V8 Supercars superstar Craig Lowndes is in a race for fitness ahead of the 2016 season after breaking his collarbone in a motorbike crash.
The Triple Eight driver sustained the broken collarbone and other minor injuries when he crashed his motorbike last Sunday.
Lowndes will now need to undergo surgery, which means he won’t be taking part in next month’s Bathurst 12 Hour.
He had been set to race an Audi R8 for Melbourne Performance Centre.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed to be missing the [Bathurst] 12 Hour but my focus is on being fully recovered and ready to go for the V8 Supercars season, which I am on course to do,” said Lowndes.
The veteran now faces a race for fitness ahead of V8 Supercars pre-season testing,which begins at the end of February.
Top Audi drive up for grabs
Lowndes’s injury means that there is a top Audi drive going for the 12 Hour. According to Melbourne Performance Centre’s Troy Russell, the search for a replacement driver have started.
“We’re obviously disappointed that we won’t be able to have Craig’s huge talent and experience in the Jamec-Pem Racing Audi R8 this February, but his recovery is clearly the priority,” he said.
“We’re working on securing a suitable replacement that will ensure that entry remains extremely competitive. The process is already underway and we hope to announce the new driver soon.
“We’re wishing Craig all the best in his recovery.”