Craig Lowndes rounded out the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park with a hard fought 10th for Red Bull Racing Australia as Jamie Whincup finished 14th in a rain affected final race on Sunday.
Dry qualifying did little to help the #888 Holden with Lowndesy having to settle for P19 and Jamie P8. An early safety car on lap one triggered a pit lane scramble and pushed Craig further down the field, but the grey clouds were looming.
Running on the quicker soft tyres Craig posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:30.9898, before the predicted rain fell on lap 23.
The reshuffle in proceedings saw Jamie in P12 and Craig in P14 as the field bunched for the restart.
Craig then worked his way up the field to finish behind Nick Percat as Jamie slipped back to cross the line ahead of Rick Kelly and championship leader Mark Winterbottom.
Chaz Mostert’s win on Sunday moved Craig down to third in the championship with 1660 points, however the deficit to Winterbottom sits at 255 points – one point less than when the weekend started.
Jamie’s victory and a third place on Saturday helped his cause in the standings – JDub now sits in sixth on 1466 points.
What they said:
JAMIE WHINCUP (VF Holden Commodore, Car #1)
Qualifying Three: 8th (Fastest Lap – 1:30.2899)
Race Three: 14th
Championship: 6th (1466 pts)
“A really tough day today and not much went our way from qualifying onwards. I was in the pack and had good pace on the hard tyre which was encouraging. I was pushing hard to pass Van Gisbergen, but it’s hard to pass around here and I couldn’t quite get him which meant I dropped back a few spots. We didn’t quite get the strategy right and I also had a bit of understeer. There’s plenty of elements that we can learn from today.”
CRAIG LOWNDES (VF Holden Commodore, Car #888)
Qualifying Three: 19th (Fastest Lap – 1:30.7071)
Race Three: 10th
Championship: 3rd (1660 pts)
“Whenever the conditions are variable it’s always difficult. We were one of a few cars to start on the hard tyre and the early safety car meant another stop and we went to the back of the field. We had good pace on the soft tyres which was better than yesterday and I was pleased with that. When the heavens opened and the rain came down our car was reasonable. It took a while for the car to get into a groove in the wet, but once we did we managed to creep away and hold a position. All in all it was a decent result for the weekend we’ve had and we also managed to get the fastest lap of the race.”