It’s been another day of varied results in the Red Bull Racing Australia camp, but Craig and Jamie have come away from the day with a podium apiece.
Qualifying for Race One couldn’t have been more varied as Lowndesy flew to third, while his Holden teammate struggled with the car’s handling to come in 21st.
“It wasn’t our proudest day at the race track,” Jamie said. “We pretty much had one good lap for the day in the second qualifying session and the rest was pretty ordinary. There’s no excuse for the first qualifying session, the car just wouldn’t turn when I wanted to.”
The reigning champion managed to convert his starting position into a 15th-placed finish, while Craig crossed the line a comfortable third, but with a vast gap to the Ford leaders.
“Race One was really good, we maximised our starting position and getting a podium was really good,” he said. “We unfortunately just didn’t have the pace in the second race. We’ll sit down and go through it tonight.”
The second race saw a bull on each of the front two rows of the grid, Jamie turning his qualifying form around to start second, Craig from fourth.
“We held the other guys up to finish second in Race Two,” Jamie said. “I was full speedway at the end sliding around and it’s almost embarrassing to stand on the podium at the end of the day as we didn’t have the car speed of the guys around us who did a great job. It worked in our favour that it’s difficult to pass here.
“We’ll do what we normally do and we’ll put our heads in the data tonight. We have a good bank of data to go through from when we’ve been strong here, so we’ll knuckle down tonight and see if we can pull it together for tomorrow.”
The speed that Lowndesy had shown earlier in the say disappeared from under him in Race Two as he slipped from fourth to fifth, where he eventually finished.
Tomorrow’s 200km race will be an entirely different ball game and one that the five-time Bathurst champ is looking forward to, the longer races with pit stops being his preferred format.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow and the longer race with multiple tyre compounds, so it should be good,” he said.
“I don’t know how the soft tyres are going to be at the moment to be honest, everything’s a bit up in the air. I think the soft tyre will diminish really quickly, it’s just a matter of doing the longest stint on them possible as I think they’ll still be the fastest compound. We’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings.”
Tune in tomorrow from 10:55am local time for a final practice session, 20minutes of qualifying and the 200km race.
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