Sadly for veteran Supercar driver Craig Lowndes, today was not the day that he managed to add the Pukeohe Raceway to his extensive list of winning venues, when, after two rather poor qualifying performances, he was left battling it out well down the order.
"Qualifying didn't go to plan for race one, I cut through the chicane and then got caught up in traffic, but I got a good start in the race and stayed out of trouble for the first couple of laps," he said on the team’s official website.
Race one saw Craig start all the way down in 21st place, and as he admitted to Greg Murphy on the grid, overtaking is far from easy at this venue so moving up the order was definatley going to be a tall order.
By the time the 35 lap event came to a close, Craig had managed to move up five places, but a 16th place finish was not his idea of a good afternoon.
"The red flag put a halt to the race, but on the restart the car was quite good and looked after its tyres the whole race. We probably had a little bit of high-speed understeer, more than I wanted, but we had really good rear tyre life, which was encouraging. We did the best we could with what we had."
Stating 13th for race two was a little better for the fan favourite, however after getting swamped off the grid, he was sent spiralling back to 18th place…
"In the second race, we made an adjustment to the car, which fixed the balance where we needed, but right at the end I just didn't have enough rear tyre life. We had a ripper start, but got caught up into turn two and I had to go on the grass and fell back a couple of spots. Although we were further back than where we started, the car was definitely better. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, but got to make sure we qualify further up," he finished.