Jamie Whincup believes his Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Craig Lowndes is “as happy as he’s ever been” as the Supercars Championship arrives at Townsville 12 months since his retirement announcement.
His departure from a seat at Triple Eight Racing Engineering marked the end of a 13-year run as a team-mate to Jamie Whincup after they joined the would-be Supercars powerhouse in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
While Lowndes was clearly emotional as he told the press and a live television audience of his news, but also revealed he would be starting a new chapter as a television pundit.
Whincup believes that his former mentor is content with his call and enjoying his new role in the paddock.
“It’s amazing how quick 12 months have gone, and Lowndesy announcing his retirement at this round, it seems like forever ago in some way but only yesterday in another,” reflected Whincup.
“Lowndesy is as happy as he’s ever been. His personality and his energy at the moment is unbelievable; I think he’s really happy and really satisfied with the decisions he’s made.
“He’s still around the Supercars fraternity moreso than he ever has (been) so he’s in a good place, I’m really happy for him.”
Lowndes would go on to win the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for a seventh time, three months after his announcement, on a day which he compared to his emotional triumph in 2006 in the wake of the death of Peter Brock.
That 2006 victory was the start of a three-peat for Lowndes, Whincup, and Triple Eight, and they finished fifth in their fourth time driving together at Mount Panorama in 2009.
Primary drivers have been made to split up ever since, ending that driving partnership until Triple Eight announced that they would reunite in a #888 Red Bull Holden Racing Team entry in the 2019 Pirtek Enduro Cup.