Lowndes relaxed as he aims for the hundred

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 02/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Craig Lowndes has focused on the positives of last month in Tasmania, spent a relaxing week in Perth, and now looks to write his name in the record books and further cement himself as one of the sport's greats.

Back on the turf where he beat Mark Skaife's all-time Championship race wins record of 90 in 2013, he's aiming for a whopping 100 this weekend.

Lowndes has earned 15 race wins at Barbagallo Raceway - more than at any other circuit - and for the Red Bull driver it would be poetic to rewrite the record books here.

"Coming to a circuit like this, where it's a good track for me, you're already in a positive mental state in a sense - going to other tracks which could be a bogey track or something else, you go into it a little bit more reserved or negative, and that's never good," Lowndes told v8supercars.com.au.

"You always works on your weaknesses but you want to keep your strengths.

"This is a strong track for us and it'd be great to be able to break the 100 wins if we can - that'd be fitting for here because we broke the 91 two years ago and it'd be nice to do it again."

Before he thinks about winning a race, in the day's first practice session he'll, of course, be looking for ARMOR ALL Pole Position. Starting from the front for race one would make him just the second man in 17 years to earn four consecutive poles, Mark Winterbottom the last to achieve the feat in 2011, with Peter Brock, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson, Colin Bond, John Bowe and Mark Skaife the only others to have done it.

Qualifying last year was something Lowndes was open aboutwanting to improve - and beginning the 2015 season with three poles, two race wins in Tasmania, and sitting third in the Championship has been a good start.

"I don't think I've ever had four in a row in my whole career, so that would be nice, but I think it's been a long time since anyone's done four in a row - and given the caliber of the competition it's very hard to do that. But this is a track we've done well in the past, we've had good starting positions last year.

"If we could get a car that can do what I want it to do - and Grant [McPherson, engineer] and I will work really hard to make that happen - if we can do that we're in for a good shot.

"I'm really confident, I'm not thinking about it too much, but regardless I'll strap the helmet on, go out there and do the best I can, and hopefully it's going to be fast enough."

While the #888 Red Bull Commodore was down the order after yesterday's second practicesession, in 16th with teammate and reigning Champion Jamie Whincup 14th, Lowndes wasn't concerned. In fact, he was pleased with the progress made over the two hour sessions.

"I know we're a little bit further down the timesheet, but I'm actually pretty happy with what we've achieved. We're just trying to search for that balanced car and I think we've got it."

Lowndes couldn't quite put his finger on what it was about the unique nature of Barbagallo Raceway that clicked for him, but it is somewhere he is looking forward to tackling this weekend.

"We do talk about it being a very low grip surface, and it's like driving in the wet so the car slides around a lot - I enjoy that," Lowndes said.

"It is a flowing track, it's not necessarily a stop-and-go track, which again suits my style and the way I drive the car.

"Come the second half of the races, cars are sliding around, things are moving around everywhere and it's a matter of - hopefully you've looked after your tyre life better than others.

"Last year we probably struggled a little bit - Chaz [Mostert, Sunday winner] had a good car last year, Frosty [Mark Winterbottom] also, so we know the Prodrive guys are going to be fast.

"But it's just a circuit I really enjoy. It's more of a mental thing than anything ... I'm excited about the weekend."

Walkinshaw Racing yesterday looked as if it would challenge, with Tim Slade and James Courtney the top two, while Winterbottom was third.

The teams have a 15-minute practice session at 9.15am, with back-to-back qualifying sessions and two 60km races to follow.

Follow on FOX SPORTS 506 and NETWORK Ten today - click here for the full TV breakdown, or here for event details.

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