The Australian Grand Prix has so far upheld its reputation with Red Bull Racing Australia as a bogey track as Jamie and Craig struggled to extract pace from their VF Commodores during qualifying and practice at the Albert Park circuit today.
The 30-minute qualifying session sets the grid for the first of the weekend’s 12-lap races with rolling starts featuring for the second consecutive year. Jamie and Craig will start ninth and 13th respectively.
“It was a really disappointing run,” Jamie said afterwards. “The car was quite difficult to drive and we just didn’t get it all together. I made a mistake on my first flying lap at turn one so that was another nail in the coffin and unfortunately we’re back in ninth. I hit the brakes and she locked up, so I’ll put my hand up for that one.
“In saying that though, I got a good second lap in so we showed our hand and our hand wasn’t good enough. I wouldn’t mind a top ten shootout right now to try and get back up there, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
“It should be good fun in the races tomorrow with the rolling starts. It’s not really the place I wanted to start, but that’s life and we’ll see if we can pick a few off in the race.”
Despite the lack of speed, Lowndesy is optimistic that he and new engineer, Grant McPherson, are making ground together: “I think we’re still finding our footing. The car wasn’t perfect in qualifying. We made an error in that last run, which made the car too nervous, but up until then the car balance wasn’t too bad, so we induced our own issue a little bit towards the end.
“We’re still learning, Grant and I are working well together. We’ve made the car nicer over the day, so we’ll just keeping working for tomorrow. They’re only 12 lap races, so we’ll have to come up with a plan and see where we end up. The 12 laps aren’t long enough to get back from where we are. The only benefit is that you start where you finish races, so our aim now is to work our way forward and see where we end up come Sunday.”
Tomorrow’s races get underway at 2:20pm and 6:20pm AEDT. Click here to view TV schedules.