A trouble-free return to V8 Supercars from a broken collarbone has Craig Lowndes full of confidence ahead of next month’s season-opener in Adelaide.
The veteran cut his first laps in his brand new TeamVortex Holden since having surgery in January at a test day at Queensland Raceway on Thursday.
“I pulled up better than expected,” said Lowndes.
“I thought I would’ve been a little bit sore to be honest, but I didn’t have any issues at all throughout the day.”
Paul Dumbrell, teammate Jamie Whincup’s co-driver, was on hand in case Lowndes couldn’t drive.
But he pushed on, working for the first time with Ludo Lacroix as his engineer.
Lacroix replaces Grant McPherson, who will be Shane van Gisbergen’s engineer.
“It was nice to have a day under our belt,” added Lowndes.
“Yes, he probably says and thinks a little bit differently to what I was used to last year but it’s been a very productive day to learn that side of it.”
Lowndes finished the day third fastest of the three Queensland-based teams who tested, behind new DJR Team Penske duo Scott Pye and Fabian Coulthard.
And while it was only a test, it provided a shot in the arm for the 41-year-old just a fortnight out from the Clipsal 500 starting March 3.
“I’m a lot more confident now going into Clipsal than what I was probably 24 hours ago,” he said.
“Clipsal, being a street circuit, is obviously going to be a bit more demanding on the body, but I feel good, the car feels good, so I’m really looking forward it.”