What a day! Saturday at Mount Panorama got off to an incredibly tough start for the Red Bull Racing Australia team, Jamie struggling with the car in the final practice session to finish 19th and Craig getting sent into the wall, making his appearance in the Top Ten Shootout very doubtful.
The crew pulled off a spectacular turnaround though and sent the No.888 Holden out on track for the shootout, in which Lowndesy finished sixth.
“I’m delighted that we’ll be starting on the third row of the grid tomorrow after the day we’ve had,” he said.
“It’s a good omen for us to be in sixth position because I believe about 90 per cent of the time we start from there we’ve gone on to win the race. I’m not superstitious but I’ll take everything we’ve got at the moment.
“The team did an amazing job getting the car back after what happened and for them to work in the five hours we had to turn it around was incredible to watch.”
The incident at Turn 2 saw the No.2 Commodore, with Warren Luff behind the wheel, suffer a brake failure and shoot into the back of Craig, who then ricocheted into the wall, causing significant damage to the rear end. Thankfully both drivers climbed out of their cars safe and well.
“The impact from the incident with car No.2 during practice today hit us pretty hard but once I was stationary I saw the HRT car on its side with Warren Luff inside and could tell it was probably the result of a brake failure. It’s a shame because they’re now out of the weekend and it was just a case for both of us being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Meanwhile, the Red Bull Holden of JDub and PD will revert to a similar setup to the one that saw them finish third in Practice Five yesterday after a change for today’s session saw the car struggle around the mountain.
“It was a quiet day for us with just a practice session in the morning,” said Jamie. “It sucks a little bit not being in the shootout and watching the other drivers have some fun throwing their cars around the mountain but I’m stoked for Shane Van Gisbergen in a customer car of ours, he did a great job.
“Our car unfortunately felt worse in practice today, we made some changes overnight and we went the other way. We may need a genie to come and rub some luck on it tonight so we can be on the race pace tomorrow.”
The Great Race gets underway tomorrow at 10:30am AEDT.
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