Craig Lowndes has predicted that his long-time team-mate Jamie Whincup will stage a fightback at the endurance races but it may not be enough to recover his plunging championship stocks.
While Lowndes remains in contention for his first title since 1999 following his haul of podium finishes in the three Queensland Raceway heats, Whincup continues to be mired with indifferent results.
Whincup sits eighth in the standings, 483 points behind Winterbottom as the Ford man closes chases a maiden title.
“I think it would be a long shot to be honest,” Lowndes said of Whincup’s chances of the title.
“Where I’m at, trying to close down 250 points every round is getting more difficult.
“(So) it means the guys in front of him (Whincup) are going to have to have a DNF or a round missing.
“There’s no doubt that he can climb back up the ladder but how far up the ladder will be determined on a little bit of the luck on the guys in front of him.”
The three-times V8 champion Lowndes is now 256 points in arrears to Prodrive Racing Australia spearhead Winterbottom while six-times champ Whincup has slipped further behind.
Lowndes acknowledged that a switch of engineer with Grant McPherson coming on after a long association with Jeromy Moore has worked while Whincup has seen engineering changes prove less than successful.
“The change of engineers has worked for me and the way Grant thinks about the car suits my style,” he said.
“Jamie has changed his engineer and I think for him he’s having a terrible year.
“There’s a lot things from the weekend he’ll look back on. I know that he’ll bounce back come the endurance races.
“It’s one of those things that he’s been on top for so long that eventually you are going to have a bad year.”
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