It wasn’t the opening day Craig Lowndes was hoping for at the Phillip Island venue in Melbourne today when he was forced to sit out the second free practice session sue to a huge shunt in practice one.
The very likeable Aussie driver had an issue with his front right hand side tyre that saw him go into the gravel, hit the wall, fly into the air and land back on all four wheels. Luckily Craig was uninjured int eh shunt, however the car was very badly damaged as a result and needed extensive repairs.
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As there was only a few hours between sessions, it was impossible for the team to fix everything in time, so Lowndsey took the opportunity to join former teammate Mark Skaife in the commentary box for the second session….
“It’s a bit of a disappointing day really,” Craig said afterwards. “We were making good progress with the car in practice one, we made a few setup changes and the car was working really well. We’ve got to understand what caused that front right tyre to blow and that’s the main objective from today. The car was working alright up until the crash. We hadn’t had a chance to put our second set of tyres on, which we were about to.”
The crew will now work all night to ensure the car is ready for Craig come qualifying here on Saturday, but there will be no further practice for Craig before the 20 minute session gets underway.
“We’ll go into qualifying tomorrow after gaining more of an understanding from the Red Bull Holden guys next door to make sure we get it right,” Lowndes continued. “The team is doing really well putting the car back together. The good thing is the main structure of the car is in good condition. It’s a shame that we don’t get a chance to give the car a run before tomorrow, but that’s the way it is. I’m confident that we’ll do our best in qualifying.”