as the track conditions changed a lot from the morning's practice session," Lowndes said.
"We made a lot of changes to tyre pressures and tyre combination and I was quite happy with the car by the time it came to the shootout.
"I got a reasonably clean lap in the shootout but didn't run the kerb enough in turn eight which cost me a bit of time," he said.
"The car was good as a race car which gives us confidence for tomorrow.
"It is going to be imperative to get a good start tomorrow with the long drag from the start line to turn one," he added.
It was early retirement and off to the commentary box for Lowndes team mate Steve Ellery following his spectacular crash during the morning's practice session.
Ellery's Triple Eight Race Engineering prepared Falcon suffered substantial damage to the right hand side of the car after the Queensland driver hit a concrete retaining wall coming out of turn nine.
A devastated Ellery said he made an honest mistake.
"It was driver error," Ellery said. "I made an honest mistake and got the brake and throttle at the same time.
"My injuries are ok they will heal, what hurts is seeing the car going into the truck.
Tomorrow's V8 Supercar action at Oran Park Raceway includes two 54 lap races with race one getting underway at 12.05pm and race two at 3.05pm.