Plain sailing for Whincup, Lowndes

HOLDEN teammates Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes went their own eventful ways before being reunited as the fastest drivers in V8 Supercar practice at Symmons Plains yesterday.

Reigning champion Whincup lost an entire session to a mechanical issue while series leader Lowndes spun off late in the day, but the Red Bull duo were still head and shoulders above the best of the rest.

Lowndes topped the first two practice sessions before Whincup set the best time of the day _ 51.3348 seconds _ to lead by 0.06 with Chaz Mostert's Ford Falcon third.

``It's super-quick,'' Whincup said of the shortened 20-minute sessions.

``You can have one little issue and there goes your session, like what happened to me in P1. We had a power-steering problem, it took about 15 minutes to fix, we got back out and with the shortness of the session that was me done and we were in catch-up mode all day from there.

``[But] we put on a good set of tyres at the end there and 51.3 in those conditions I think is quite competitive.

``It's a challenging track at Symmons Plains to get the tyre temperature up with only a few corners in cool conditions but I'm confident in our set-up for the rest of the weekend.''

After being fastest twice and then second only to his teammate, Lowndes was also happy with his day's work.

``The car's working pretty well and we've had three good sessions. We're happy,'' he said. 

``I went a bit deeper into turn six and didn't quite make it, but it is quite hard around here to try and find a little bit of a gain through the corners.''

Commodores filled five of the top seven places with Scott McLaughlin's Volvo in sixth, Michael Caruso's Nissan eighth and Lee Holdsworth steering the quickest Mercedes to 10th. 

Two 100-kilometre races today precede a 200km race tomorrow.

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