INSIDE LINE B12HR COLUMN: Craig Lowndes
In the first of a series of Speedcafe.com columns from within the 888 Mercedes-AMG Team Vodafone garage, Craig Lowndes offers his views from set-up day at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
This morning was all about paperwork and the logistics of getting signed in and having all our suits scrutineered, after that we then did the drive into town for the special Track to Town Parade.
The parade was fantastic and there is no doubt that these things need to be done. I actually drove the car I raced from the circuit to the township at the Spa 24 Hours in 2014 and it is just amazing to see the cars on the streets with people lining them and then have them on display to meet and greet the people.
It is really part of what the event is all about. It is maybe something that Supercars can look at. I think people in Bathurst don’t necessarily get the chance to go to the track and see the cars and hear them. For me it is a great spectacle and it’s something that the event and the Bathurst Regional Council have embraced.
Looking ahead to the first action tomorrow, I’m comfortable in the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
It is the first time all three us with Jamie and Shane have been in the same car, but I’m looking forward to driving with them and we all know the track very well. Both of them know the Mercedes car better than I do. It is a race car and we will all get our head around it. I’m looking forward to doing some laps. It’s good to be working as a trio; we all know each other very well and we know our strengths and weaknesses, we all drive very similar I think the three of us will have a good batch of set ups and speed.
The Bathurst 12 Hour is a great event, I really enjoy it. I think over the last five or six years its has gone from strength to strength with European teams seeing this as one of the highlight races. I know M-Sport and Bentley are deadly keen to try and win this at some point. Audi has been lucky enough to do it, Mercedes-AMG has and we have been part of a Ferrari win in 2017.
We have got a great chance and there is no doubt about that it is just a matter of staying clean and keeping out of trouble and working on the car to make sure it has got speed when we need it. I will be keen to see how it compares to the other manufacturers.
Now it starts to ramp up and get more official after this evening’s track walk with first practice tomorrow.