TeamVodafone endurance driver Mark Skaife says he's even better prepared heading into this weekend's L&H 500 than he was prior to winning last year's event.
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Having not raced a V8 Supercar since last October's Bathurst 1000, the Network 7 commentator appeared highly pleased with his speed today.
“I'm fitter than last year, I started the training regime earlier and I've driven the car more this year,” said Skaife after practice.
“I've done more of the co-driver sessions at places that are probably harder to drive the cars.
“To go and drive at Ipswich or Winton for instance isn't really that difficult, but to do the session at Townsville for example was really good for me.
“So I feel better going into these endurance races than I did at this time last year.”
Lowndes also enjoyed the opening day of running at Phillip Island, despite track conditions in the final session hindering his team's practice schedule.
“We didn't quite get through our program due to the (red flag) interruptions and the oil that went down, but really for us it was a great day,” said Lowndes.
“The car is responding to everything we're putting it through, and both Mark and I are comfortable in the car, so I'm delighted.
“There is obviously still a couple of sessions to go yet, but we're in a good frame of mind and will analyse the day a bit further tonight.”
The V8 Supercars field will be split into two tomorrow afternoon, with separate qualifying sessions and 60km races held for those nominated as Driver A and Driver B from each pairing.
The cumulative points from the two races will then determine the starting grid for Sunday's L&H 500.
The teams will submit their final Driver A and B classifications to V8 Supercars this evening. Stay tuned to Speedcafe.com for the full lists.
See below for images from today's three practice sessions
For more on the L&H 500, see Speedcafe.com's V8 Race Guide below