It’s a tough game in the racing world. Craig Lowndes is approaching his 100th career win in his V8 Supercars career, and was confident Barbagallo would have been the place for the achievement. Alas, things went awry.
The Red Bull Racing driver fought hard and tough to lead the pack during the 200 kilometer race. With only five laps remaining, things looked bright for Lowndes, but the soft tires began to lose grip. This gave Will Davison just what he needed to swoop in and gain the lead.
“I would have loved to have scored the 100 here, it would have been fitting,” Lowndes said. “I was confident coming in, but credit to Will and the Erebus guys.”
Lowndes was forced to accept his fate as the soft tires he was running lost more, and more grip. He explains the happenings during those last few laps speaking to Motorsport.com saying:
“I thought we were managing the tire reasonably well,” he explained.
“I pushed a little bit hard to get to the front, but once we got to the lead I just managed the gap. I wasn’t silly, I just wanted to look after the car and the tires.
“With five laps the go the car just started to slide in turn one, and I knew at that point.. the soft tire doesn’t recover. I had the front bar full hard, the rear bar full soft, and I still didn’t have enough understeer to balance the car off.
“I tried to go deep [into turn six], slid sideways, then had no drive to try and do the undercut.
“We had to accept [that Will would get past]. We all know what the soft tyre is like; you have to manage the tire, once it falls of that cliff there is no getting it back. With five laps to go it just started to slide, I was hoping maybe Will’s were doing the same.
“For me, I was going to try and make it difficult with what I had, but I don’t think it was too difficult for Will with us sliding down into the bowl. We had nothing to fight with.”
Lowndes admitted later to testing the possibility of reusing soft tires, but said the car wasn’t “looking after them” well enough to run the risk.
“We tried it on Friday and there was no way we could contemplate running the softs twice, we could only run them once,” he said.
There’s always next time. That 100th win will come sooner, rather than later. We’re sure of it for the ever talented Lowndes.