Race Preview: Newcastle 500
Legendary Supercars driver Craig “Lowndesy” Lowndes is preparing for his final full-time driver after a stellar Supercars career.
The Newcastle 500 might be ramping up to showcase a grand finale of epic proportions with Lowndesy’s team mate Shane van Gisbergen battling rival Scotty McLaughlin, but on our side of the garage, it’s going to be a farewell of epic proportions as we celebrate the fantastic career of Craig Lowndes.
665 races, 107 race wins, 166 podiums to date and just two races to go…
We know it’s going to be a different chapter for the world of Supercars when Lowndesy hangs up the helmet full-time, but how does the man himself actually feel?
“It will be emotional. I have no doubt that come Sunday, it will really hit home that it will be the last time I will be in a supercar,” Craig said.
“It would be nice to be on top of the top step on Sunday, if that could be scripted and all of the other drivers could be kind to me, that’d be great, but I don’t think it’s going to happen that away.
“It will mean a lot to win a race at Newcastle.
“This year we go in with more knowledge and experience, but all cars are going to be much stronger.”
After a somewhat forgetful Newcastle campaign in 2017, which saw Lowndesy record two DNFs, Craig is keen to have a good crack and go out strong whilst also supporting his team mate SVG in the championship battle.
“Knowing that Shane and Scotty are going for championship, it’ll be all hands on deck, they’ll be fighting tooth and nail for the championship,” Craig continued.
“As we saw last year, it came down to the last lap of the championship and there’s no doubt this year will be the same.
“I think it’ll just come down to the driver that makes the least number of mistakes – they both know the circuits very well.
“Jamie and I are there to give Shane team mate support, I don’t want to make the same mistake as last year, but we want to try and be there for Shane, whether that’s by qualifying strongly, having three fast cars and being in front of Scotty.
“There’s no doubt that Fabian and all of that crew will be there to help Scotty as well, so it will be the same either way.”
No doubt, whatever happens in Newcastle this year, it will be a memorable one for not only Craig but the team and the fans around the nation.