Lowndes not worried

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 10/09/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Craig Lowndes is not concerned about a protest lodged against him, to be heard by the Stewards at Sandown this afternoon.

Lowndes made contact with Championship leader Mark Winterbottom at the last event at Sydney Motorsport Park, and while DSO Jason Bargwanna dismissed the incident, Winterbottom's Prodrive team has appealed the decision.

He sits third in the Championship, 255 points behind Winterbottom, and only 27 ahead of fourth-placed David Reynolds. There has been a bitter rivalry between the Holden and Ford teams for years and they have been in the scenario before, with Red Bull protesting a pass Winterbottom made at Phillip Island in 2013 when both were fighting for the title.

While he could face a loss of Championship points, Lowndes was not worried.

"I forgot about that!" Lowndes told v8supercars.com.au when asked about this afternoon's protest.

"We did a photoshoot this morning, so we're still talking and amicable about it. But the hearing is this afternoon so we'll go through the procedure and process, and see what the outcome is."

The outcome will not affect this weekend, and Lowndes is focussed on a Sandown victory with co-driver Steven Richards.

"It's one of those things - it obviously is a difficult scenario because there was a lot of action going on prior and post the contact, which was between Frosty and I.

"So all those things, the Stewards and everyone has to take into consideration. Jason took it into consideration and obviously Prodrive don't like that decision - which is their choice - and now we have round two.

"We'll sit and wait - I'm not worried about it, whatever will be will be, and we'll get on and focus on this weekend."

Winterbottom said the reason his team was pressing the issue was to ensure consistency in policing incidents.

At the Gold Coast last year he was stripped of a podium after a last lap 'bump and run' pass on Tim Slade. Winterbottom likened this contact to that scenario.

"It's not me at fault so it's not like I'm worried about the outcome," the Championship leader told v8supercars.com.au.

"Whatever happens this afternoon, it's the team that takes control of that, not the drivers. But I know my points are the same, so it doesn't bother me. I just want to get on with racing, that's the main thing."

Since the protest has carried over from Sydney Motorsport Park, there has been plenty of talk and analysis of the incident and Frosty's conduct, after he tweeted about the incident rather than chatting to Lowndes face-to-face.

"We just want consistency, really," he said.

"So if you do the same to him and that happens, you'd expect the same response from people. That's where it's at.

"We'll just go out and race, see what happens - but people say what they want, they are always commenting.

"Whenever it's him, it's always a bit touchy."

Winterbottom believes the footage is "pretty clear".

"Everything's in your favour - if they let it off and if that's how it is, that's how it is. But if you get penalised for the same thing the next round that's when you start to question it.

"I don't mind hard racing and rubbing panels and whatever, but the rules say bump passes can't be done.

"You just want some consistency and I think that's where our team is challenging it, because last year I got done at the Gold Coast, lost a podium for a bump pass on the exit of the corner, not on entry and that was looked at badly ... you want to know that that when you dive into someone you're getting a fair run.

"I've got no issue with the move if that's how it is."

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