Bathurst: Lowndes still 'man to beat'

Craig Lowndes during qualifying for the Bathurst 1000. Photo / Getty Images
Craig Lowndes during qualifying for the Bathurst 1000. Photo / Getty Images

He's the man on pole position for today's Bathurst 1000 but Ford's Will Davison still firmly believes Holden's Craig Lowndes is the man to beat in the V8 Supercars race.

Lowndes, trying for a sixth crown in the 50th year of touring car endurance racing at Mount Panorama, could only qualify in ninth position.

But Davison, who claimed pole position by the narrowest of margins from Holden ace Jamie Whincup in Saturday's top 10 shootout, said a poor one-lap run by Lowndes doesn't mean the 38-year-old can be discounted.

"Lowndesy's just a machine round here come the race,'' said Davison, the 2009 Bathurst champion.

"He certainly hasn't been, over one lap, super-fast this year but generally come race time it's a whole new ball game.

"You know he'll be very fast in race trim. Absolutely I think he's one of the key threats.''

Aside from Lowndes, defending champion Garth Tander cannot be ruled out of contention either and will start his Holden Racing Team Commodore from sixth.

Davison's Ford Performance Racing teammate Mark Winterbottom will start from fourth in an all-Ford second row with young New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen in third spot.

Whincup said all the main contenders will go into Sunday's race believing they can take out the great race.

"Let's not disrespect this race,'' the three-time winner said.

"The fastest guy doesn't always win, sometimes even someone out of the top 10 can win this race depending on what curve balls are thrown.''

- AAP

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