Lowndes ready to launch traditional late season charge
Queensland Raceway dominator Craig Lowndes is ready to unleash his trademark late-season charge and edge closer to fighting for a fourth Championship crown.
Lowndes was buoyant after surging to a clean sweep of the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 for the second-consecutive year today with a clinical exhibition.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s race report and results.
In trying to explain why he has made a habit of lighting up in the second half of the year, he admitted that the tracks, particularly Bathurst, have become happy hunting grounds.
“I think over the years I’ve become a little more relaxed and the circuits I enjoy as well,” Lowndes said.
“It’s the endurance time which I love and for me, it’s really all about getting into a rhythm … although saying that, the first half of the season is when you set your championship up.
“FPR have come out fighting and we’ve worked very hard to get back.”
Lowndes is acutely aware that TeamVodafone face returning to its Brisbane workshop and analysing just what went wrong with the powerplant which failed him during yesterday’s practice session and subsequently had to be replaced before qualifying.
“There’s no doubt we have got a bit of work to do,” Lowndes admitted.
“We (Triple Eight) pride ourselves on our engineering so that (Saturday engine problem) was a bit of a surprise to us.
“It blew some smoke out of the exhaust and I brought it back in and they deemed it more terminal than we expected.
“So there’s a bit of work to do over the next few weeks to see what caused the problem.
“I think we’ve got a bit of a way to go. We’ve pegged back a bit, about 45 points or so, but there is a 200-odd point deficit (to Championship leader and team-mate Jamie Whincup).”
While Lowndes is looking forward to his favourite part of the season, he is also cautious about the perils it could bring.
“You can lose 300 points very quickly (in the enduros) so as long as we stay within that 300 point gap I’m still going to fight it out,” he said.
“Jamie is the one in the lead and he’s the one with the target and we are all trying to close him down.”
The next event of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at Sydney Motorsport Park later this month.