Bring on Townsville – that’s the call from Craig Lowndes.
The six-time Bathurst winner has had up and down results at the north Queensland street circuit, but after a positive Darwin with third place yesterday the TeamVortex driver is ready to tackle the next event.
Lowndes credits Triple Eight’s recent test day as an important step forward, and with a focus on consistency is happy to just reel in the points. He sits second in the Championship just 30 points behind Jamie Whincup.
“We’re happy with the weekend – I’m looking forward to Townsville, it’s a circuit I enjoy. We’ve had a bit of hit and miss results there so I’m looking forward to getting up there,” Lowndes told supercars.com.
“We take a lot out of this weekend, to be honest. We had a test day last week, which again everything we did this weekend comes from that test day.
“So we’re obviously pretty confident, we know what to do to the car when the car is not working correctly.”
Lowndes was pleased with his blinding start off sixth, “probably one of the best starts we had for a long time, we got to almost second at the first corner, the car was working really well.”
The early Safety Car meant the team changed strategy on the fly and brought Lowndes into the pits – track position meant he didn’t have to stack while many others did sit stationary behind teammates, including Whincup.
Massive congestion made it difficult for some – even van Gisbergen had to tap Will Davison out of the way to get past while the TEKNO Commodore stacked and waited for Lowndes, and Cameron Waters suffered damage to the car after contact in the lane.
“We were lucky with the pit stop with congestion in pit lane and managed to get out, and lead the race from there on in,” Lowndes said.
“On the restart I made a little mistake into turn one and that allowed Gizzy by and from that point on we shadowed him and basically did what we could.”
The pass proved the race-winning move for van Gisbergen and Lowndes admitted he was annoyed with himself to let it happen.
“Yeah, you do get a bit annoyed with yourself because you made your own mistake. Everyone works hard to get the job done so I was probably a bit hard on myself – but you try not to make the same mistake again, you get on with the job.”
While reports on TV suggested Lowndes had run out of drinking water, he confirmed the issue wasn’t with the #888.
“That wasn’t our car, I don’t know whose car they were talking about – the Frenglish must be up and down pit lane,” he joked, referring to engineer Ludo Lacroix’s French accent.