Craig Lowndes Qualifies Third on Gold Coast Streets October 22, 2004 - CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes has qualified third for the first of two Australian V8 Supercar Championship races to be held this weekend in Surfers Paradise (QLD) The...
Craig Lowndes Qualifies Third on Gold Coast Streets
October 22, 2004 - CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes has qualified third for the first of two Australian V8 Supercar Championship races to be held this weekend in Surfers Paradise (QLD)
The 30 year old triple Champion driver was in the hunt for the provisional pole position throughout the highly competitive 20 minute session, swapping the top spot on the Gold Coast time sheets several times with Holden rival Mark Skaife and Ford driver Russell Ingall.
By the end of the very warm session, Skaife (1:50.3768s) had won the top spot by 2/10ths of a second from Ingall, who managed to slip into second by 1/100th of a second in the session's dying moments. Lowndes' best lap time of 1:50.5878s was strong enough for third, 3/100ths of a second ahead of Ford driver and Championship leader Marcos Ambrose. Holden driver Rick Kelly rounded off the Indy V8 Supercar top five qualifiers.
Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Glenn Seton qualified 15th, despite setting a competitive qualifying lap time of 1:51.5229s, only 2/10ths of a second outside of the top ten cut. Despite missing out on the top ten shoot-out, Seton was pleased with the major improvements made to his car after both of the day's practice sessions.
FPR returns to the 4.5 kilometre Surfers Paradise street circuit at 11:45am tomorrow (Saturday) for a 20 minute warm up, followed by the top ten shoot out at 12:10pm. The first of two races to decide the 11th round of the Championship takes place at 3:50pm, with the second 30 lap race scheduled for 12:00pm Sunday. There will be no compulsory pit stops during both races.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "We are very satisfied with our team effort today, particularly on the back of our Bathurst success. The car wasn't bad to start with, but I broke a steering arm this morning and missed most of the first practice session. Considering the lost track time, the car was working very well. We kept punching near the front throughout qualifying, so I'm very happy with our speed here. We will continue our efforts to make the car easy to drive, while having the pace to compete at the front of the action. We can't make up any ground with pit stops here, so it will be all about having a fast and comfortable race car."
#5 Glenn Seton - "I would have liked to make the Gold Coast Indy top ten as I have only been in the top ten here once in qualifying. Having said this, the car was a major improvement over this morning and I am looking forward to the race. I had a strong run up to fifth from the back last year and we are planning to do better this year."
FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "A very rewarding day for the team, backing up the fact that the progress we have made since Bathurst wasn't a fluke. We are delighted for Craig but disappointed for Glenn because he was baulked on his best lap and he may have been in the top ten given how close it was today. A great effort by the team and we look forward to tomorrow."
More than 60,000 spectators enjoyed today's V8 Supercar action in the Surfers Paradise sun, a new Friday record for this event, which is in its 14th year as a Indy / Champ Car event and the 10th year as a V8 Supercar race / event.