Lowndes the man to beat

CRAIG Lowndes has finally hit top gear in this year's V8 Supercars series, and again looms as the man to beat this weekend at Eastern Creek.

Lowndes is still fourth on the overall standings, but closed the gap on the leaders after winning both races at Ipswich earlier this month.

He has won more races at Eastern Creek (five), than anyone else who will line-up this weekend.

And while the circuit has been altered since the V8s last raced there back in 2008, Lowndes set the fastest time at last year's test day, half a second faster than Mark Skaife's all-time record set in 1999.

Saturday will feature a 140km (36 lap) race, while Sunday's 220km test (56 laps) will be the longest since 2004 when Rick Kelly won a wet 67-lapper.



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