Be like Craig, have a good career: Rival praises a legend
MOTORSPORT: With much of this weekend's focus on Craig Lowndes' last full-time Queensland Raceway round in Supercars, David Reynolds shares his thoughts.
"He's an absolute legend of the sport,'' Reynolds said.
"His service to the sport has been probably the best I've ever seen or been around.
"When I was growing up, everyone goes 'be like Craig Lowndes and you'll have a good career'.
"Regardless of his results, he's always happy, smiling, awesome with the fans.
"He's a great personality. It's just a shame he's leaving.
"I wanted to race against him for years to come.''
While Lowndes has been Queensland Raceway's most successful racer with 12 wins, Reynolds concedes Ipswich's Paperclip is not one of his happiest hunting grounds.
"I've never been on the podium or won the race there,'' he said, recalling his previous best being fourths in 2014 and 2015.
"On paper, Ipswich looks like the simplest, most boring track . . . but it's really, really technical and there's many many different styles to make your car go faster out there.''
As one of the real characters in this year's Supercar series, Reynolds said winning the Bathurst 1000 last year was one of the catalysts for a progressive season.
However, the easygoing driver shared a valuable insight into his mindset.
He said the most satisfying part of racing was the Erebus journey of rising through the ranks, rather than "just flat out winning''.
However, the toughest part was dealing with disappointing results "trying to maintain a positive outlook and a happy face''.
"At the end of the day, I'm kind of the face of the team and if I'm p...sed off or distraught or negative in a way, it kind of impacts everyone else around me.''
Reynolds said it was important he tried to lift everyone's spirit "and always try to see the bigger picture''.
He said another aspect of motorsport people don't see is the dramatic change in an elite driver's motivation from the weekend to post-race.
"From the moment, you have got to be on emotionally,'' he said. "The intensity levels are up when have to drive your car flat out.
"Then the comedown you get when you leave the track on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. It really impacts you. You just feel really, really flat.''
Most satisfying for Reynolds was how his team has consistently improved the car overnight to finish stronger in the Sunday races.
"Which is really, really hard to do and generally only the really good teams can do that and we're doing that,'' he said, proud of his colleagues.
And with 900 points on offer in the upcoming enduros (Gold Coast, Bathurst and Sandown), Reynolds knows there's plenty of opportunities for the championship "to turn good or turn bad''.
"It's tight at the top and they don't make mistakes and they don't get stuff wrong,'' he said.