TeamVodafone drivers learn lines and limits on opening day of Sydney 500 TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have spent their first ever on-track sessions at the Sydney Olympic Park circuit searching for limits and the best lines ...
TeamVodafone drivers learn lines and limits on opening day of Sydney 500
TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have spent their first ever on-track sessions at the Sydney Olympic Park circuit searching for limits and the best lines ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session for race 1 of the Sydney 500.
As expected, the track proved to be a technical challenge, with a number of surface changes altering the characteristics of each corner.
Both drivers went searching for grip early and a minor rear-end glance of the wall at turn 5 sent Lowndes' #888 racer into the concrete, causing damage to the suspension.
The duo were on the pace in the final session and focused much of their attention on learning the track and how their cars responded.
Whincup, who rounded out the day in 17th, said a good starting point had been established with setup.
"We knew the track would be a challenge and spent most of today just learning the various corners and surface characteristics," said Whincup.
"It was virtually impossible to give any good feedback to the crew at the time, we'll go over the data later and figure out where we can make some gains and any changes needed to suit the track.
"It's been a big week for me and probably taken some of the focus off preparation, but I'm confident we'll be ready to go tomorrow."
The Gold Coast-based driver needs only to finish tomorrow's opening race to be crowned V8 Supercar champion for the second year running.Teammate Lowndes remained optimistic despite his lengthy stint in the pits.
"The day ended up quite well for us after a tough start, I went searching for the limit at turn 5 and stepped over it," said Lowndes.
"The rear of the car glanced the wall which slapped one of my front tyres on the opposite wall and the car was out of action.
"The crew did a good job to get if back out there and the more laps we did, the more driveable the car became.
"The final session was a confidence-builder and we're heading into tomorrow looking quite good."
Lowndes finished a position below his teammate on the timesheets in 18th place.
Action resumes tomorrow at 10am with V8 Supercar qualifying. The Top Ten Shooutout and opening race of the Sydney 500 (race 25) will follow.