Craig Lowndes after winning his seventh Bathurst crown last year. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Craig Lowndes after winning his seventh Bathurst crown last year. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Lowndes’ power move to break Brock’s Bathurst record

CRAIG Lowndes will resume his bid to become Bathurst's greatest ever driver with the Holden hero to come out of retirement for another shot at Mount Panorama glory.

Only two wins away from equalling Peter Brock's all-time Bathurst winning record of nine, Lowndes declared his intention to win his 8th crown at the official launch of this year's Bathurst 1000.

Retiring from full-time driving at the end of last year, Lowndes will drive alongside Jamie Whincup in a Red Bull Racing Australia super-team for the V8 endurance season - beginning with the Bathurst 1000 on October 13.

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"It is quite exciting to be coming back and driving with Jamie,'' Lowndes said.

"It is quite a big change to be coming back as a co-driver, especially after I was lucky enough to win it last year with Richo (Steven Richardson).

"I just love that time of year and I really embrace the energy of Bathurst.''

Lowndes has watched the season unfold from pit-lane after pulling the plug on the stellar full-time career that saw him win three championship and seven Bathurst titles.

Craig Lowndes celebrates the win. Picture: Getty
Craig Lowndes celebrates the win. Picture: Getty

"It has been interesting watching things unfold from the sidelines,'' Lowndes said.

"I have been watching the development of the teams and cars and I am really excited about the challenge of getting back behind the wheel.''

Lowndes will play the unfamiliar role of second fiddle this year with full-time driver Whincup expected to drive the bulk of the 161 laps.

"It is a very different role for me this year,'' Lowndes said.

"I will be the co-driver and I will just be focused on race pace and doing the long run. Jamie will be focusing on the qualifying and the finishing of the race.

Supercars drivers (L-R) Scott McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert, Steve Richards, David Reynolds, Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup and Scott Pye at the Bathurst 1000. Picture: Tim Hunter
Supercars drivers (L-R) Scott McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert, Steve Richards, David Reynolds, Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup and Scott Pye at the Bathurst 1000. Picture: Tim Hunter

"My mindset will still be the same going in when it comes to preparation and getting organised.''

Lowndes will be out to rack up his fourth win with Whincup after pulling of the first ever "three-peat'' while driving alongside the fellow immortal before a V8 rule change stopped full-time drivers from pairing up.

"It will be special to drive alongside Jamie,'' Lowndes said.

"And I think we will be a chance. We go there with the same mindset every year and that is that if we get it all right we will be in the mix.

"I just love this event for so many reasons and for me I will go there and do my best for Jamie and hopefully he will bring it home and get the chequered flag.

Jamie Whincup (L) and Craig Lowndes will team-up again.
Jamie Whincup (L) and Craig Lowndes will team-up again.

"I wouldn't be pairing up with Jamie if I did not believe it was the best opportunity for me to win. It was easy for me to slip into a co-driver role and I was very happy to be with either Jamie or Shane (van Gisbergen).

"I have great history with Jamie and hopefully it is the start of another three-peat.''

The Supercars season resumes on October 23 with the OTR SuperSprint in Adelaide.