09 Oct BATHURST CHALLENGE WASHED AWAY
It was a tough day at the office for Craig Lowndes and co-driver Steve Richards in this year’s Bathurst 1000 on the weekend.
The wettest Bathurst in recent memory made it a long day for the TeamVortex duo, having to fight their way forward from a low starting spot in truly dreadful conditions.
Despite a broken rollbar which meant Craig and Steve battled for speed all day, a wily drive saw them finish 11th.
“What a day, it began with the rain on the start line, we were hoping that it would pass but it didn’t so we did three quarters of the race in the wet. We struggled for pace to be honest, I think there might have been an issue with the car at the end, when it dried off I could feel it. That’s motor racing,” Craig Lowndes said.
- Craig 2nd fastest in Practice 1
- Steve Richards 8th fastest in Practice 2
- Car #888 11th fastest in Practice 3
“We rolled out for practice one in good shape. We did opt to use a second set of tyres in that first session and the car felt good. Steve did a great job of the middle practice session. That last one we chased the car a little bit, we put on a new set of tyres right towards the end, like everyone else, to see where we are at. I think we are just outside the top 10 so a little disappointing, we felt like we were much better than that today. But in saying that, the conditions of the track went away from where we wanted them to be. Overall it’s a comfortable car to drive, it’s not ugly and both Richo and I are happy.”
- Craig 7th fastest in Practice 5
- After an off in Qualifying, Craig will start Bathurst 1000 from 19th
“It was a disappointing end to the day because we had a good car and really positive through the practice sessions. We worked on qualifying speed and if we had completed the lap that I went off on, we would have been close to the 10 so we know the car has the potential and speed. I just made a mistake into The Chase, braked a little bit late, locked up the front left and went through the gravel trap. We tried to do another run, but there was just so much gravel coming out of the car, it was like driving on ice. To start 19th is disappointing given the car’s potential but we know around here it’s a long day. We started 16th last year and were in the top 10 quite quickly and early, so we’re really confident tomorrow that we can bounce back.”
- Craig 18th fastest in final Practice
“In practice six we focused on a race car, as we were not in the Top Ten Shootout, which is disappointing, but it now gives us an opportunity to set the car up for the race. Both Steve and I had a go at it, we tried different settings. The car responded the way we thought it would. It was a little edgy to drive but was definitely quicker, so that’s something we’ve got to take into consideration for tomorrow. The main thing is we sit down tonight and really analyse what we’ve got, have a good look at all three cars and make sure that we are comfortable going into tomorrow. We’ve got a warm up tomorrow morning but it’s only short so we will use it to make sure we are comfortable in the car. We need to make sure we keep an eye on the weather, knowing that it’s potentially going to be a wet day.”
- Wettest Bathurst in memory
- TeamVortex battles the conditions all day
- Craig finishes 11th
“It was a disappointing end to a day that was showing good promise. Our strategy was pretty good, pit stops were okay, I think we have a bit of work to do. We go away from here with some good points which is a really good thing for our championship.”