Craig Lowndes believes his Triple Eight team has experienced the best preparation for a shot at this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 which will be his last Great Race as a full-time Supercars driver.
The fan favourite heads into this year’s Mount Panorama classic buoyant for what will be an emotional race for the Supercars veteran alongside four-time winning co-driver Steven Richards.
Triple Eight has shown strong form prior to this weekend having won five of the last six races including a dominant one-two-three at the Rabble.Club Sandown 500 last month.
Given the impressive form and the improvement the ZB Commodore has shown over its predecessor this year, Lowndes is feeling confident about his chances to score what would be a memorable win.
“I think we have had the best preparation,” Lowndes told Speedcafe.com.
“The ZB Commodore has proved to be a good thing throughout this season and we believe it is going to be a bit nicer across the top of the mountain than what the previous model was.
“We think we have got a good shot and a good opportunity to be on the podium and we would love to be on the top step that is for sure.
“The team as a whole has been developing the Commodore over the course of the year and I don’t think we have seen the best of it yet.
“Bathurst will be another challenge for us but it is a challenge which we think will suit the car and it is one of the highlights for us this year.
“The ZB is not an easy car but it has a wider operating window which makes it easier to get it right and that will suit us at Bathurst.
“You need to have confidence over the mountain and to have a car like that is confidence inspiring. After Sandown we go to Bathurst with a lot of confidence.”
While confident, Lowndes admits the race will be tinged with emotion given the circumstances.
However, the race won’t be his last at Bathurst with the Triple Eight star due to return as a co-driver with the team next year.
“I think everywhere we have been since Townsville knowing you are not going to be racing at a track I’m not returning to has been quite emotional,” he added.
“Knowing we are going to be back as a co-driver at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast it is probably less emotional but knowing it is the last full-time year I think it will always be emotional.”
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 begins today.