Lowndes turns back clock for shot at Bathurst record
CRAIG Lowndes has revealed he will take a back-seat role at the Bathurst 1000 this year as he continues his hunt to equal Peter Brock's Mount Panorama race win record of nine.
Set to be reunited with Jamie Whincup for the first time since 2008, Lowndes is preparing himself for the unfamiliar role of being a co-driver in a Holden Red Bull Racing mega-team.
The Holden legend retired from full-time racing at the end of last season.
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"I am looking forward to the challenge of being a co-driver,'' Lowndes said.
"I will be supporting Jamie. As a co-driver, this will be my biggest moment of the year."
Lowndes will be out to make it four in a row alongside Whincup after the all-conquering duo made it a Bathurst "three-peat'' when they last paired up in 2008.
A rule change prevented full-time drivers from racing together, which split the partnership for 2009.
"Hopefully the combination between Jamie and I works,'' Lowndes said. "He can look after the qualifying car and I can look after the race car. We need to come together and get both elements of the car right.''
Lowndes will be out to edge closer to Brock after winning his eighth Bathurst crown last year while driving with Steve Richards.
Lowndes stormed home after Dave Reynolds succumbed to cramps.
"There is no greater feeling than coming here and getting it right,'' he said. "It is an amazing track and we all talk about how hard it is to get right. We have just over 6km of road that we have to conquer 161 times.''
Richards will also be out to extend his Bathurst record after his split with Lowndes. The son of legend Jim, Richards will be out to win his sixth title when he drives alongside Holden's Mark Winterbottom.
"It is always great to get back to Bathurst,'' Richards said.
"The moment you roll down and see Mount Panorama in the background, it is a very special place.
"I never come here with any preconceived ideas of what is going to happen in the race. I have had some fantastic memories here, especially with Craig both on and off track.''