Sun shines for V8 Supercars and Lowndes in Tasmania

2015 V8 Supercars Championship | Tyrepower Tasmania Supersprints

(Qualifying – Race Four and Five)

Article and Images | Rhys Vandersyde -

With the sun finally shining and a good crowd streaming through the gates, an electric atmosphere gripped the Tasmanian track with teams heading out early, keen to perfect their dry set up during the final free practice session of the weekend.

Improved conditions and fresh tyres meant fast times with drivers having only two ten minute qualifying sessions to sort out grid positions for race four and five, both 25 lap sprint races.

Qualifying for Race 4

With pit lane open, cars flooded onto the circuit as they looked to set fast times while avoid slower lap traffic on the short Symmons Plains track.

It didn’t take long for Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Racing Australia/Holden) to find his groove and set a fast time on his second run. A time of 51.6 seconds would establish the benchmark for the rest of the field to follow.

Mark Winterbottom (Pepsi Max Crew/Ford) would be next fastest which by the narrowest of margins eclipsed the time of James Courtney (Holden Racing Team).

Will Davison was the best of the rest, putting his Erebus Mercedes AMG into fourth. Todd Kelly was the fastest of the Nissan’s in 12th. Scott McLaughlin’s run of bad luck continued; only managing to put his Wilson Security Volvo S60 seventeenth.

Qualifying for Race 5

After short 15 minute break, the second qualifying session for the V8 Supercars got underway. Again the entire field shot out of pit lane vying for track position to get a clear fast lap.

Red Bull Racing Australia would again be the team to beat, with both Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup shooting to the top of the timesheets. But again the fastest times would come from the second run of the session.

Lowndes proved to be the man to beat, notching up another 51.6 seconds lap that the rest of the field would fail to beat. Next best was his teammate, Whincup, while James Courtney made it a Holden 1-2-3 in his Holden Racing Team Commodore.

David Reynolds (Bottle-O Racing) and Andre Heimgartner (Super Black Racing) were the best of the Ford Falcon’s in fourth and fifth. While Scott McLaughlin bounced back to put his Volvo S60 into eighth with Will Davidson right behind in his Mercedes Benz E63. Todd Kelly was again the best of the Nissan Altima’s qualifying in twelfth.

Race 4

Launching off front row, Craig Lowndes got away to an early lead in the first of the two 25 lap sprint races of the afternoon. Behind him however, action at the hairpin saw Will Davison get spun around, leaving him to work his way back through the field. Davison and Courtney would later have words regarding the incident although no further action was taken by race officials.

Scott McLaughlin’s issues continued, not even completing a lap before having to return to the pits, ending his race. The engine was out of his Volvo S60 before the end of the race in an effort to get him back on the grid for the second run.

Up front Lowndes cleared away from Winterbottom and Courtney who were left to fight for second and third, while the hairpin claimed another victim in Todd Kelly, sending him to the back of the field.

Lowndes’s (Holden) lead was too much for the rest of the field, taking a rather easy win for Race Four of the 2015 championship. Winterbottom (Ford) held on to second with Courtney (Holden) in third.

Nissan’s James Moffat benefited from others issues, climbing up to 12th, while Davison recovered to 17th in his Mercedes. David Wall nursed his Volvo S60 to 20th trying not to repeat his teammate’s issues.

Race 5

Between the races the Wilson Security Racing crew managed to complete hasty repairs swapping the No. 33 Volvo of McLaughlin, giving him just enough time to make the grid for the second race of the day.

Starting off pole, Lowndes would again clear away to an early lead, this time with Whincup behind. However, the race for third was tight with David Reynolds and James Courtney fighting for the remaining place on the podium.

The Safety Car had to make an appearance on lap four after Andre Heimgartner beached his car in the gravel trap at the chicane. Heimgartner, a series rookie on his first drive at Symmons Plains had been holding on to a respectable fifth place at the time.

The race resumed on lap six with Lowndes again pulling away to a healthy lead. Whincup also gapped the rest of the field while Reynolds and Courtney resumed their battle. Further back in the field, many drivers were pushing hard to make up ground with interesting battles all the way through the top fifteen.

With nine laps to go, Courtney managed to get past Reynolds, before starting to chase down the leading Red Bull Racing Australia cars. But it was all too late for Courtney who remained in third, with Whincup claiming second and Lowndes the win.

Reynold’s held on to fourth place to be the best finishing Ford driver. Will Davison was again the best of the Mercedes finishing in seventh. McLaughlin’s team’s efforts were rewarded with his Volvo finishing just inside the top ten in ninth. Todd Kelly was the best of the Nissan Motorsport drivers holding on to 13th place.

Lowndes’s win was his 99th of his V8 Supercar Championship career. He’ll be aiming to keep up his current form to claim his 100th win in tomorrow’s longer 84 lap race.

Keep tuned to MyDrive for updates on Sunday!.

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