Lowndes leads Red Bull one-two in Friday 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
|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|