Lowndes: Gen3 'feels like the old days'

  • GEN3 Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 20/08/2022
  • By James Pavey

Craig Lowndes was left beaming after Gen3 Camaro laps at Sandown, saying it felt "like the old days”.

Lowndes and Zane Goddard turned laps in the Gen3 cars on Friday.

Both drivers had the luxury of back-to-back sessions in different cars, given the co-driver session.

Lowndes, who will race a wildcard in Bathurst, drove Jack Smith’s Brad Jones Racing ZB Commodore.

Goddard, meanwhile, took to the Tickford Mustang he’ll share with James Courtney.

Lowndes previously drove the Gen3 Camaro in Townsville, where he was impressed with the car’s performance.

The Camaro has undergone a front end revision, complete with new clips.

The Sandown laps offered more in familiarity; no driver has won more than Lowndes at Sandown.

Speaking to Supercars.com, Lowndes said the new cars took him back to his early days in the sport.

“You come to a track like this that you know well, it does feel like the old days,” Lowndes said.

“You really have to hustle the car. There’s inherent understeer and oversteer.

“It’s going to chew the tyre up more, purely because of the balance and aero.

“Braking stability is good; I was hard on the limiter at the end of the back straight.”

Lowndes won three championships in the late 1990s, and was a dominant force towards the end of the Project Blueprint era.

However, he was won of few drivers to carry over winning form into Car of the Future and Gen2.

The seven-time Bathurst winner still believes most drivers will be able to find comfort with the low-downforce Gen3 cars.

However, Lowndes knows it will take time to adapt, given he had to cast aside years of braking markers as he grappled with the Camaro.

“We’re using both cars to find ultimate performance,” Lowndes said of the testing programme.

“But there’s also excitement for the fans as they’ll see the cars move around.

“The session at Townsville was really good. It’s nice to come here, I know this track really well.

“At the end of the back straight, you get push understeer because of the lack of aero.

“You have to reset your boundaries, because the current cars are so aero-dependent.

“These cars aren’t, so you have to think about mechanical grip, not aero grip."

Supercars will return for Practice 3 at 10:20am AEST on Saturday.

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