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Sights set on Perth after tough Pukekohe weekend

After another day struggling with car speed at the ITM 500 Auckland, the Red Bull Racing Australia boys have completed a tough weekend with 10th and 20th-placed finishes in today’s 200km race.

Jamie, who finished the stronger of the two Red Bull Holdens, qualified eighth, while his teammate started from 15th on the grid.

“The first factor that contributed to our result today was qualifying poorly which left us in the pack and then we stayed in the pack,” said the Car 1 pilot.

“We rolled the dice slightly with the strategy thinking there was going to be a safety car and then hoping to gain a few spots but the gamble didn’t pay off.

“I’m not sure anything paid off this weekend between mechanical failures and red flags going against us but that’s not an excuse – we didn’t put ourselves in the right position and we just weren’t quick enough. If you’re quick enough you can make up for other errors but we just weren’t there this weekend so that’s the main area we’ll be talking about next week.”

The compulsory fuel drop of 120 litres called for two stops each, but severe tyre degradation on both cars forced them into the pits earlier than planned.

“The biggest issue we’ll have to look at after today’s race was the locked up tyre we had in qualifying and having that carry through to the race which hurt us,” Lowndesy said.

“I have to say our car balance today was fairly good and we were consistent. We obviously did a huge amount of laps on that last set of tyres.

“We’re of course not happy where we ended up, it’s one of the worst weekends we’ve had in a long time. We can only look forward to the Perth 400 now.”

Unfortunately we leave New Zealand with the championship lead sacrificed (only temporarily!), with Craig sitting second on 834 points and Jamie in sixth with 775. We’ll be back in action in Perth 16-18 May where we’ll be fighting to claim those spots back.