Craig Lowndes can’t wait to race under lights again at Sydney Motorsport Park. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Craig Lowndes can’t wait to race under lights again at Sydney Motorsport Park. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Lowndes wants more night racing

EASTERN Creek at night has fond memories for Craig Lowndes.

The Supercars legend won under lights at the Western Sydney track, now Sydney Motorsport Park, in 1996 in his first night race.

As the only driver at this weekend's Sydney SuperNight 300 who was on that grid 22 years ago, and with more recent night-racing experience at the Bathurst 12 Hour and Spa 24 Hour, he knows what it takes to win after sunset.

"It is a very different element,'' Lowndes said. "The conditions are obviously cooler so the cars will change in their balance and the tyre temperature will be hard to get up. The engines run better but with all that you have to see where you are going.

"Having the depth of perception of corners, brake markers and lines, all of that you need to take into consideration. I have been lucky enough to get to do a few night races and I am looking forward to the challenges.''

Lowndes may be retiring from full-time Supercars racing at the end of this year but he called for the sport to bring in more night races.

James Courtney leads the pack under lights at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in 2011.
James Courtney leads the pack under lights at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in 2011.

"The concept is awesome,'' Lowndes said.

"There is no doubt that I would like to see more night racing - I think we have some great circuits with some great atmosphere like Townsville and Darwin.

"They would provide great opportunities to race under lights. It would allow families to get to the circuits later on, go to work or whatever and get to watch us race around at night. The cars glow, the disc brakes light up and it is a very different element. It will be a great show.''

Lowndes turned back the clock at Queensland Raceway last round to score a popular third-place finish.

Craig Lowndes finished third in the Ipswich SuperSprint last round. Picture: Getty Images
Craig Lowndes finished third in the Ipswich SuperSprint last round. Picture: Getty Images

"It was great to have a podium,'' Lowndes said. "We were expecting to be on the podium at some point and that was our test track. We have had great results there in the past.

"For us it gave us good confidence and motivation to head into Sydney Motorsport Park and I am really looking forward to having a strong showing.

"We really want to climb up the leaderboard in the championship and SMP will be another good opportunity for us to do that.''