Lowndes: No ego about who qualifies wildcard at Bathurst

Craig Lowndes. Picture: Dirk Klynsmith

Craig Lowndes says he is not fazed about whether he or Declan Fraser qualifies the Supercheap Auto wildcard at the Bathurst 1000.

Lowndes and Fraser are pairing up in a Triple Eight Race Engineering-run Holden ZB Commodore for this year’s Great Race.

It marks the three-time Supercars champion’s fourth consecutive year co-driving at Mount Panorama since retiring from full-time driving.

Having completed their first test day at Queensland Raceway on Wednesday, the team was able to get a gauge on the pairing’s speed.

Despite being the vastly more experienced driver in the combination, with seven Bathurst 1000 victories to his name, Lowndes says he has no ego to fulfil in qualifying the car.

Instead, it will be up to a mutual team decision based on who is consistently quicker on the race weekend.

“It doesn’t worry me who qualifies to be honest,” Lowndes told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s just going to come down to who is the fastest and who is the most confident and comfortable in the car.

“Of course, we know Bathurst is a long race, it’s more important for us to be on the podium at the end of the day than me qualifying the car.

“If Declan is comfortable, confident and happy, I’m more than happy for him to run it.”

One factor could be either the positive or negative effect of Fraser performing double duties at Mount Panorama this October.

Aside from the wildcard programme, the 21-year-old will be in action in the Dunlop Super2 Series, where he has proven to be a front-runner this season.

How the Super2 responsibilities quite possibly benefit Fraser’s confidence and pace will also be considered.

“It’s a discussion we’ll have when we get to Bathurst and again how [Declan] fits in; he’s going to do double duties over the course of the weekend,” said Lowndes.

“Whether that fatigues him more or helps him more, we won’t know until we get there.

“I haven’t got an ego to kick him out [for qualifying], if that’s the best decision for the car then that’s it.”

The Supercheap Auto wildcard crew will have two more test days in the lead-up to the Bathurst 1000, which takes place October 6-9.

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