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Lowndes chases third straight Darwin win
1 January 1901
Team Vodafone driver Craig Lowndes will be looking for his third consecutive round win at Hidden Valley Raceway next weekend as the V8 Supercar Championship heads to the Darwin venue for the latest round of the year.
Lowndes was a clear round winner in 2007, recording a third place followed by two race wins. A year earlier, he kickstarted his stellar run of results in the Northern Territory, with a fourth, third and first placings across the races ensuring the top step of the podium was all his.
Lowndes said he was looking forward to the Hidden Valley event but was wary that the introduction of a new control tyre by V8 Supercars could change car setups considerably.
"This is one of my favourite events, it has a fantastic relaxed atmosphere and I have had a pretty good strike rate the past couple of years," he said. "I will definitely be out to try and make it three round wins in three years but we will have a new challenge this year with the introduction of the new tyre compound.
"This could change the characteristics of the car setup considerably – the key to success will be to get on top of this as quick as possible. It is also one of the hottest events on the calendar so the team will be doing their best to keep us cool."
Lowndes' teammate and winner of the previous round at Sandown, Jamie Whincup, echoed his thoughts about the impact of a new control tyre, introduced by the category to reduce environmental impact.
"I believe that we're all in for a big change with the new tyre and the driver/engineer combination that gets a handle on it the quickest will be rewarded in the short term," he said. "The team has won here the past two seasons, and we won the previous round, so we are in a good position heading into this round.
"I love the warm conditions and the atmosphere that Darwin offers. The people really embrace the race and everyone is there to have a good time."
Whincup is currently third in the chase for the 2008 title, with Lowndes close behind in fifth.
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