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Pukekohe podiums just out of reach

A busy day at the ITM 500 Auckland has seen another mixed day for the Red Bull Racing Australia team.

While the morning started out positively with Jamie and Craig finishing second and fourth respectively in practice, the multiple championship-winning drivers struggled to keep the pace up when it mattered.

The first race of the day saw J-Dub start fourth, while Lowndesy was back in 15th after both struggled with traffic during qualifying. The former held onto his start position, but his team-mate dropped a spot to 16th on the bumpy New Zealand circuit.

“In true Red Bull style we fought as hard as we could so I’m proud of that,” said Jamie.

“We just weren’t quick enough for a podium today but we put in our best effort. The key overnight is to try and improve the car speed so I have the best tool possible to fight with tomorrow.”

Qualifying for the third race of the weekend was more fruitful, with Craig claiming seventh on the grid. Jamie was looking good for pole position, but the red flag waved just metres before he crossed the line due to Car 34 hitting the wall, meaning his time was disregarded.

His next fastest lap was still good enough for second though, but that speed disappeared throughout the race as he battled with those charging through the pack, eventually finishing fourth.

“It’s a fine line,” Jamie said, “I fought as hard as I could but if you go too far you end up in the gravel trap. At the end of the day you’ve got to finish races so you have to pick your battles and today the top pack was quick.”

Meanwhile, the No.888 Holden driver crossed the line in 10th, having started seventh.

“It was a tough one today,” he said. “We made some adjustments to the car and I think race three was actually a positive step, although it may not have looked like it.

“Results like today are just the nature of the sport, we have to keep trying things. I did a bit of grass cutting today and took a few polystyrene signs with me along the way so hopefully it made it entertaining for the fans at home.”

The ANZAC weekend action draws to a close tomorrow with a qualifying session and 200km race. Check the telecast schedule here.