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FRUSTRATION FOR LOWNDES IN TASMANIA

The second event of the 2013 V8 Supercar season at Symmons Plains Raceway over the weekend proved frustrating for Craig Lowndes, with first race issues setting the tone for the weekend.

Lap one contact of the opening encounter resulted in a puncture for Lowndes, which sent the Red Bull Racing Australia driver down the running order, while struggles with the compulsory soft tyre put the team behind the eight ball in the two Sunday races.

Despite the issues, Lowndes maintains fourth position overall in the standings, well within sight of the leaders.

"It was the worst weekend we've had for quite some time but I think we actually made some gains in the last race," Lowndes said.

"We've still got to get our heads around the soft tyre wear, that's pretty evident. But the hard tyre, which we're on next weekend, has been working well for us."

FRIDAY

  • Fine weather for the pair of 30 minute practice sessions
  • Results of eighth and first saw Lowndes the fastest driver overall for the day
"We've come a long way in the two practice sessions we had on the back of testing last week," Lowndes said.

"The rear end is nicer here and we can run curbs better than we have in the past.

"There are only a few corners here so you have to make the most of it. The car is nicer through turns six and seven than it was last year and hopefully that will translate to better tyre life on Saturday.

"We've now got some ingredients and things we can change on the car that we know will make us quicker.

"We're getting used to changing from the new tyre to the more used tyre and making adjustments to the car that will suit that tyre. I'm looking forward to race day tomorrow."

SATURDAY
  • Clear weather continued, 11th quickest in final practice, and eighth in qualifying
  • Opening lap contact from Shane Van Gisbergen sent Lowndes wide, picking up a puncture on the turn six ripple strip
  • Spun at turn two with a flat tyre, soldiered on to finish in 26th with gearbox issues
"We went into that race knowing that if something went wrong that it was potentially a huge disaster, and for us it was a massive one," Lowndes said.

"Not only did we have contact out of turn six but to then lose the tyre, lose first gear and then go a lap down - it couldn't have gotten much worse.

"It's very frustrating and I'm pretty disappointed about it because we've always been told to give racing room. There was contact and the cascading effect after I slipped off the track just made it worse.

"The tyre shredded and then did the same to the bodywork. Then I hurt the gearbox trying to get out of everyone's way when I spun and from there we just limped around."

SUNDAY
  • Qualified in fifth and 11th for the pair of 42 lap races
  • Soft tyre life an issue in race four of the Championship, seeing Lowndes finish in tenth
  • Struggled to move forward from his qualifying position in race five, classified 11th at the chequered flag
"The soft tyres continued to be our Achilles' heel today," said Lowndes.

"The weather was a bit warmer which worked against us, but we're learning all the time.

"At least we don't have to wait long for another crack at it next weekend in New Zealand!"

Championship Point Standings after 5 Races
1. Jamie Whincup 513
2. Will Davison 450
3. James Courtney 398
4. Craig Lowndes 397
5. Scott McLaughlin 366
6. Mark Winterbottom 357
7. Fabian Coulthard 334
8. Jonathon Webb 332
9. Shane Van Gisbergen 316


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