Craig Lowndes will take over the television role which Russell Ingall had filled, Fox Sports has confirmed.
Lowndes has signed on as a member of Fox Sports’ telecasts alongside his continuation with Triple Eight Race Engineering as a Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver.
According to Supercars’ official website, he will provide input from the Red Bull Holden Racing Team garage during the enduros, a similar juggle to those of Mark Skaife and Ingall in their initial years after full-time driving.
Lowndes’ role on the telecast is not unexpected, but was technically unconfirmed until now.
“As the defending Bathurst Champion and a Supercars veteran Craig will be able to provide first hand insights and analysis of what it takes to win behind the wheel, which combined with Fox Sports’ comprehensive live coverage of every practice, qualifying session and race ad break free via broadcast and streaming, will bring our subscribers closer to the action than ever before,” Fox Sports CEO Peter Campbell is quoted by Supercars’ website as saying.
Fox Sports’ general manager of Motorsport, James Harrison, was also quoted on the topic of Ingall’s exit, as reported by Speedcafe.com.
“Russell Ingall has done a fantastic job over the past four years on Fox Sports,” said Harrison.
“He was a big part of transitioning the Supercars coverage from FTA (free-to-air) to Foxtel and the record ratings for the sport on Fox Sports in 2018.
“We are always looking to refresh the format and with Craig Lowndes retiring from the full-time driving in 2018 there was an opportunity to add him to our hosting team.
“Unfortunately there was only one role available which has meant Russell will not return in 2019.”
Ingall’s axing has been the biggest story on Speedcafe.com this year to date, with ‘The Enforcer’ subsequently stating that he has been ‘blown’ away by the support of fans following the news.
He also has no hard feelings towards Lowndes, telling this website, “I have always gotten along well with Craig so that’s not going to change, that’s just business, he’s a popular character.”
The world feed commentary and pit reporting for Virgin Australia Supercars Championship sessions is unchanged for 2019.