After what feels like forever, Red Bull Racing Australia is back on track and off to a strong start in Darwin with Jamie rounding out the day with the second fastest time of Friday’s three practice sessions.
“It’s been a crazy start to the year, it was pretty full on, so it was great to have these extra few weeks in the middle to recharge the batteries,” said the five-time series champion.
“The car’s reasonable, but we’ve got a fair bit of work to do. We had a big programme today after our test day, but there are a lot of question marks still there with the car, but we’re happy after Friday.”
His Holden team-mate Craig felt that the Car 888 crew put a strong car on track in the afternoon following a start that “wasn’t so pretty”.
“I think that we got a good handle on the soft tyre,” Lowndesy said. “We had a 16-lap run, which has given us some good information for tomorrow and onwards.
“I think that we’ve got our heads around the hard tyre although we obviously still need to work on it a little bit more. We didn’t get the best out of our hard tyre run, we got caught up in a little bit of traffic, but in saying that the car felt really good. We’re excited about bouncing back.”
The talk of the weekend though is the number of tyres available, Jamie voicing the general feeling throughout pit lane: “There aren’t enough tyres for the weekend – we’re doing five stints with four sets. Ideally I’d like to go six so that if you’ve got a late-race safety car, you’ve got that joker set everyone can throw on and come barrelling through. It’s worked really well in the past.”
Qualifying for Race One starts at 11:40 Darwin time tomorrow with the race itself kicking off at 14:20 and Race Two starting at 16:30. Click here for the telecast schedule.