22 May SOLID POINTS WEEKEND FOR CRAIG
Posted at 02:03h in 2017
Strong strategies and great driving saw Craig Lowndes move forward into strong points finishes on both days, in the latest round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at Winton on the weekend.
Saturday’s shorter race saw Craig take the Caltex Commodore from 19th to 6th, and then on Sunday in the longer event, Lowndes all but repeated the dose to move from 26th to 15th at the rural Victorian track.
After an absolute deluge on Friday, and against expectations, Winton turned on fine weather for both days of Supercars’ latest championship counter.
“Overall we’ll put this down as a disappointing weekend and now we’ll move on to a round that’s been very kind to us in the past. Darwin is one I am really looking forward to, and seeing what we can do up north,” Craig Lowndes said.
- Track soaked from heavy rain, lots of standing water for first session
- Steve Richards has run in morning co-driver session
- Craig 21st fastest in Practice 1
- Rain stops, track begins to dry for second session
- Craig 22nd fastest in Practice 2
“It was a crazy day, to be honest. With Steve starting the day, it was great to give him some miles, but the track conditions weren’t ideal. In our first practice session, we struggled to get a balance and a handle on it because of the changing conditions. In that last practice session, we ended up on a slick tyre right at the end but we just ran out of time to get temperature and grip. We made a number of changes and went in a direction that we’ve never done before and we weren’t too displeased with it. It’s something we need to work at, but it gives us some direction for tomorrow. It’s disappointing where we’re sitting on the time sheet, but we did learn a lot today and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
- Cloudy conditions, dry track
- Craig 23rd fastest in Practice 3
- Craig qualifies 19th for Race 9
- Storming drive, Craig finishes 6th in Race 9
“In qualifying we basically re-engineered the car after the morning’s practice session. We went closer to the Red Bull Holden Racing Team cars and that was a little bit different for me to drive. I didn’t maximise the car (in qualifying), to be honest, we still needed a bit more drive, so that’s something that we’ll focus on for tomorrow.
“We had a ripper start, then it was just a matter of pushing hard as quickly as we could. We ended up doing about 23 or 24 laps on the first set of tyres. In the last stint we had much better tyres than those around us, but it unbalanced the car more than I expected.
“Credit to the boys to bounce back from where we were. Great comeback! The car worked really well, the strategy worked a treat and the pit stop was the fastest in town, so it was a really good afternoon. Now that we’ve got a race under our belt, we’ve got a better idea of lines and where we can make up some time (for tomorrow).”
- Craig qualifies 26th for Race 10
- Craig finishes 15th in Race 10
“It was a tough way to start the day. We had some issues in qualifying, some were not caused by us, but others were.Starting 26th is never going to be a good day.
“We had a different strategy to most, and it played out pretty well. The car was really good again through the race, it was strong, but we just couldn’t use it for what it was. We had a battle there with Rick Kelly right at the end but at a track like this it is very hard to pass, so I couldn’t make the progress I wanted to.”