TEAM EFFORT PRODUCES BETTA RESULT FOR LOWNDES Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes has brushed aside an average qualifying run to take 4th place in today's opening 32 lap race at Round 6 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series from Queensland ...
TEAM EFFORT PRODUCES BETTA RESULT FOR LOWNDES
Team Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes has brushed aside an average qualifying run to take 4th place in today's opening 32 lap race at Round 6 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series from Queensland Raceway.
The team toiled with setup during his campaign for a place in the top 10 shootout but ran short of time to perfect the BA Falcon, and Lowndes had to settle with 12th place on the grid.
The multiple-champion made a good jump from the 6th row and immediately set his sights on working into the top 10, with a slick pit stop from the Triple Eight Race Engineering crew making up a further 4 positions and ensuring a strong run to the chequered flag.
Lowndes capitalised on an incident between a pair of drivers ahead of him, weaving through a cloud of dust and debris and making valuable ground on the race leaders.
His campaign for a top three finish was cut short as the chequered flag was waved awarding him 4th place, but the late race pace was extremely encouraging for the team who will look to improve the Triple Eight Race-engineered Falcon overnight.
"The car was much steadier than qualifying but it still wasn't spot on, that's something we'll work on tonight," said Lowndes.
"The team did a great job in working out a race strategy which allowed us to pick up a number of spots in the pits, and I was also able to get cleanly through the chaos up in turn 3."
"The understeer made the car quite difficult to drive, more so because Queensland Raceway really relies on setup, but the track changes so rapidly it is difficult to cover all bases."
"I'm very happy to be up amongst the top 4 considering the 6th row start, tomorrow's reverse grid race should be quite interesting with the opportunity to score some good points."
Jamie Whincup started the day's proceedings on a high note grabbing 3rd in the morning's qualifying session, an effort unable to be bettered by any other Falcon driver.
He backed up the performance with a strong run in the Top 10 Shootout, claiming 5th on the grid for the first race.
The 23-year-old has recently concentrated much effort on improving his starts and it showed as the green flag was waved, with Whincup pulling away from the line in a prime position amongst the leaders.
He fell victim to some slower cars on track as he attempted to make inroads on the top 5, and lost a position in the pit stop shuffle after being forced to give way to another competitor in the fast lane.
He cruised to an impressive 8th place finish after an intense battle with Rick Kelly as the race came to a close.
"Overall I am very happy with today's finish, the car was great early on in the race and was beginning to get better before I had my run slowed in traffic," said Whincup.
"I was confident of a good result here and had been focusing particularly on getting better starts and it paid off, I was able to stay with the lead guys and definitely would have been able to climb higher had the race have run for just a few more laps."
"Rick (Kelly) and I were engaged in a pretty fierce battle right towards the end, but he was coming off the corners just that little bit better than myself."
"We've kicked things off very solidly here today and I'm hoping to continue the run tomorrow."
Holden's Garth Tander won the race ahead of Ford's Jason Bright and James Courtney.
Team Betta Electrical will contest a 45 lap reverse grid race tomorrow morning and a further 45 lap race in the afternoon, with the grid based on points accumulated in the first two races.
-team betta electrical