Red Bull Racing Australia have salvaged two top 10 finishes from today’s 250km mini marathon at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, Jamie finishing fourth and Craig ninth.
Struggling for speed, JDub dropped from his starting position of third and wasn’t able to claw back the position as the lightening quick Holdens of HRT and Triple Eight customer team Tekno Autosports dominated proceedings.
“Unfortunately it’s the first time in a long time we haven’t been on the podium on Sunday at the Clipsal 500,” he said.
“I don’t mean to be negative, but that was the slowest car we’ve had around here for a long time. We just didn’t find the pace so it was a matter of survival for us. We just aimed to stay out of trouble and keep as far up the pointy end as possible. A few cars faded late, which was nice as we were able to get a few back.”
On the other side of the garage, Lowndesy enjoyed a fantastic ride in his No.888 Commodore, but fell victim to strategy decisions that didn’t pan out as intended, having started from 14th.
“I think we deserved a better result,” he said. “The car was actually working really well in the race. We also had a brand new set of tyres for the last run, which we maximised. We just got caught up in a bit of traffic. Sure, we’d like to be up further, but we’re making progress.
“The car is feeling great, we’ve just got to qualify better. If you want to look at our Achilles heel this weekend, I think our qualifying let us down, starting too far back.
“We’ll sit down and review the strategy, but it definitely put us back into the mix of the traffic, which hurt us a lot as we used up a lot of the tyre to get past people. Once we were past them though, it was easy to pull away. We’ll sit down, have a debrief and regroup.”
But what about that last lap incident that saw contact between Car 1 and the Ford of Chaz Mostert? We’ll leave that to Jamie: “It was really unfortunate about the incident at the end with Mostert. I went through the staircase and I was slipping and sliding and realised Car 111 ahead had been dripping oil.
“I was trying to get in front of him before turn eight, but then he pulled in on the racing line. I really backed it right off to make sure I didn’t fire into the wall on the oil, Mostert went through there flat out and got a big run on me into the hairpin, so I covered. He got the cross back and a good run out, but unfortunately I can’t make my car disappear.
“He was trying to go around the outside of me thinking that the road was clear, but it wasn’t. Unfortunately we tapped, but I feel like I was a bit of an innocent bystander. I was just trying to do my thing and stay out of trouble, but that was that. We’ll learn from today and come back stronger next time.”
We’re back on track for the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.