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Craig Lowndes' assault on the 2012 Bathurst 1000 ended in frustration with the Team Vodafone driver battling an ill-handling car for much of Australia's most famous motor race.

Starting ninth with co-driver Warren Luff aboard, the #888 Commodore held station early and recovered from an early pit stop with a tyre issue to take the lead at one-third distance.

However a major understeer condition stifled Lowndes and Luff's chances of victory mid race, the duo struggling to recover from two delays in pit lane due to stacking' during safety car periods. As the race run into its final laps, with a much improved car, Craig shook clear of the mid pack to claim a well-driven third position.

"Just not our day. We really struggled with the pace to pass people for most of the day, we only really got the car working in the last stint but by then we were too far behind to challenge for the win," Craig Lowndes said.

  • Retro HDT colour scheme a big hit with the fans
  • Co-driver Warren Luff fastest in middle session
  • Strong opening day for the Sandown 500 winners
"There's plenty more pace to come, we didn't put it (a complete lap) together today. If you put all my sectors together we're right there. I brushed the wall in the middle sector on my best lap and that woke me up, but no real harm done. Otherwise it was drama free," Craig Lowndes said.

  • Craig second quickest in practice
  • Qualifies fifth fastest for Saturday's Shoot Out
"As always, an interesting day. We did what we needed to do to make the Shoot Out and that was the aim, nothing more. The car's good, it's fast, all good at this stage."

  • Weather cools off for Shoot Out day
  • Too much understeer in practice prompts change for the shootout
  • 9th fastest in the Shoot Out
"Unfortunately we changed the car too much after practice and went from too much understeer to too much oversteer for the Shoot Out lap. I did what I could but the car was just too tailey it's a long race tomorrow & we will be fine."

  • Craig fastest in morning warm up
  • Early tyre troubles & pit stacking prove costly
  • Finishes a frustrated 3rd
"For some reason we battled the set-up of the car right through the week but on race morning, after the warm up, I was confident, the car felt good. But in the race it developed too much understeer and we couldn't do anything there was just not enough pace to pass anyone. Right at the end, we adjusted it up and it was good I could catch and pass people, and the tyres were working well in the cooler conditions. But we ran out of laps, we were too far behind the leaders by then."

1. Jamie Whincup, Team Vodafone, 2772 points
2. Craig Lowndes, TeamVodafone, 2611 points
3. Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel FPR, 2584 points
4. Will Davison, Trading Post FPR, 2302 points
5. Shane Van Gisbergen, SP Tools Racing, 2020 points
6. Tim Slade, Lucky 7 Racing, 1854 points
7. Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team, 1824 points
8. David Reynolds, Bottle-O Racing Team, 1680 points
9. Lee Holdsworth, Irwin Racing, 1629 points
10. Fabian Coulthard, 1613 points

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