Top six was on offer for Lowndes in Bathurst 1000
Friday 13th October, 2023 - 6:00am
Craig Lowndes believes a top six was on offer for himself and Zane Goddard at the Bathurst 1000 if their Supercheap Auto Camaro if not for gear lever riser woes.
Lowndes was running 14th on Lap 17 of the Great Race when a mount first broke in the #888 Chevrolet Camaro, after which Goddard emerged three laps down.
However, after a repeat of the failure, and associated gear selection issues, they would end up 20 laps down in 24th position, last of the finishers.
Although Lowndes did not come close to adding to his tally of seven Bathurst 1000 wins, he had nothing but praise for the crew on Triple Eight Race Engineering’s wildcard entry.
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“I think we were confident going into the race,” he said.
“We had worked hard to make a nice race car and that’s what I felt we had.
“In my first stint, the gear lever mount broke; from that point on we were playing catch up for the rest of the race.
“I do have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever been with a team who worked so hard for such a little result.
“I think we might’ve set a new record for the amount of times we came in and out of the pits.
“In the end, with all the gear linkage problems we also lost sixth gear as well.
“It was a disappointing result; however, overall, the team worked unbelievably hard to get us the result we did.
“Zane also worked incredibly hard; we didn’t put a foot wrong.
“I think if we had our time over again, we had a car that could’ve made the top six; in that sense, there is a slight disappointment.
“However, we all worked damn hard to achieve the result we did.”
Lowndes finished eighth last year when he paired up with Declan Fraser, the best result for an official wildcard in the Great Race.
Then, all three Triple Eight cars ended up in the top 10 and this year looked like being a one-two for the Banyo-based outfit until Broc Feeney also suffered a gear lever riser failure just 25 laps from home.
It has since been revealed that Shane van Gisbergen finished with a cracked riser as well, but he was able to make it to the chequered flag to deliver a record 10th Bathurst 1000 win for Triple Eight, which was co-driver Richie Stanaway’s first.