No Le Mans for Craig Lowndes in 2015
The 24 Hours of Spa will be the only European GT event for Craig Lowndes this season after his relationship with AF Corse failed to bear fruit.
The V8 Supercars star made his debut in the race with Ferrari squad AF Corse last year in a relationship that he hoped would lead to a Le Mans seat.
Lowndes had first forged links to the Italian marque’s GT program by winning the Bathurst 12 Hour with local team Maranello Motorsport in February, 2014.
The 40-year-old says that Spa and a possible return to the Highlands Park Australian GT Championship finale will be his only GT appearances.
“I’d love to go back and do Highlands at the end of the year, but outside of that, there won’t be anything else,” Lowndes told Speedcafe.com of his GT plans beyond Spa.
“We looked into AF Corse again to see if there were opportunities there this year but there were no seats available.
“The deal with Roger was basically a case of right place, right time, with a chance meeting at the grand prix (Albert Park).
“I’m really looking forward to that and if we can do Highlands at the end of the year, that’d be great leading again into next year’s (Bathurst) 12 Hour.”
Lowndes raced at Highlands last year in Inky Tulloch’s locally based Chevrolet Camaro, but says that a car for his return is yet to be sorted.
In addition to the Chevrolet and Ferrari, Lowndes also has previous experience in Audi GT3 machinery and now says he’s looking forward to sampling Lago’s Lamborghini.
Driving the car alongside Lago, Steve Owen and David Russell, Lowndes is hopeful of improving on his eighth placed finish from last year in the Ferrari.
“The main goal is to help Roger finish,” said Lowndes.
“Last year I think they got to six o’clock on Saturday morning and had to pull the car out of the race.
“If we could first get to the finish line, that’s the first goal, but I’d like to think that we are no worse off than where we were last year.
“I think the driver line-up is very competitive and he’ll have a new car (currently being built by Reiter Engineering in Germany).
“We’ve got to work with the new Lamborghini and see where that’s at in terms of its aero.
“The Ferrari had some strong points around that track so I’m looking forward to seeing what the Lamborghini is like.”
The Blancpain Endurance Series gets underway this weekend, with Lowndes’ fellow V8 Supercars ace, Shane van Gisbergen, among the field.
Recently signing a factory McLaren contract, Van Gisbergen is slated to compete in four of the five BES rounds, including Spa, with Von Ryan Racing.
The Kiwi will share the #58 650S with Rob Bell and Kevin Estre, while Alvaro Parente, Adrian Quaife Hobbs and Bruno Senna complete the team’s line-up in the sister #59 entry.