Lowndes takes Symmons Plains pole double
Craig Lowndes has put himself in the box seat for success in today’s Symmons Plains Super Sprints by taking pole position for both races.
The Red Bull Holden ran 51.66s and 51.62s bests in the respective 10 minute sessions to score both Armor All Pole Awards.
With passing expected to be extremely tough around the tight 2.41km venue, Lowndes is hopeful of converting the poles into victories.
“Shippy (engineer Grant McPherson) and I have been working really hard since the start of the season,” said Lowndes.
“This is a track I traditionally go well at and it’s nice to be up the front I can tell you.”
Race 4 of the season will see Mark Winterbottom share the front-row with Lowndes, while James Courtney, practice pace-setter Will Davison and David Reynolds complete the top five.
Shane van Gisbergen recorded the sixth best time but will lose grid positions to Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup after a penalty for contact with Ash Walsh.
The Tekno Holden spun the Mercedes at the Turn 4 hairpin; an incident for which the Kiwi later apologised.
“I just mucked up and locked the rears,” he said. “It’s not a fun walk going to say sorry but it was my mistake completely.”
Will Davison endured a similar incident with Todd Kelly, leaving Erebus with its own front-end damage to fix before the second session.
Race 5 qualifying saw Whincup improve to second behind Lowndes, edging out the consistent James Courtney and David Reynolds.
Rookie Andre Heimgartner was meanwhile the star of the second hit-out, scoring an outstanding fifth in his first outing with the FG X Falcon package.
“The car is absolutely fabulous,” he said, having been 11th in the earlier session.
“We made a little tweak between sessions and it was a jet. It’s great to have me and Dave (Reynolds) up there and lead the PRA group.”
Winterbottom managed only seventh for Race 5, with Davison and Van Gisbergen down in ninth and 10th respectively.
It was a tough pair of sessions for Scott McLaughlin, who struggled to 17th and eighth in his Volvo.
Another buried in the midfield is Scott Pye, who qualified the DJR Team Penske Ford in 15th and 18th for the respective 25 lap heats.
Race 4 of the is scheduled for 1515, with Race 5 at 1715.
QUALIFYING: Race 4 – Symmons Plains
|1||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.6558*|
|2||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:51.7030||0:00.0472|
|3||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.7675||0:00.1117|
|4||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:51.7889||0:00.1331|
|5||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:51.7942||0:00.1384|
|6||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:51.8875||0:00.2317|
|7||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.9057||0:00.2499|
|8||Shane van Gisbergen*||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.8378||0:00.1820|
|9||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.9852||0:00.3294|
|10||Tim Slade||Supercheap Auto Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.0973||0:00.4415|
|11||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:52.1210||0:00.4652|
|12||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:52.1442||0:00.4884|
|13||Fabian Coulthard||Freightliner Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.1596||0:00.5038|
|14||Lee Holdsworth||Walkinshaw Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.1926||0:00.5368|
|15||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:52.1959||0:00.5401|
|16||James Moffat||Nissan Mororsport||Nissan Altima||0:52.2040||0:00.5482|
|17||Scott McLaughlin||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:52.2061||0:00.5503|
|18||Dale Wood||GB Galvanizing Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.2363||0:00.5805|
|19||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:52.2420||0:00.5862|
|20||Ashley Walsh||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:52.2641||0:00.6083|
|21||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:52.2727||0:00.6169|
|22||Jason Bright||Team BOC||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.2829||0:00.6271|
|23||Nick Percat||Repair Management Aust Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.3908||0:00.7350|
|24||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:52.4557||0:00.7999|
|25||Tim Blanchard||Team Cooldrive||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.6047||0:00.9489|
* 2 place grid penalty
QUALIFYING: Race 5 – Symmons Plains
|1||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.6213*|
|2||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.7188||0:00.0975|
|3||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.7550||0:00.1337|
|4||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:51.8263||0:00.2050|
|5||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:51.8336||0:00.2123|
|6||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.8663||0:00.2450|
|7||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:51.8817||0:00.2604|
|8||Scott McLaughlin||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:51.9132||0:00.2919|
|9||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:51.9332||0:00.3119|
|10||Shane van Gisbergen||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.9398||0:00.3185|
|11||Lee Holdsworth||Walkinshaw Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.9442||0:00.3229|
|12||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:51.9518||0:00.3305|
|13||Fabian Coulthard||Freightliner Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.9520||0:00.3307|
|14||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:51.9531||0:00.3318|
|15||Tim Slade||Supercheap Auto Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:51.9663||0:00.3450|
|16||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:52.0023||0:00.3810|
|17||Jason Bright||Team BOC||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.0702||0:00.4489|
|18||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:52.1055||0:00.4842|
|19||Dale Wood||GB Galvanizing Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.1556||0:00.5343|
|20||Ashley Walsh||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:52.2204||0:00.5991|
|21||James Moffat||Nissan Mororsport||Nissan Altima||0:52.2912||0:00.6699|
|22||Nick Percat||Repair Management Aust Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.3292||0:00.7079|
|23||Michael Caruso||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:52.3578||0:00.7365|
|24||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:52.4435||0:00.8222|
|25||Tim Blanchard||Team Cooldrive||Holden Commodore VF||0:52.5512||0:00.9299|