21 Aug TOUGH SYDNEY FOR CRAIG
Craig Lowndes had a disappointing end to the Sydney Motorsport Park round of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship on Sunday.
Running strongly mid-pack to a specific strategy destined to pay dividends later in the race, Craig’s TeamVortex Holden Commodore broke an engine component and many laps were lost effecting repairs.
In Saturday’s race Craig finished seventh after qualifying in the top ten.
- Craig 17th fastest in Practice 1
- Craig 6th fastest in Practice 2, quickest Commodore
“We’ve had two practice sessions, (in) the first one we opted to do a race run, which gave us a good indication for this afternoon. The second one was obviously all about trying to get a balance, trying to get the new tyre to work, which has been our issue, but so far, the car’s been working well, I’m comfortable in the car. This circuit is really hard on the tyres, so you really only get one lap to set a time. Touch wood we can repeat that tomorrow in qualifying, but all signs are we should be well in the top 10.”
- Craig 6th fastest in Practice 3
- Craig qualifies 10th for Race 17
- Craig finishes 7th in Race 17
“I think everyone will say that they could have done better. We learned a lot today, our qualifying is definitely improving. To be in the top ten again was nice. It’s very close out there.
“We had a slightly slow pit stop, which cost us a little bit of time. The safety car came out towards the end and we had a great battle. Cars were going everywhere, we had some contact with other cars, but we had a very strong car in the end. Once we got clean air, our car was very strong and I think we could have been a bit further up, but that’s the ifs and buts. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but I’m really excited for the development and the progression that we’ve made as a team.”
- Craig qualifies 14th for Race 18
- Engine breaks a rocker, loses many laps in repairs
- Craig finishes 24th in Race 18
“It was a difficult day today. Qualifying didn’t go to plan, I made a couple of small errors and you can’t make too many around here. We started 14th.
“We actually had a good car in the race but there was some issue with a tyre sensor and we had to come in earlier than we expected. We had more fuel on board (then), so we were hoping that would pay back later in the race but then, unfortunately, we had an engine issue with a broken rocker. We lost a number of laps, but the guys did a great job getting the engine fixed. We rolled around and still scored some points and obviously points are valuable at the moment. A disappointing day, but it’s great that the team didn’t give up.”