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Lowndes: losing Pukekohe is a shame


Ford Falcon racer Craig Lowndes says that though he regrets the loss of Pukekohe, he’s looking forward to the challenge of the new Hamilton street circuit.

April 19, 2007, 9.30pm. Australian V8 Supercar star Craig Lowndes says it's a shame to see the fast Pukekohe track south of Auckland go from the series.

This weekend’s round of the V8 Supercar series is the last at Pukekohe before the series moves to Hamilton and a street circuit for 2008.

“By the same token I'm excited about going to Hamilton next year,” Lowndes says.

"We've had good cars a number of times during the six years we've been going to Pukekohe but a win has eluded us - it'd be great to change that this weekend."

Lowndes says he likes the new Formula 1-inspired, elimination qualifying format for the Supercar series.

Thirty-one cars start the session, dropping to 20 and finally 10 cars at 15-minute intervals during the 45 minutes.

Lowndes is one of only seven drivers to make it through to the final session in both of the opening rounds.

"I like the new qualifying format,” he says. “It's more intense and the car and driver combination has to be totally right.”

Lowndes says qualifying at the last round, at Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway was certainly intense.

“We lap the circuit in under 60 seconds, so when you have 31 cars out there on a very short circuit, there was a lot of congestion.

"While Pukekohe has a similar lap time, traffic won't be as much of an issue because there’s the long back-straight to get out of people's way, but at some of the tighter circuits we visit there could well be issues with people getting held up."



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