Dynamic duo reunite for enduros
CRAIG Lowndes will join forces with Jamie Whincup for the Supercars endurance races this year, reuniting one of Bathurst's most formidable partnerships.
In a boost to his hopes of chasing down mentor Peter Brock's record of nine Bathurst wins, The Herald-Sun can confirm Lowndes will team up with seven-time Supercars champion Whincup for the three endurance races at Mount Panorama, the Gold Coast and Sandown.
Lowndes and Whincup dominated to win three consecutive Bathurst 1000s from 2006-08, but were separated when full-time drivers could no longer pair up in 2010.
Fellow Triple Eight teammate Shane van Gisbergen had joked he and Whincup would "arm wrestle" over Lowndes' services as a co-driver after the veteran announced his retirement as a full-time Supercars driver at the end of 2018.
Lowndes said he was excited to start his next chapter alongside Whincup for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.
"I had to retire to go and drive with him again,'' Lowndes said.
"There is no doubt that a lot of people wanted this combination to happen obviously with the history that we have together. That's something that will put us in good stead.
"I'm really looking forward to it … hopefully we can create some more history.''
Lowndes claimed his seventh Bathurst crown last year - alongside co-driver Steven Richards - in a fairytale finish to his last race at Mount Panorama as a full-time Supercars driver.
The victory pulled him within two wins of the late great Brock's record of nine triumphs at the iconic event, and he hasn't given up hope of matching it.
"That number I have always said will be very hard to beat," Lowndes said.
"Now having seven under our belt, I think for me it's a great opportunity to be able to grow that number.
"Jamie and I have got a formidable combination at Bathurst. I know Jamie is desperate to win. He loves to win Bathurst as much as the championship.''
The endurance pairing brings to an end Whincup's seven-year partnership with co-driver Paul Dumbrell, who he won Bathurst with in 2012. The Whincup-Dumbrell pairing also tasted success three times in the Sandown 500, most recently leading home a Triple Eight trifecta in last year's edition of the race.
"I've had a great stint with my current teammate Paul Dumbrell, which was great, but with Lowndsey ... I feel like we are getting the band back together,'' Whincup said.
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