Craig Lowndes is “more comfortable” about his television punditry role for the Supercars season ahead after experiencing his first year in the position in 2019.
Lowndes stepped straight into the Fox Sports studio off the back of his retirement from full-time driving, while also remaining in the Red Bull Holden Racing Team fold as a Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver for Jamie Whincup.
Having found television to be a “whirlwind” at least year’s season-opener, he says he can now enjoy Adelaide without a sense of apprehension.
“I think that now that I’ve had 12 months getting used to both roles of commentating and the endurance side of it as a co-driver, it’s something I’m probably more comfortable going into 2020 than I was this time last year,” Lowndes told Speedcafe.com.
“But I make sure that I still keep involved with the team, keep up to date with the testing and looking forward to what the aero changes have done to the car, especially going into the end of the year, which is obviously the biggest part of the year for me, to be part of sharing a car with Jamie.”
On the greater sense of ease in front of the camera, Lowndes put it down to “understanding and knowing what I’m going to be walking into”, as well as having already been through the feeling of observing the Adelaide 500 rather than competing in it.
“I remember going to Adelaide for the first time (in a television role) last year and it was a bit of a whirlwind for me to get my head around Fox and TV, how it operates,” he explained.
“To also watch the cars drive out of pit lane and the nerves of not being in a car anymore for a full-time drive… It was all those things going through my emotions.
“But now, I’ll go to Adelaide, (and) it’ll be like going back to school. I’ll watch the cars roll out and get into my commentary role.”
While presented with the unusual challenge last year of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 being first up in the Enduro Cup, the seven-time Great Race winner said that tackling Mount Panorama was a comparatively easy task to dealing with the subtleties of live television.
“To be honest, I spent 25, whatever years as a race car driver, and I knew that inside out,” declared Lowndes.
“But to step away from that, to step into a TV role, was something that, for me, I just had to get my head around and understand what I needed to do.
“To be honest, we did some media training to make sure that we come across in the right way.
“The biggest thing for me was to get my head around which camera was active or on at any given time, so I knew what to look for or what to look at, so there’s all those small things I suppose you take for granted now knowing what it’s all about.”
The 2020 Supercars season begins with the Superloop Adelaide 500 on February 20-23.
Before then, Lowndes will tackle the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour (January 31-February 2) with Porsche outfit Earl Bamber Motorsport, a drive he hopes could lead to a long-awaited start in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.