Queensland: TeamVodafone Friday report

Practice makes perfect for TeamVodafone at QLD Raceway. TeamVodafone drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have today finished first and second fastest in the final practice session of the Ipswich 300. Joined by endurance race co-drivers Mark...

Practice makes perfect for TeamVodafone at QLD Raceway.

TeamVodafone drivers Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup have today finished first and second fastest in the final practice session of the Ipswich 300. Joined by endurance race co-drivers Mark Skaife and Steve Owen, the TeamVodafone garage was buzzing with anticipation ahead of the weekend of racing where teams have been allocated five sets of sprint tyres, plus a test set, which was trialled in practice today.

TeamVodafone endurance driver, Mark Skaife, who hasn't driven since last October at Bathurst said "For a very long time now each team achieves speed in a different way, but while this car is a lot different to anything I've driven before, it's very, very good and there's a lot of nice things about the car.

"Obviously working with Craig is great, we have a laugh and a joke- he keeps calling me the guinea pig because I try all the bad stuff and whenever the car's right he takes off in it again. It's reassuring though because we have very similar feedback about the car.

"The only way I can sum up this Holden Commodore is to say it's confidence-inspiring. I now know why TeamVodafone is so competitive," Skaife said.

Fastest-finisher Craig Lowndes said "It feels really nice to come back. It's slightly unusual for me to have such successful runs here, I feel like we're normally chasing those southern teams!

"The car felt really good today and it's a fantastic feeling to be where we are right now leading into the weekend. It was a great opportunity to set both TeamVodafone cars up on soft tyres.

"Skaifey joked on my way here just now that it was all his hard work this morning that's leap-frogged me to finish fastest, but in all seriousness we are in a very good position, but the hard work has only just begun," he added.

Team-mate Jamie Whincup had a consistent but interesting session, explaining "Today was a very weird day for me. The track is very different to what I remember it being at testing earlier this year.

"Changing to soft tyres completely changes the characteristics of the car. I'm still getting used to it, and can thankfully learn how to deal with it a little bit from Lowndesy.

"To be honest, I'm still quite confused about that session. We have a lot of work to do tonight to figure out how I can feel good in the car, and how we can go faster.

"I don't know exactly what it needs, but I'm learning quickly about the magnitude of changing the tyres. Considering the tyres are the only things that touch the ground, they are of the utmost importance and today's practice sessions demonstrated that," he said.

Endurance drivers Skaife and Owen used today's practice sessions to familiarise themselves with the TeamVodafone cars. Steve Owen continues his preparation for the endurance races by contesting this weekend's Fujitsu Series at Queensland Raceway. Top 10 overall practice times

-source: teamvodafone

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