It was a day of mixed results for TeamVodafone with Craig Lowndes continuing his winning streak, securing victory in today’s opening race at Sydney Motorsport Park while teammate Jamie Whincup suffered a poor start and a damaged tyre resulting in a 23rd place finish.
Rounding out both practice sessions second, Lowndes showed solid pace in qualifying but with the limited tyre allocation, gambled on one flying lap on green soft compound tyres. The Holden driver made a mistake in the last corner and started today’s 36 lap race sixth.
Lowndes got a good start off the line and was up into third by Lap 5. Opting for an early pitstop on Lap 11, Lowndes passed Winterbottom in the pits and took the race lead on Lap 22.
After finishing third in both 30-minute practice sessions, Whincup took his first pole position at Sydney Motorsport Park, marking the 50th for Triple Eight Race Engineering.
The defending Champion got a poor start off the line and dropped to seventh on the opening lap. Whincup worked his way up to fourth after the pitstop but disaster struck on Lap 33 when the #1 Holden Commodore sustained a cut to the right rear tyre, causing it to delaminate. Whincup opted to stay on track, crossing the line 23rd.
Whincup now sits second in the V8 Supercars Championship, 20 points behind leader Mark Winterbottom. Lowndes remains fourth on 1946 points, only 162 points behind the leader.
Sunday will see the V8 Supercars on track for a final 30-minute practice session at 10.35am (AEST) followed by qualifying at 12.25pm (AEST). Race 19 of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will conclude the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 at 3.35pm (AEST).
For regular news and updates, www.teamvodafone.com
Top Ten V8 Supercars Championship Series Race 18 Results – Sydney Motorsport Park
1: Craig Lowndes
2: Mark Winterbottom
3: Will Davison
4: Garth Tander
5: Russell Ingall
6: James Courtney
7: Shane Van Gisbergen
8: Michael Caruso
9: Jonathon Webb
10: Jason Bright
23: Jamie Whincup
Top Ten V8 Supercar Championship Series Points Standings:
1: Mark Winterbottom, 2108 pts.
2: Jamie Whincup, 2088 pts.
3: Will Davison, 2005 pts.
4: Craig Lowndes, 1946 pts.
5: Shane Van Gisbergen, 1568 pts.
6: Garth Tander, 1443 pts.
7: Tim Slade, 1401 pts.
8: Fabian Coulthard, 1330 pts.
9: Lee Holdsworth, 1244 pts.
10: James Courtney, 1091 pts.