For the last 20 plus years at Mount Panorama, six-time Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes has been a major contender in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, but this year was a different story for the Caltex-backed driver.
Lowndes has been a race-winning contender for most of his career at Mount Panorama, but he wasn’t one of them in yesterday’s Bathurst 1000, after he and co-driver Steve Richards finished a disappointing 11th place and a lap down which wrapped up a tough day for TeamVortex.
The lack of speed all weekend led Lowndes to believe there could be a major fault in the car which kept him from being a race threat.
“What a day, it all started on the start line with the rain, we were hoping that it would pass but it didn’t so we did three-quarters of the race in the wet,” Lowndes said in the team review statement.
“We struggled for pace to be honest, I think there might have been an issue with the car at the end, when it dried off I could feel it.
“That’s motor racing, we’ll learn from this. Our strategy I think was pretty good, pit stops were okay, I think we have a bit of work to do. We go away from here with some good points and we finished the race which I think is a really good thing for us and our championship. It was a disappointing end to a day that was showing good promise.”
“It was a disappointing end to a day that was showing good promise.”
A disappointed Steve Richards took a different approach to find a silver lighting after doing the minimum 54 laps yesterday.
“The trials and tribulations of Bathurst! Some parts of the day were okay. Craig (Lowndes) seems to think we had a small issue with the car that might have broken so that could have definitely contributed to why we had no pace in certain conditions. We’ll have a look and come back another day,” Richo said.
The 11th place finish jumped Lowndes 9th to 7th in the championship standings and holds 12th in the Pirtek Endurance Cup standings with Richards.