Phillip Island: TeamVodafone Friday report

TeamVodafone cars in top ten at Phillip Island practice TeamVodafone's veteran duo Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife have finished today's practice sessions at the L&H 500 second with teammates Jamie Whincup and Steve Owen also making the top ten ...

TeamVodafone cars in top ten at Phillip Island practice

TeamVodafone's veteran duo Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife have finished today's practice sessions at the L&H 500 second with teammates Jamie Whincup and Steve Owen also making the top ten in fifth position.

Despite it being cold and wet at Phillip Island, the team worked at their peak to ensure all four contenders were ready for this weekend's endurance race, where a total of 300 Championship points are up for grabs. Although Craig Lowndes was encouraged by today's result, he believes there is much planning ahead for the team in regards to strategy and car set-up to ensure they perform at their best tomorrow. "The pairing is something that both Mark and I are happy and quite confident about. It's a nice car to drive in the wet and dry and we've been pretty encouraged by today. We will go through the data tonight and see what we can do better or change with the car so we can improve for tomorrow," explained Lowndes.

"When the track dried out it really gripped up and it's nice to have a good car and good grip, plus the track is in great condition. My practice lap record still stands at 32 dead from back in 2000, so it's nice to get somewhere near that."

Fellow #888 driver Mark Skaife agreed with his team-mate and spoke highly of the Phillip Island circuit, dubbing it one of the best in the world. "I have very fond memories of this track. It's one of the best race tracks in the world as it's similar to the big fast European type circuits, and I'm sure the other drivers would agree," stated Skaife.

"It's what I expected and more. It's a good car and a very well run team, and their attention to detail is fantastic. We'll see how the rest of the weekend goes. Long distance races are full of surprises and we all know the things that can happen."

Car #1 driver Jamie Whincup wasn't entirely satisfied with his placing today but believes the team and car have the capacity to obtain excellent results. "It's great to be back in the car after such a big break. Friday, like always, comes down to tyres, and the time sheets are never a true reflection of our speed," he explained. "Although we've got some things to work on to improve the car, I feel we were relatively competitive today. In the wet or dry, I believe that we weren't the quickest but we were definitely up there."

Steve Owen believes the team is in fine form and, following today's practice, thinks the team will have an advantage heading into the weekend. Owen said, "We haven't put new tyres on like most people in front of us have so we'e doing alright."

The V8 Supercars will be back on track for practice at 9:15am tomorrow with qualifying at 2:35pm. Race 17 (113 laps) of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will commence on Sunday at 1:35pm.

-source: teamvodafone

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Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Steve Owen , Phillip Island