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Whincup sees light after Townsville top 10

Jamie Whincup says he’s beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel after Saturday’s race opener in Townsville saw the Red Bull Racing Australia driver finish ninth.

The progress made was a step in the right direction for JDub who qualified sixth in the No. 1 Commodore and started the 70-lap race well moving up to fourth early on with the quicker soft tyre.

“Believe it or not I’m reasonably happy,” Jamie said after entering the garage.

“We’re not proud of ninth, but it was a good step and showed some promise which has been a bit more than the last three rounds.

“I’m feeling like we can see what needs to be unlocked. We’ll give it a big crack tomorrow.

“We could see some progress which is the first thing. As I said at the start of the weekend, it’s not going to come overnight.

“It’s going to be a bit of a process, but as long as we start the process I’m happy and I feel like we did that today.”

On the other side of the Red Bull garage, Craig Lowndes finished where he qualified in 14th position.

Lowndesy said he felt he could have finished a little higher up the grid despite the result.

His tyre grip eroded toward the end of the race as he battled hard with Will Davison and Lee Holdsworth.

“We had a reasonable start and got caught up in a few first lap altercations,” said Craig.

“We got through it all and the speed early was ok from our soft to hard tyre. We lacked a little bit again on the hard tyre which is something we’ll work on overnight.

“We were circulating well on the faster softs and our car pace was consistent in a lap time sense, but it fell away at the end.

“There’s a little bit of work to do. It’s not disastrous, but I think we could have finished much higher than where we ended up.”

Lowndesy will be looking to keep up the pressure on leader and today’s winner Mark Winterbottom with another 70-lap race scheduled on Sunday.

Qualifying begins at 10:35am local time with a Top-10 shoot-out scheduled prior the final race at the Reid Park street circuit.

Check out the TV schedule here.