BENALLA, AUSTRALIA - MAY 20: Craig Lowndes drives the #888 TeamVortex Holden Commodore VF during qualifying for race 9 for the Winton SuperSprint, which is part of the Supercars Championship at Winton Motor Raceway on May 20, 2017 in Benalla, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Although it wasn't the podium finish he had hoped for, team Vortex driver Craig Lowndes drove a brilliant race around Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday afternoon to bring the 888 home in seventh place.

After starting the race from tenth on the grid, Lowndsey knew he had a tough race ahead of him….

"I think everyone will say that they could have done better," he no.888 Holden driver said. "We learnt a lot, our qualifying is definitely improving. To be in the top 10 again was nice."

Keeping his nose clean into turn one, Craig moved up a position to ninth, but although he had the pace to keep moving forward, he just couldn't make the move on the tightly packed bunch in front of him. He did pick up another position when van Gisbergen went off track after a coming together with McLaughlin.

"It's very close out there and the race itself was quite entertaining. We had a slightly slow pit stop, which cost us a little bit of time. The safety car came out towards the end and we had a great battle," he continued. "Cars were going everywhere, we had some contact with other cars, but we had a very strong car in the end."

His final move up to seventh place came when the Erebus of David Reynolds ahead of him suffered damage and fell back to P8 in the dying stages.

"Once we got clean air, our car was very strong and I think we could have been a bit further up, but that's the ifs and buts. We'll see what tomorrow brings, but I'm really excited for the development and the progression that we've made as a team."