Third podium and championship lead after Ipswich 400

Red Bull Racing Australia rounded out the Ipswich 400 with Craig claiming his third second-place finish of the weekend and Jamie climbing to the top of the championship ladder, finishing sixth in today’s 200km race.

After an average qualifying session in which Lowndesy set the ninth fastest time, the team opted to bring the No.888 Holden into the pits early, a strategy that paid off: “We didn’t have the qualifying that we wanted today so we knew that it was going to be a tough race.

“We had a few potential strategies going into the race but we ended up being stuck in traffic so it was a great call by the team to pit after lap one. This allowed us some clean air but with two longer stints we had to make sure that we looked after the tyre life but continued to push hard to keep track position and manage the gap to Chaz Mostert.

“We had great speed in the last stint of the race and it was great to be able to bring it home to stand second on the podium.”

Lack of pace saw Jamie unable to push for a podium finish, but he leaves Queensland Raceway with the championship lead in hand for the first time this season.

“My day was relatively uneventful to be honest,” he said.

“This year, more so than ever, the competition has been incredibly close between all of the teams and drivers, which has been great for the category so I’m proud to be at the front at this stage in the championship.

“To lead the championship you need a quick car and to be consistent and we’ve managed to do a good job at that over the last few rounds, but of course we still have to find some pace in some areas.

“Everyone has been competitive this year but respect has to be paid to Ford Performance Racing and the Holden Racing Team because they’ve done a great job so far and they’ll no doubt be strong at the end of the year so it will be a battle right to the end.”

Jamie’s lead sees him on 1,790 points, Winterbottom sits behind on 1,775 and Craig has reclaimed third with 1,628.

The next round of the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship is the Sydney Motorsport Park 400 from the 22nd and 24th August.