Defending Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes says he is looking forward to Sunday’s race despite recording the worst starting position for the 1000km classic in his career.
In this afternoon’s 40-minute qualifying session, the TeamVortex driver could only manage 21st, 1.1808 seconds behind provisional pole sitter and teammate Jamie Whincup at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Lowndes and co-driver Steven Richards were struggling with the Holden Commodore across practice and the 42-year old racer couldn’t extract enough pace from the car to make it into tomorrow’s ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout.
While Red Bull’s Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen (sixth) will feature, Lowndes and Richards will work to improve the car for the 161-lap race.
The pair started 15th last year on their way to the win at Mount Panorama and have 10 Bathurst 1000 victories between them.
"We'll obviously now focus on making the car a good race car,” Lowndes said.
“We're not in the Top 10 Shootout, so we'll make sure we have a good race car for Sunday.
“It is disappointing, I think that we've had a pretty tough run into the weekend and it just shows that you've got to be on your game around here and the competition is really tight."
On the post-session TV interview Lowndes admitted he rubbed a wall on his last run, trying to get more out of the car.
“We made an adjustment in the last run, which improved the car, but not as much as we needed to be in the top ten.
“It's disappointing starting 21st, so we'll try to stay out of trouble on Sunday and see where we end up."
Richards says they will lean on their teammates to try and find more from the car.
"We've got two pretty good references in the (Red Bull Racing Australia) cars that are next door, so we've got to have a really good look,” he said.
“Clearly we've been struggling a little bit with the car all weekend and we might have lost a fair bit of time early on with our practice tyres, but we're still a long way from the mark.
“But the race is a long way and our strategy will depend on practice and warm up and how much better we can make the car."