Motorsport: Emperor of Ipswich ready to add to legacy

Craig Lowndes during practice ahead of the Townsville 400. Photo / Getty Images
Craig Lowndes during practice ahead of the Townsville 400. Photo / Getty Images

Craig Lowndes may be the Emperor of Ipswich but that does not mean he knows how he got there.

"I don't know to be honest," Lowndes said when asked why he had won more races at the Queensland Raceway than any driver in Supercars history.

The Triple Eight Race Engineering gun will head into this weekend's Ipswich Super Sprint having claimed 11 victories at the track.

It is one of three tracks, along with Barbagallo and Phillip Island, that Lowndes has more wins at than any other driver.

Ipswich is as close as a "home race" comes for the Brisbane-based Lowndes and the 42-year-old said he feels more confident heading to a track where he has had plenty of success.

"You definitely go there with more confidence," he said.

"Our history shows we've had some good results. There's no doubts we expect to go well.

"We'll go there with all intentions to try to put the car on pole and win races."

Lowndes is sitting fourth in the championship standings, having struggled at the last event in Townsville.

Team Vortex had fuel and tyre issues, contributing to finishes of 12th and 10th, which saw Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Mark Winterbottom stretch their lead at the top of the standings.

"It wasn't our weekend," Lowndes said.

"We're going back to a track we know really well and looking forward to bouncing back.

"(Ipswich) is not the most technical track, being only six corners, but with that you need to make sure every corner is a winner. You don't have many opportunities to make time up.

"You need to qualify in the first couple of rows to have any chance of a good result."

The first half of the season was a learning experience for Lowndes as he adapted to changes that came with the creation of Team Vortex.

If you told him before the season he would be fourth in the standings at the halfway mark of the championship he would have taken it, but Lowndes believes he should be higher.

"I am happy but I'm disappointed about Townsville," he said.

"We lost a lot of points over that weekend. We need to bounce back.

"I was hoping to be in the top three at this stage of the season and we are fourth. We're not too far away from our expectations.

"At the same time, knowing what's happened now we should be closer to the front than where we are.

"If you look at our forecast at the start of the year I'm happy, but if you look at our results and what we've been able to achieve, we're disappointed we're not closer to the front."

Practice will be held on Friday at the Queensland Raceway with races to be contested on Saturday and Sunday.

- news.com.au

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