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SOLID SANDOWN FOR LOWNDES

Craig Lowndes and co-driver Steve Richards had a strong run in the weekend's Sandown 500, the first race in V8 Supercar's annual trio of endurance events.

Paired together for the first time, Lowndes and Richards drove the #888 Red Bull Holden Commodore aggressively through the field to fourth position after the 161 lap race at the ultra-fast Melbourne track.

"The up side is that Steve and I really worked well together, and that's great going into Bathurst," Craig Lowndes said.

"Unfortunately we just didn't quite have the pace we needed, we just couldn't find the speed out of the car to compete right at front, we just couldn't flow the car all weekend.

"At this level that's the difference between first and fourth."

Craig has moved back to second in the 2014 V8 Supercar Championship.

Friday

  • Dry but cool conditions
  • Co-driver Steve Richards does two sessions
"It's exciting to be here at the start of the endurance season, finally.

"The car is working really well and as always, we're still looking for speed but the balance isn't too bad. We know that it's going to look after its tyres so I'm pretty pleased.

"The main drivers only had one practice session today so Steve had the majority of the running and he seems to be happy, so we'll just keeping working at it and see where we get up tomorrow. I'm confident in my partnership with Steve, we've known each other for a long time. I've got all the faith in him and we're both looking forward to Sunday's race."

Saturday
  • Craig qualifies 9th
  • Steve Richards starts 9th, finishes 9th in co-driver race
  • Craig 7th in main driver race
"I'm happy enough to be starting from the fourth row on the grid because it keeps us out of the mischief at the beginning of the race. Having said that, tomorrow is a long day so it doesn't really matter where you start as long as you can keep it clean for the first half of the race and of course strategy plays a big part.

"We're still working on the car but it's good for me and Steve to both have a race under our belts, so we know its strengths and weaknesses. 161 laps is always going to be tough and I think all the teams were trying out a few different things today but for all of us, a lot of it is going to come down to managing tyre life tomorrow."

Sunday
  • Strong drive from 7th in a highly-competitive pack
  • Patience & consistency pays dividends
  • Fourth placed finish moves Craig back to second in the Championship


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