Lowndes’ Bathurst 1000 hopes buoyed by Sandown top 10
Friday 22nd September, 2023 - 3:08pm
Craig Lowndes is upbeat for the Great Race after he and Zane Goddard finished 10th in Triple Eight’s Supercheap Auto wildcard at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
Goddard qualified 23rd before Lowndes raced his way as high as sixth on merit in the #888 Chevrolet Camaro, despite a touch with a Truck Assist Camaro which forced him into a big catch at the kink in Sandown’s back straight.
This year is the first time that Triple Eight has fielded a wildcard in multiple events and, after finishing eighth with Declan Fraser at Mount Panorama last year, the veteran half of this year’s duo is high on confidence.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be finishing in P10,” said Lowndes.
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“It was a really good feeling coming into [Sandown] as a bit of a lead-in to the Bathurst 1000 but we wanted to still do well.
“It’s been great having Supercheap Auto on board with the wildcard. Bringing a collective group together for this round, I think, really shows that it can be done.
“We’ve brought people together from all different areas and they’ve shown they can get it done under pressure. The pit stops were smooth, driver changes were okay.
“Zane did a fantastic job to bring it home under a lot of pressure from the primary drivers to bring home a P10 which was really, really good.
“I think the result this weekend is really encouraging heading into Bathurst with the same car, the same group.
“Zane and I will also take a lot out of this weekend before taking on the mountain.”
As Lowndes noted, he was racing against the co-drivers before Goddard, in his second Supercars event of the year, had to battle the full-timers for the run home.
The latter said post-race, “To be honest, I’m very tired; that was a tough last stint for me.
“It’s been a great result for the team who have put so much work into not only this weekend but getting the cars ready back at the workshop. It’s a credit to everyone.
“Craig made up a crazy amount of positions and then I jumped in at the end. It was hard work especially with the Safety Car at the end but we hung onto 10th, which is great considering we started in 23rd.
“A good day overall and I’m just happy we could bring home a solid result for the team.
“I’m very keen for the Bathurst 1000. It’s obviously the biggest event on the calendar and I’m keen to see what we can do there.”
The Repco Bathurst 1000, when Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Supercheap Auto car will share a pit boom with the Shell V-Power Mustang wildcard from rival homologation team Dick Johnson Racing, takes place from October 5-8.