Back on track
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Craig Lowndes says his repaired Holden Commodore feels as good as it did yesterday after running in practice at the ITM 500 Auckland this morning.
The Red Bull racer suffered from a tyre explosion in yesterday's second race, which pitched his car into the wall causing extensive damage.
After an all-nighter - which meant taking the chassis to an external panel beater - the crew had the #888 ready for the 15-minute session and Lowndes was pleasantly surprised with how well it performed.
He was seventh in the session, topped by Scott Pye, and 0.7492 seconds off the pace.
"It's all good - it feels like it was yesterday before the crash," Lowndes said after the session.
"I'm really excited, I feel like we've got a car to play with and some championship points to get."
Lowndes dropped to third in the Championship after the incident and David Reynolds' win. He's now 306 points from leader Mark Winterbottom.
The Red Bull racer was thankful for his team's hard work.
"The guys have done a remarkable job - out the gate, no vibration, steering wheel is straight ... and it's reasonably quick.
"We got good front, we're searching a bit for the rear, but overall I'm really happy where the car's come, considering at six this morning it was still getting its last nut and bolts together, so it's a credit to the team."
He is yet to win a race at Pukekohe Park Raceway, despite contesting every V8 Supercars event held here and had hoped to break that hoodoo yesterday.
Teammate Jamie Whincup finished the practice session ninth and leads the way for this weekend's Jason Richards Memorial Trophy.