Jason Bright has topped the second qualifying session at the Sydney NRMA 500, ahead of practice's fast man Shane van Gisbergen by just 0.08sec.
Bright jumped to the top of the times with a 1min27.788 lap of the savage street circuit, and while Kiwi fighters van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin put forward their best efforts, they could not top the BOC driver.
Lowndes, Marcos Ambrose - who had a hit at the same sport, turn six - and Lee Holdsworth did not record times.
Red Bull team boss Mark Dutton told v8supercars.com.au it will be tight to have the Commodore ready for this afternoon's first race, with a new transaxle going into the Holden VF.
Champion elect Jamie Whincup came home fourth and will start alongside McLaughlin, who he is fighting for this year's ARMOR ALL Pole Award.
From there it was James Courtney, Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds, Tim Slade, Garth Tander and Fabian Coulthard completing the top 10.
"I've had a bit of a funny weekend so far, because I've felt like that car has had a lot of potential but we've had trouble trying to put a lap together," Bright told v8supercars.com.au.
"The different sectors were there and when we felt like we were struggling at different times, I'd put the sectors together and it would look like we were alright. The same thing happened in the qualifying session, I got a really bad run on the back straight and it cost us quite a bit - so I knew if I put a nice clean lap together we'd have pretty good potential."
Bright starts this afternoon's first 125km race in 11th position, which begins at 2.30pm local time.
"We got caught out with the red flag. I basically had just crossed the line to start my flyer and then the red flag came out so I never got a lap there. We're definitely not where we should be for the first race, we've got to try and keep out of trouble in that one so we have a good car for the next one."