It’s been a day that no one’s going to forget in a hurry in the Red Bull Racing Australia garage.
After starting with two front row lockouts in qualifying, Jamie taking pole in both sessions, the Red Bull Holdens proceeded to charge away from the rest of the field in the first race, their pace far superior to their chasers.
However, some exchanging of paint between the team-mates after a Safety Car restart saw Car 1 take the lead – and the win – and Craig relegated to the mid-pack, eventually finishing eighth.
In race two a comeback was on the cards for Lowndesy who was forced to start from the back of the grid in the midst of Stickergate – a penalty handed out for a piece of tape laid over a section of the window on the No. 888 Commodore.
He had no intention of being held back for long though, as Craig engaged in a full-steam-ahead charge and was soon breathing down the necks of the frontrunners, ultimately finishing a fantastic fifth, while Jamie claimed his second race win of the day.
“It was a very up and down day,” Jamie admitted afterwards, despite his full set of results.
“Lowndsey and I have been racing together for eight years and we’ve never made contact before so it was an ordinary situation for the team today. I went for the pass and thought I had the line but it ended up with Craig off the track so I apologise for that. I’m lucky he’s a good bloke and he might let me off but I think I owe him one.
“Both our VF Commodores were incredibly quick today and as it always seems to go at Symmons Plains it was another battle with Ford Performance Racing so we knew we had to stay out of trouble, avoid the pebbles on the track and we managed to do that and get the ultimate result.”
Rest assured that the air is completely clear in the RBRA camp, but Craig admits the result was far from ideal: “Race one of course was disappointing.
“Jamie and I have had so many good battles over all the years we’ve raced together but we’ve never had something like this. Normally the situation would be clarified as a racing incident but because we’re team-mates of course it’s under the microscope a little more. We’re over it. We got on with it today as we will tomorrow.
“Unfortunately we got handed a penalty to start at the back of the grid in Race Two after having a sticker over the safety hole in our window which I don’t agree with but at the end of the day that’s racing. We put our heads down and knew that we’d be in traffic so JJ and the team worked on adjustments to make us faster in the congestion. I knew I had to stay out of trouble and look after the tyres and we didn’t make any mistakes.
“I had a fire in my belly which obviously pushed me harder so I think the team will be asking me to bring that every weekend now.”
Tune into tomorrow at 3.55pm AEDT for what will undoubtedly be an action-packed 200km race at Symmons Plains. Check the telecast schedule here.