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CRAIG SCORES HISTORIC 100TH WIN
Craig Lowndes became the first driver in Australian motor sport history to win 100 championship races, at the latest V8 Supercar round in Darwin at the weekend.
 
Bouncing back from a troubled first sprint race on Saturday, Craig stormed to a convincing 100th Championship win in the second event, creating motor sport history.
 
Ironically, given his #888 racing number, it was also the 888th Touring Car/V8 Supercar Championship race run and Craig’s 559th Championship start.
 
 “For me, it's been a great career and I've been fortunate enough to be in some very good teams. Part of me is just so thankful to get it (the 100th win) over and done with. It's nice to finally have it done, so I'll try and get 101 now. It's a great feeling! For me it's been fantastic."
 
Sunday’s longer event in Darwin looked promising too, Craig demonstrating race-winning pace in the middle stages before a late-race tyre drama forced him to the pits. By the time he rejoined, he was back in the mid pack.
 
 
FRIDAY
  • Sixth fastest in opening practice on a brand new surface
  • Ninth fastest in 2nd practice session
"The first hour we focused on just doing some testing and getting the balance of the car right. The second part of it was really focused on getting speed out of the car. We've got to find probably about two or three tenths at the moment. All in all I'm happy with the car balance. I think the car is responding to everything we're doing. Every time we go out the car has improved, but we've just got to find that little gap that we need to get up the front."
 
 
SATURDAY 
  • Qualifies 9th for Race 13
  • Qualifies 5th for Race 14
  • Craig finishes 18th in Race 13
  • Craig finishes 1st in Race 14
 "Starting fifth (in Race 14), I didn't think I had much of a chance. I snuck around the carnage at Turn 1, plucked a gear and off I went. We did our runs yesterday on the soft tyre and once the safety car period finished my engineer, Grant, said to me we've got 15 laps to go and I knew the car was going to be good for the distance.
 
“But of course you never know if you've got enough speed and I wasn't sure on the restart what was going to happen. We really just knuckled down and kept the car straight. The car was probably quicker than I expected and from that point I was just able to drive it home.
 
 
SUNDAY 
  • Qualifies 15th for Race 15
  • Craig finishes 15th in Race 15
"We were a little bit further back than we would have liked in qualifying (15th), we weren't exactly where we needed to be. The car had better pace than where I put it, so we'll obviously analyse that. I've got to say that our strategy in the race was pretty spot on. We were running third at the time when we had a tyre problem. We had good pace on both the soft and the hard tyre, which was an improvement on yesterday, when we were only good on the soft tyre.
 
“For me that's encouraging. We know we've got speed there, it's just unfortunate we had that tyre issue, which delaminated the front. We'll take some positives out of it - we had good car speed, we were at the front, and we had a great victory yesterday."

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