"Seamless" first test for T8 Bathurst wildcard

Craig Lowndes says it was a "seamless" opening day of testing for the Triple Eight wildcard entry that will tackle the Bathurst 1000 this year.

"Seamless" first test for T8 Bathurst wildcard
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Lowndes has been paired up with young gun Declan Fraser in the Supercheap Auto-backed Holden which will run as a third T8 entry at the 2022 Great Race.

The pair got their first taste of the car at Queensland Raceway today as part of the first of three pre-Bathurst test days.

Much of the focus was on ergonomics between Lowndes and Fraser, as well as acclimatising Fraser to the additional aero the ZB-spec Commodore has compared to his Super2 car.

According to Lowndes it was a seamless start to the wildcard programme.

"We've obviously worked really closely with Declan outside of the car at race meetings, but to finally get an opportunity to share the car with him, to hear how he reads the car and how he feels the car is very similar to the way I do, that's a big positive," said Lowndes.

"Knowing that when we go to Bathurst, we'll be able to improve the car for each other which is invaluable.

"The ergonomics have suited us well, and the car come out of the transporter strong; no vibrations or issues, and our focus was to give Declan a lot of laps so he could get used the the extra grip of the ZB Commodore compared to his Super2 car.

"Getting us both comfortable in the car has been our main objective today. I think we're 90 per cent there, but we have to do a couple of little things back at the workshop once we leave this test day, because you can't finalise it until you actually drive the car.

"All in all, it's been very seamless."

Fraser admitted to shift to the ZB was eye-opening, but said he got his head around the later-model car as the day wore on.

"There's quite a difference between this car and my Super2 car, namely the aero," he said.

"That's been a massive learning experience for me today, mainly trusting the tyres a lot more. It's also a little different in the throttle in certain aspects, but I got used to it after the second run, so I've been able to adapt to it quickly."

The test was also an opportunity for Lowndes and Fraser to work with race engineer Romy Mayer, while Roland Dane, who will act as team manager for the entry at Bathurst, was on hand, as was T8 driver Broc Feeney.

"Romy has been fantastic – she's a talent in her own right," said Lowndes.

"She's been around the team for a long time, and for her to get this opportunity to engineer our car is great. She's calm and she's getting used to working with Declan and I, but we're building a really good relationship between drivers and engineer.

"Roland has also been out today giving his two bob's worth – he could never come out to a test day and not have anything to say – in a positive way.

"He's been keeping a very close eye on Declan and how he's progressing and analysing the lap times between us."

Triple Eight also gave third-generation racer Sam Brabham his first Supercars laps today in one of its Super2-spec VF Commodores, alongside Ryan Wood and Rowan Shepherd.

TCR Australia regular Lachlan Mineeff, meanwhile, sampled a Supercar for the first time in one of Matt Stone Racing's Super3 Fords.

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