Red Bull Racing Australia’s final Friday practice sessions of the season were completed around the streets of Sydney’s Olympic Park today with Jamie Whincup ending the day third and Craig Lowndes eighth.
The tight concrete confines of Homebush claimed a number of cars during the day, including Jamie’s, however as the circuit rubbered-in over the day lap times improved.
In practice three Jamie managed a best time of 1:27.8963 – fresher tyres on the #1 Holden Commodore extracting an improvement in the handling that he was searching for.
With plenty of eyes on car #888 heading into this weekend, Lowndesy was clean and consistent finishing P8 in his final run with a best time of 1:28.2495.
Shane Van Gisbergen topped the timesheets across all three practice sessions with a field best time of 1:27.7652.
On track action begins tomorrow with practice four starting at 9:55 AEDT followed by qualifying and two 125km races.
WHAT THEY SAID:
JAMIE WHINCUP (VF Holden Commodore, Car #1)
Practice One: 6th (Fastest Lap – 1:29.3755)
Practice Two: 13th (Fastest Lap – 1:29.1766)
Practice Three: 3rd (Fastest Lap – 1:27.8963)
“Bit of a rough day today…we couldn’t keep off the concrete to be honest. I smacked it a few times, but we’ve been using pretty old practice tyres. We’ve definitely used up all our good tyres over the season and we’re using whatever we’ve got left. With me smacking the walls it made the job for the mechanics harder than it needed to be. In between all that we made some good inroads. We put some better tyres on at the end of practice three and the car showed it was somewhere there or thereabouts so I’m pretty happy.”
CRAIG LOWNDES (VF Holden Commodore, Car #888)
Practice One: 13th (Fastest Lap – 1:29.4867)
Practice Two: 11th (Fastest Lap – 1:29.1247)
Practice Three: 8th (Fastest Lap – 1:28.2495)
“Today we’ve been making good progress with the car. Homebush is always quite a difficult track to get around being a street circuit in nature. The track was quite dirty to begin with and is now beginning to rubber-in. The car is responding to that and I think today we made valuable adjustments and changes to the car. At the end of the day I’m happy and we’re sort of where we thought we would be. Obviously we’ve got to keep working at it and tomorrow’s a new day where I hope we’ll be right up there.”