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First pole position for Team Betta Electrical

19/4/2005 13:43 (Press Release) - Qualifying and Race One of the Placemakers V8 International proved an interesting but positive mix of results for Team Betta Electrical. Saturday’s qualifying session saw Steve Ellery place eleventh and Craig Lowndes earning a position in the Top 10 Shootout to eventually start Race One in pole position.

The pole was Craig’s first since 2002 and fifteenth for his V8 career.

“I couldn’t be happier - not only for myself but for the whole team. The environment at Triple Eight is great: It lets me focus purely on getting to the front while the team focuses on putting together a car that is better than the rest,” said Craig straight after the shootout.

“The track at Pukekohe has only just been resurfaced and we’re all taking about a second off our times, so it’s a fast field out there.”

In what was almost a replay of the final race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, Craig was involved in an incident early into the first lap of Race One.

“Craig had an excellent start to the race and was running slightly ahead of the Pirtek car approaching Turn 2,” explained Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Team Principal, Roland Dane. “The Team Betta Electrical car was in front, but on the entry to the second corner contact was made with our left rear quarter panel. This took Craig off the road, through the dirt and he then made contact with the Pirtek car a second time, spinning around one final time and taking him back to dead last.

“Craig has an amazing amount of talent to be able to turn these sorts of situations around however and managed to remain focused and work his way back through the pack to salvage some valuable points.”

Meanwhile, Steve Ellery went into today’s race determined to make a big comeback after his dramatic Turn 8 Adelaide accident.

“Our strategy today was to get a good start, keep out of trouble and hold position until an early pit stop,” said Steve. “Our Team is one of the best in the Series at wheel changes and today’s was awesome. The quick change let me get back out there, set myself up to pass some traffic and keep working my way up to the front of the pack.”

Both Steve and Craig maintained good speed throughout to finish fourth and fourteenth respectively.

Race 2 of the Placemakers V8 International starts at 12.05pm on Sunday (New Zealand time) with 50 laps.

Release Date: 16/04/2005

Team Betta Electrical - Triple 8