Lowndes leads Red Bull one-two in Friday practice

Craig Lowndes edged team-mate Jamie Whincup in practice

Craig Lowndes edged team-mate Jamie Whincup in practice

Red Bull Racing Australia asserted its authority over the V8 Supercars field with a one-two in Friday practice at Phillip Island.

The two Holden drivers proved the class of the field when the green tyres were wheeled out for the final run of the day.

Lowndes went to the top of the order with a 1:30.69s just prior to the chequered flag.

Jamie Whincup subsequently slotted into second, 0.05s adrift of his team-mate.

Lowndes’ time proved almost 0.4s quicker than the Friday best from last year and just 0.08s adrift of the 2013 practice lap record.

“Last year when the circuit was freshly resurfaced we had some issues, but I think the track’s settled in now and we’ve settled into it,” said Lowndes.

“At the moment the speed out of the cars is quite good and we’re just keeping an eye on the wind direction because this is a circuit where that makes a big difference to the balance.

“Our main priority (now) is to finish second in the championship, so we’ve got to focus on making the cars fast so we can start up the front and stay out of trouble.”

Scott McLaughlin briefly headed the order in the dying minutes and ended up best of the rest in third, a full 0.3s further back.

The session was regardless a solid run for the Volvo driver who struggled with power steering and engine problems in the two earlier hit-outs.

“We didn’t quite have the best day with a few little issues so third practice was our main go at it and the car felt alright on decent tyres,” he said.

Shane van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard completed the top five ahead of David Reynolds in the first of the Fords.

Mark Winterbottom, who sits second in the championship, ended up outside the top 10 in 11th.

Wet weather is, however, expected for the remainder of the weekend, potentially shaking up the pecking order for tomorrow’s two qualifying sessions and pair of 100km sprints.

PRACTICE 3 – Phillip Island

Pos No. Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 888  Craig Lowndes  Red Bull Racing Australia  Holden Commodore VF  1:30.6899
2   1  Jamie Whincup  Red Bull Racing Australia  Holden Commodore VF  1:30.7437 0:00.0538
3  33  Scott McLaughlin  Valvoline Racing GRM  Volvo S60  1:31.0572 0:00.3673
4  97  Shane Van Gisbergen  Team Tekno VIP Petfoods  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.0680 0:00.3781
5  14  Fabian Coulthard  Lockwood Racing  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.1110 0:00.4211
6  55  David Reynolds  The Bottle-O Racing Team  Ford Falcon FG  1:31.1230 0:00.4331
7 222  Nick Percat  Walkinshaw Racing  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.1522 0:00.4623
8   2  Garth Tander  Holden Racing Team  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.1908 0:00.5009
9 360  James Moffat  Norton Hornets  Nissan Altima  1:31.2051 0:00.5152
10  36  Michael Caruso  Norton Hornets  Nissan Altima  1:31.2397 0:00.5498
11   5  Mark Winterbottom  Ford Pepsi Max Crew  Ford Falcon FG  1:31.2569 0:00.5670
12  16  Scott Pye  Wilson Security Racing  Ford Falcon FG  1:31.3437 0:00.6538
13   7  Todd Kelly  Jack Daniel’s Racing  Nissan Altima  1:31.3771 0:00.6872
14  22  James Courtney  Holden Racing Team  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.3952 0:00.7053
15   6  Chaz Mostert  Ford Pepsi Max Crew  Ford Falcon FG  1:31.4127 0:00.7228
16  17  David Wall  Wilson Security Racing  Ford Falcon FG  1:31.4429 0:00.7530
17   9  Will Davison  Erebus Motorsport V8  Mercedes E63 AMG  1:31.4576 0:00.7677
18   8  Jason Bright  Team BOC  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.4888 0:00.7989
19   4  Lee Holdsworth  Erebus Motorsport V8  Mercedes E63 AMG  1:31.6460 0:00.9561
20  18  Jack Perkins  Team JELD-WEN  Ford Falcon FG  1:31.6519 0:00.9620
21  15  Rick Kelly  Jack Daniel’s Racing  Nissan Altima  1:31.7857 0:01.0958
22  23  Russell Ingall  Repair Management Aust Racing  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.8014 0:01.1115
23  21  Dale Wood  Team Advam/GB  Holden Commodore VF  1:31.9875 0:01.2976
24  34  Robert Dahlgren  Valvoline Racing GRM  Volvo S60  1:32.0981 0:01.4082
25  47  Tim Slade  Supercheap Auto Racing  Holden Commodore VF  1:32.1202 0:01.4303

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