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Lowndes hits back with double podium at QR

Craig Lowndes secured back-to-back podiums for Red Bull Racing Australia at the Ipswich SuperSprint on Saturday.

Lowndesy made a last lap pass to claim third in the opening race at Queensland Raceway and finished second after starting on pole following an impressive qualifying session on the soft compound tyre.

Race One kicked off with Lowndesy in P5 and Jamie in P11 as Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom locked out the front row.

The 60km sprint saw plenty of scraps evolve in the opening stages, but it was towards the end that Craig seized his opportunity as Mostert and Shane Van Gisbergen tussled for third place.

With the two pre-occupied in their own battle heading into the final lap, Lowndesy flew around the outside coming onto the main straight and made his move stick on turn three to snatch third.

Jamie managed to work his way up to finish P9 in his Red Bull Commodore, with Mark Winterbottom finishing first and Scott McLaughlin a close second.

With Craig on pole for Race Two, all eyes were on the front row as Winterbottom completed a switch-back move on the way out of turn one and took the lead.

For the remainder of the race Craig stayed in touch with the championship’s leader showing the Red Bull Holdens are still within touching distance. Jamie also showed improvement finishing P5 after he started from P8 on the grid.

JAMIE WHINCUP – Car No. 1
Practice Three: 10th (Fastest lap – 1:10.2531)
Qualifying One: 11th (Fastest lap – 1:10.1827)
Qualifying Two: 8th (Fastest lap – 1:09.4863)
Race One: 9th (Fastest lap – 1:11.2072)
Race Two: 5th (Fastest lap – 1:10.4977)

“It’s really encouraging that we were able to run with the Prodrive guys for pace. Today was encouraging with some really good things and some not so good things to come out of it. We’re struggling the most on the hard tyre, but thereabouts on the soft. Our hard tyre pace is where we are going to have to do our homework. The majority of Sunday’s race should be on softs unless it rains so we might be able to get away with it, but there’s some work still to be done tomorrow in the longer race.”

CRAIG LOWNDES – Car No. 888

Practice Three: 12th (Fastest lap – 1:10.2757)
Qualifying One: 5th (Fastest lap – 1:10.0755)
Qualifying Two: 1st (Fastest lap – 1:09.3102)
Race One: 3rd (Fastest lap – 1:11.0448)
Race Two: 2nd (Fastest lap – 1:10.0820)

“I had a reasonable start during the first race and stayed out of trouble. When it settled down I was stuck behind Shane Van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert and I had the pace to stay with them but didn’t have the pace to contend for a pass. I managed to get past Chaz and got alongside Shane going into turn one…we got through it ok and he was still beside me. I then had the racing line into turn three and braked deep, got around on the drive out. It was pretty intense for three corners. For us our car has improved over the course of the day and that’s something we are really pleased with. During the second race today we had pole and I over committed into turn one and Frosty (Mark Winterbottom) did a fantastic job on the switch-back. We had good pace to match him and our car was stronger in certain areas. Hopefully today shows we’ve lifted our game and we can match these guys.”

Qualifying for Race Three begins at 12:00pm local time on Sunday with a 200km race scheduled to start at 2:10pm.

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