Craig Lowndes not sure V8 Supercars will hit 300km/h at Bathurst

Holden driver Craig Lowndes is not convinced V8 Supercars will eclipse the 300km/h barrier during this week's Bathurst 1000

Craig Lowndes not sure V8 Supercars will hit 300km/h at Bathurst

Cars have traditionally hit the 7500rpm limiter on the long run down Conrod Straight, reaching a top speed in the vicinity of 295-298km/h.

In 2005, six-time winner Larry Perkins said his team had data that the Commodore of Steven Richards and Paul Dumbrell reached 300km/h on several occasions during practice and qualifying, but similar claims are few and far between in the history of the race.

A decade on, a new drop gear with a taller final drive ratio was introduced during last month's Sandown 500, ahead of the series' centrepiece race.

The outsider's guide to Bathurst

The change is tipped to help cars reach a theoretical top speed closer to 310km/h, but five-time Bathurst winner Lowndes is not sure that will eventuate.

"We changed the final drive at Sandown and it didn't change anything, to be honest, because we had a head wind for most of the weekend," he told Autosport.

"But what it will do, the biggest change, will be that when we're in a slipstream it won't be running on the rev limiter, which has obviously been an issue for some teams and manufacturers, breaking components in the car.

"That will definitely help that cause.

"And if we get a tailwind, we might be a lot closer to that 300 mark than we have been in the past."

TRIPLE EIGHT'S BEST CHANCE OF SILVERWARE?

Ford's Prodrive Racing Australia has emerged as the form team in 2015, occupying the top three spots in the drivers' standings.

Sandown winner Mark Winterbottom holds a 198-point lead over Chaz Mostert and the pair look set to fight it out to win PRA's maiden title.

Lowndes is fourth in the standings, 423 points behind, with six-time champion team-mate Jamie Whincup eighth, 629 adrift.

While Winterbottom and Mostert won Bathurst in 2013 and '14 respectively, Lowndes acknowledges that a win this weekend could represent a high-point for Triple Eight this year.

"We always talk about that if you can't win a championship, you want to make sure you win Sandown and Bathurst, either one, to make your year worthwhile," Lowndes said.

"So I know that the team is very focused on Bathurst.

"Jamie's sitting eighth in the championship, I'm fourth, and the way Prodrive is going at the moment it looks like one of their cars may end up being on the top step in the championship.

"So we've got to capitalise on what we can do, and we believe Bathurst might be our best shot."

In this week's edition of AUTOSPORT magazine, available on Thursday Craig Lowndes outlines how to win the Bathurst 1000.

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The outsider's guide to Bathurst

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