Craig Lowndes on top at Eastern Creek

Lowndes emerged fastest from the day's running

Lowndes emerged fastest from the day's running

Craig Lowndes has ended the inaugural pre-season Eastern Creek test day on top of the pile, after a blistering lap on Sprint Tyres in the afternoon session.

The TeamVodafone driver’s 1:30.1877s lap saw him 0.6s faster than fellow Holden driver Michael Caruso.

Jason Bright was third fastest, while Jason Richards also enjoyed a second behind the wheel of the BOC Commodore during the afternoon.

Caruso’s Fujitsu Racing team-mate was fourth, with Tony D’Alberto, Jason Bargwanna, Garth Tander, Mark  Winterbottom, Dean Fiore and Jonathan Webb rounding out the top 10.


At the end of the day, Lowndes said he was surprised to have emerged with the fastest time.

“It’s nice to be back in the car. To do the time we’ve done is pretty surprising actually,” he said.

“We didn’t struggle, but we didn’t know where our true pace was. Then we put on some soft tyres and away we went – and the car just hooked up unbelievably.

“I didn’t know whether the dash was lying to me but when the lap time came up it was pretty special. It’s nice to have speed but it’s a track we don’t race at.

“I’m really looking forward to Abu Dhabi. We had a good run there last year, we had a one-two with the team with the first time we had the Holdens out running.

“We’ve got good memories of the circuit and hopefully from today we’ve got a lot of good information now to carry on.

“We’ve got to start the season off a lot better than we’ve done in the past. The last three years we’ve generally played catch-up mid-season and we’ve always caught up but never got across the line.

“If we maintain the momentum from the end of last year into this year I think it will be a good year.”

Soft tyres were allowed from 2pm onwards. With no new soft tyres allocated, the times generally reflect the condition of the Sprint Tyres that each driver had available.

Prior to 2pm, Shane van Gisbergen had led the afternoon session, ahead of James Courtney, Karl Reindler, Garth Tander and Rick Kelly.

See below for the final positions from Session 2 (main drivers listed)

1 888 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.1877
2 34 Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.7552 0:00.5675
3 8 Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.0567 0:00.8690
4 33 Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.3764 0:01.1887
5 3 Tony D’Alberto Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.5306 0:01.3429
6 14 Jason Bargwanna Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.5983 0:01.4106
7 2 Garth Tander Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.6048 0:01.4171
8 5 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 1:31.7871 0:01.5994
9 12 Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 1:31.8212 0:01.6335
10 19 Jonathon Webb Ford Falcon FG 1:31.8624 0:01.6747
11 4 Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 1:31.8991 0:01.7114
12 88 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.9481 0:01.7604
13 11 Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.9532 0:01.7655
14 16 David Reynolds Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.9753 0:01.7876
15 49 Steve Owen Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.0869 0:01.8992
16 1 James Courtney Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.1090 0:01.9213
17 39 Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.3193 0:02.1316
18 17 Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 1:32.4046 0:02.2169
19 6 Will Davison Ford Falcon FG 1:32.4532 0:02.2655
20 9 Shane Van Gisbergen Ford Falcon FG 1:32.5928 0:02.4051
21 30 Warren Luff Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.6106 0:02.4229
22 47 Tim Slade Ford Falcon FG 1:32.6204 0:02.4327
23 7 Todd Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.6519 0:02.4642
24 21 Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.7584 0:02.5707
25 15 Rick Kelly Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.7888 0:02.6011
26 18 James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 1:32.8920 0:02.7043
27 61 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VE2 1:33.0692 0:02.8815
28 55 Paul Dumbrell Ford Falcon FG 1:34.3309 0:04.1432

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