Craig Lowndes believes the Autobarn Lowndes Racing squad missed the set-up window when sending him out for a race simulation during Practice 2 for the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend.
Lowndes ended the session 27th fastest, 3.7s off the outright pace set by stablemate Shane van Gisbergen, though suggests his program and a less than optimal set-up make the gap look bigger than it actually is.
“We tried to do a race run then and it didn’t work,” Lowndes admitted.
“We went outside the window so then we tried to scramble back to a qualifying car. We had a crack on a new tyre at the end there but didn’t complete the lap.
“The first part of that lap is pretty much matched on what Jamie (Whincup) and Shane (van Gisbergen) did so it’s not all doom and dire, but of course we need to do a time.”
The 4.95km circuit has proved a difficult one to master, with Lowndes one of a number of drivers to leave the road during the day’s two sessions.
“Besides Bathurst this is one of the longest laps,” he explained.
“It’s a great track, there’s no doubt about that. It’s quite technical, it’s got some great elevations, they’ve done a fantastic job.
“We’ve got to get our head around how to operate the car to this surface.
“The other two guys next door are obviously working really hard and getting it done.
“As I said, we tried a race run, I’m not sure they did. It’ll be interesting to see tomorrow if they opt to do a race run.
“We changed the car for that race run conditions, and of course we sort of went the wrong way and so again we’ve learned from that. We can now move on.”
A final, 45 minute practice session remains at 1035 (local time) on Saturday morning before qualifying and the opening race of the weekend.