HE will start Sunday’s Bathurst 1000 from 19th on the grid, but Craig Lowndes is remaining positive as he hunts for his seventh Great Race crown.
Lowndes has been a regular in the top 10 shootout at Mount Panorama and felt he was on track to once more take part in Saturday afternoon’s one-lap flyer.
But a mistake during qualifying on Friday meant he did not show the potential he feels his #888 Holden Commodore has.
His best lap was a 2:05.5625, a time slower than the 2:04.9137 he clocked in practice.
It left Lowndes, who won the Bathurst 12 Hour at Mount Panorama earlier this year, disappointed. Still, he knows his car is better than position 19 suggests.
“It was a disappointing end to the day, we had a good car and really positive through the practice sessions,” Lowndes, who will share his seat with Steve Richards, said.
“We worked on qualifying speed and if we had completed the lap that I went off, we would have been close to the 10, so we know the car has the potential and speed.
“I just made a mistake into The Chase, broke a little bit late, locked up the front left and went through the gravel trap. We tried to do another run, there was just so much gravel coming out of the car, it was like driving on ice.”
Last year before a mechanical issue cruelled their chances, Richards and Lowndes were in a good position during the Bathurst 1000 after starting from position 16.
That gives Lowndes confidence.
“To start 19th is disappointing to know where the car's potential is but we know around here it's a long day,” Lowndes said.
“We started 16th last year and were in the top 10 quite quickly and early.”