Lowndes qualified eighth and charged through the field early. He was then second towards the end of the race, suffering from tyre degradation. He managed to hold off a closing van Gisbergen to claim his equal-best result of the season after Abu Dhabi's Race 1. Lowndes now expects more passing in tomorrow's Race 10 after the season's first race using the Dunlop soft-compound tyre only.
“The soft tyre gives you a greater difference in speed,” said Lowndes. “If there were another five laps to go I would have struggled to be in front of Shane, it's one of those things that will play a huge part tomorrow and you'll probably see different speeds from different cars at different times. The passing side will come with that.”
Young Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen finished third in Race 9, his third podium for the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series.
“I learnt last year how much the tyres went off. We did a pretty long run on Friday which gave us an idea of the target lap time and what we had to run for,” said van Gisbergen. “We stuck to that in the race, I conserved a little bit too much, but we were strong in the end of the stint. I dropped to eighth in the first stint and came back through, and in the second stint I pushed a little bit harder. We needed another four laps. But it's a great way to bounce back after the disappointment Hamilton.”
Championship leader Jamie Whincup finished fourth ahead of Garth Tander, Steven Johnson and Lee Holdsworth in seventh. Whincup now leads Courtney by 174 points in the standings.