We may have needed snorkels on both the cars and the crew for Saturday at the Sydney 500, but Red Bull Racing Australia survived a drama-packed day to claim two race wins.
The day got off to a less-than-perfect start in qualifying when Craig hit the wall in the first of the two sessions, the damage sustained meaning he couldn’t take part in the second. That meant he started the races from 20th and last respectively.
“We had a bingle in the first qualifying session today which was unfortunately just a mistake,” he said. “We were on our second set of tyres and had a really good first sector but approaching turn five I just clipped the inside wall which then fired me across and did a lot of damage to the car which also put us out of the second qualifying session.”
The Car 888 Holden crew did a fantastic job rebuilding the car in time for the races and we’re happy to report that the pilot did not sustain any serious injuries and was back in the car a few hours later.
The first of the day’s two 125km races saw Jamie claim a convincing win, having started from second, while Lowndesy clawed his way up the pack to finish 13th.
“Race one was awesome and the car was just fantastic,” said Jamie. “I just tripped up over the safety car, I was being too conservative and stayed behind it when I should have just pushed on and done my thing. It made for a good race with Tim Slade though, we battled hard and had a bit of contact and ended up getting him and that was the end of that one.”
Race two will be remembered for a long time, but unfortunately more for the heavens opening than any spectacular racing. About a third of the way into the race, torrential rain hit Sydney Motorsport Park. Wet tyres went on, but any form of grip and visibility were gone, forcing a red flag.
The race eventually restarted, but finished under safety car, leaving Jamie as the winner, who’d done a hair-raising move going four-wide into turn one off the start to take the lead, and Craig in 20th.
“Race Two we got a good start and pitted at the right time for tyres before the rain set in,” Jamie said. “Credit where credit is due, Race Control didn’t try to restart the race and cause a heap of carnage so I think they made the right call and there’s still plenty of racing to be done tomorrow.”
Qualifying kicks off tomorrow at 11.05am AEDT, with the 250km season-ending race starting at 3.40pm. Check the TV schedules here.