Supercars legend Lowndes announces retirement

Craig Lowndes has confirmed he'll retire as a full-time Supercars driver at the end of the 2018 season.

Supercars legend Lowndes announces retirement

The veteran superstar will call time on a career that spans more than two decades and yielded three Australian Touring Car Championship titles, six Bathurst 1000 crowns, and 106 ATCC/Supercars race wins.

Lowndes, who is contracted to Triple Eight until the end of the 2019 season, will carry on with the team as an endurance driver.

He will also be part of the Supercars TV broadcast team.

“I’ve always said there are two key factors keeping me racing and those are my motivation to keep getting up and doing what I love and my competitiveness, and for me, nothing has changed," said Lowndes.

"But at the same time I want to make sure I finish my last full-time season with some strong results in the bag and after this year’s results so far [Triple Eight boss] Roland [Dane] and I came to the decision between us that this will be my last full season behind the wheel.

“I definitely won’t be pursuing a drive with any other teams in Supercars.

"I’ll be staying with Triple Eight and I’m looking forward to an exciting new chapter as an ambassador for the team and of course co‑driving with Triple Eight in the enduros. I’m also pleased to announce that I’ll be joining the broadcast team, which is something I’m really looking forward to. It’s not the last time you’ll see this grin in pitlane.

Lowndes, 44, made his ATCC debut for the Holden Racing Team as an endurance driver alongside Brad Jones back in 1994, before replacing Tomas Mezera as one of the team's full-time drivers for the 1996 season.

He immediately won the first of three championships, as well as both the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000.

An unsuccessful stint in European Formula 3000 followed in 1997, Lowndes then returning to Australia and HRT to win another pair of ATCC titles in 1998 and 1999.

In 2000 Lowndes made one of the most publicised manufacturer changes in ATCC/Supercars when he switched from Holden to Ford, that ultimately paving the way for a move to the newly-formed Triple Eight outfit – which was running Fords at the time – for the 2005 season.

Lowndes has driven for Triple Eight ever since, racking up another five Bathurst crowns along the way, including the emotional 2006 race just weeks after mentor Peter Brock was killed.

However a fourth title has remained elusive, Lowndes finishing second in the points six times since joining Triple Eight.

“It will be an extremely emotional day on Sunday of Newcastle when Craig heads out for his final race as a full-time driver, but we’re delighted that he’s chosen to stay with Triple Eight next year and hopefully into the future," added Dane.

"He’s a massive part of the team here and has played a huge role in making Triple Eight what it is today.

“We don’t know yet who Craig’s going to be co-driving with for the enduros – that depends on the structure of the team – but he’s undoubtedly got a few more Bathurst wins in him.”

Lowndes' future has been subject of much speculation over the past 12 months, much of it fuelled by a disappointing 2017 which saw him finish 10th in the points, his first time out of the top four since joining Triple Eight.

However he's enjoyed a resurgence this year, and currently sits fourth in the points heading into this weekend's Townsville round.

shares
comments
Percat to run Dunlop livery in Townsville
Previous article

Percat to run Dunlop livery in Townsville

Next article

Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen fastest in opening practice

Townsville Supercars: Van Gisbergen fastest in opening practice
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

Supercars
Oct 21, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020