FEATURE: Lowndes’ five best V8 Supercars wins
Craig Lowndes made his V8 debut at Sandown in 1994, but it would not be until 1996 when the youngster made his championship debut for the Holden Racing Team.
He stayed with the factory team until the end of 2000, when he jumped across to Ford in a $1 million signing orchestrated by the Blue Oval’s then Australian boss Geoff Polites.
Lowndes stayed at the Gibson/00 Motorsport operation until the end of 2002 before he moved across to Ford Performance Racing for two seasons.
He was hired by Roland Dane at Triple Eight in 2005 when he led to the to its first victory at Eastern Creek and has remained with the Brisbane squad ever since.
Here is a look back at five of Lowndes more memorable wins:
1996 Eastern Creek Race 2
Lowndes made his championship debut alongside Peter Brock at the Holden Racing Team in the 1996 season-opener.
After finishing second to Ford’s defending champion John Bowe in the first heat, Lowndes came out in the second race to street the opposition.
Lowndes flashed across the line to take the chequered flag by a decisive margin from Neil Crompton (Wayne Gardner Racing Coca-Cola Commodore) and Russell Ingall (Castrol Commodore).
1999 Adelaide 500
The championship arrived on a modified version of the former F1 grand prix track for the first time which offered a profound test of man and machine.
Lowndes was handed a penalty for collecting the Falcon of Danny Osborne in the Saturday race and was subsequently forced to start from the rear of the grid for the final leg.
He picked his way through the field to narrowly defeat Greg Murphy in one of the greatest last-to-first victories in history.
2001 Adelaide 500 Race 1
Proving he is a master of the Adelaide Parklands circuit, Lowndes returned to the street track as a Ford driver for the first time in 2001.
In an off-season switch from the Holden Racing Team which grabbed national headlines, Lowndes managed to guide the silver and black to a stunning victory.
2005 Sandown 500
After clearing out to a big lead Lowndes, ably supported by French touring car ace Yvan Muller in the middle stint, took a supreme victory.
Under leaden skies on a wet track Lowndes would seize his third Sandown 500 victory in his maiden year at the Triple Eight Race Engineering team.
Craig Lowndes’ second Bathurst 1000 was arguably one of his finest moments if not the most emotional in the championship.
It came only a few weeks after the death of his mentor, Peter Brock, in a tarmac rally crash in Western Australia.
Lowndes was fuelled with emotion over the weekend and broke down in tears as the tributes flowed for Brock before composing himself to start the race.
In the end the champion driver was able to mastermind one of the finest wins of his career, leading home Holden rival Rick Kelly.
Craig Lowndes’ 100 career V8 Championship wins
|Team||Year||Wins||Circuits (number of wins)|
|Holden Racing Team||1996||16||Eastern Creek (2), Sandown (1), Symmons Plains (3), Phillip Island (1), Calder (1), Lakeside (3), Barbagallo (3), Mallala (2)|
|Holden Racing Team||1998||14||Sandown (2), Symmons Plains (2), Phillip Island (1), Mallala (1), Barbagallo (3), Calder (1), Hidden Valley (1), Oran Park (3)|
|Holden Racing Team||1999||9||Eastern Creek (1), Adelaide (1), Barbagallo (3), Phillip Island (1), Sandown (1), Queensland Raceway (1), Calder (1)|
|Holden Racing Team||2000||10||Phillip Island (1), Barbagallo (3), Adelaide (1), Canberra (1), Queensland Raceway (4)|
|Gibson Motorsport||2001||2||Adelaide (1), Sandown (1)|
|Ford Performance Racing||2003||1||Phillip Island (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2005||6||Eastern Creek (1), Queensland Raceway (1), Sandown (1), Surfers Paradise (2), Phillip Island (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2006||5||Adelaide (1), Winton (1), Hidden Valley (1), Oran Park (1), Bathurst (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2007||6||Hidden Valley (2), Oran Park (1), Sandown (1), Bathurst (1), Bahrain (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2008||2||Sandown (1), Bathurst (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2009||3||Winton (2), Barbagallo (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2010||3||Phillip Island (1), Bathurst (1), Symmons Plains (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2011||5||Queensland Raceway (3), Phillip Island (1), Sydney Olympic Park (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2012||7||Hidden Valley (1), Queensland Raceway (2), Sydney Motorsports Park (1), Sandown (1), Winton (1), Sydney Olympic Park (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2013||5||Adelaide (1), Barbagallo (1), Hidden Valley (1), Surfers Paradise (1), Phillip Island (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2014||3||Adelaide (1), Symmons Plains (1), Barbagallo (1)|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||2015||3||Symmons Plains (2) Hidden Valley (1)|