Lowndes Scores Runner-Up on the Gold Coast
00 Motorsport’s Craig Lowndes has scored his best result of the 2002 V8 Supercar season with second placing, despite scoring the same points as winner Jason Bargwanna, in the Gillette Challenge, round 11 of the 2002 V8 Supercar Championship, on the streets of Surfers Paradise.
Lowndes and Bargwanna both scored 144 points from the two 100 kilometre races, but Bargwanna was overall winner as he won the final race of the meeting.
After finishing third in the opening 22-lap race yesterday afternoon, Lowndes took second today in wet and slippery conditions.
After a week of dry hot weather, wet weather kept crews guessing in today’s race, as constant drizzle made tyre strategy a tough call.
Lowndes made a great start taking the lead by the first corner. He was passed by Greg Murphy at the end of the opening lap and was looking strong holding down second place.
The majority of crews waited as long possible before making their compulsory tyre stop, with the exception being race one winner Murphy, who changed from wet weather tyres to slicks. That call did not pay off as he dropped to 18th position.
After his stop Lowndes had to fight his way back towards the front, passing Garth Tander along the way. With the laps running out he choose to settle for second and not risk making any mistakes on the greasy track.
“The conditions were very tough today and it was a situation where you needed to stay off the kerbs and keep it on the road,” said Lowndes.
“The car was very strong today and although we weren’t officially named the winner, I feel more than satisfied with the result.
“There was plenty of pressure on, especially for the boys in the pits who had one eye on the track and the other to sky.
“I also moved up two spots in the championship today, so if we can keep that run going we’ll finish off the year up in a good position.”
Coming into the event, all teams were concerned about the possibility of heavy damage on the narrow street course. Fortunately none of the Ford teams suffered serious accident damage. Crews now just have three days to prepare their racecars, before they are loaded on to a boat for the trip across the Tasman for the next round at Pukekohe Park south of Auckland on November 8 -10.