Lowndes rues missed opportunity in finale

Craig Lowndes with engineer Grant McPherson at Symmons Plains

Craig Lowndes with engineer Grant McPherson at Symmons Plains

Craig Lowndes admits he threw away a golden opportunity to chalk up a 100th career win with a costly error on the opening lap of Race 6.

The Red Bull driver lost the start to fellow front-row qualifier David Reynolds and subsequently tagged The Bottle-O Ford into a spin at Turn 2.

The resulting drive-through penalty dropped Lowndes to the back of the field, from which he still recovered to finish a solid sixth.

The missed opportunity for victory came at the end of a weekend that had yielded two wins and three pole positions.

“We just threw it away really,” Lowndes told Speedcafe.com of the incident.

“I just got a bad start, went down the inside of Dave and it wouldn’t turn on the cold tyre and hit him in the door.

“It was pretty simple and pretty plain from where I was and I was just waiting for the call (of the penalty).

“Whenever you interrupt someone else’s race in that manner, you’re always going to be penalised.”

Lowndes said that a clutch issue contributed to the poor start, which left him awkwardly positioned for the opening sequence of corners

“The pedal went away from me right as the light went out so I didn’t have the feel I wanted to get the car off the line,” he said.

“That was a bit disappointing because we had two good starts yesterday and it didn’t quite happen today which obviously didn’t help our situation.”

A disappointed Reynolds finished 11th after the incident and was left surprised by his rival’s impatience.

“Lowndes was fast enough to easily pass me and dispose of me so he just should have used his brain a bit better,” Reynolds told Speedcafe.com.

It had also been a highly encouraging weekend for Reynolds, who qualified among the top five for all three races, recording results of sixth and fourth on Saturday.

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