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Craig Lowndes by the numbers

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Craig Lowndes by the numbers

  • 15 Hours ago
  • By Kassie Gadeke
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Supercars’ most well-known and loved driver cracks another incredible milestone today at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Craig Lowndes is set to start his 600th Supercars Championship race this afternoon – having completed more races than any other driver, every race sets a new record.

The 42-year old, who now drives for TeamVortex, has some of the best figures in the field with 105 Supercars wins to his name. Teammate Jamie Whincup is next in the queue, chasing his 100th this weekend. 

Race starts 600 (As of Sunday)
Round starts 260
Race wins 105
Podiums 157
Top 10s 444
Pole positions 41
Most race wins in a season 16
Bathurst wins 6
Championships 3
Barry Sheene Medals 5
Win rate 18%
Podium rate 26%
Top 10 rate 74%
Last 200km race result 1
Championship...

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Ton up for Whincup

Six-time Champion Jamie Whincup has become only the second Supercars driver to reach 100 race wins with today’s victory at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Whincup denied teammate Craig Lowndes a fairytale win in his 600th race to join the Supercars veteran as the only drivers with triple figure wins in the sport. Lowndes has 105 wins.

Whincup started from third on the grid for the 200km race and got the better of Lowndes in the second round of pit stops to finish 2.58sec ahead of the TeamVortex Commodore.

The Red Bull racer’s 99th win came up at Townsville in July and after being pipped by teammate Shane van Gisbergen, he got the job done today and continues to lead this year’s championship points by 137.

“What an honour to join Lowndesy on the ton,” he said.

“I’d like to think not out, still got a bit left in me yet. I got my first win in ‘06, over 10 years, every win with the same crew so...


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Read more: Ton up for Whincup
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Lowndes welcomes Whincup to 100 Club

Veteran Craig Lowndes believes teammate Jamie Whincup is close to being the greatest Supercars driver of all-time, after the Red Bull racer joined Lowndes in the ‘100 club’ today at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Whincup’s 100 wins adds to a stellar record of six championships, four Bathurst 1000 wins and a 40 per cent podium finishing rate throughout his Supercars career.

Lowndes sits just ahead with 105 wins, but wouldn’t be surprised if he was overtaken by his younger competitor very soon. 

The TeamVortex driver said it was fantastic to welcome Whincup into triple figures.

“I think there was no doubt about if he could do it, it was a matter of when,” Lowndes said. 

“I think he’s had a stellar career, an amazing run since he’s been with Triple Eight.

“There’s no doubt he’s had great support around him, he’s maintained his focus throughout his championships. It’s quite easy to get a...


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Read more: Lowndes welcomes Whincup to 100 Club

Winterbottom: We need wins

Mark Winterbottom won’t consider himself a championship contender until he’s back in the mix winning races.

The defending champ – who earned his first Supercars title last year and carries the number one on his Bottle-O Falcon – admitted there were three cars in the fight now, and he wasn’t one of them.

He finished 14th today after a tyre delamination early in the race at Sydney Motorsport Park, a place where he has only ever won one race back in 2008.

The Triple Eight trio of Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes hold the top three spots in the championship and are split with 198 points back to third placed Lowndes, while ‘Frosty’ is 273 points off the lead.

 “I’m not worried, because it is what it is – if you can’t win races you won’t win the championship,” Winterbottom told supercars.com.

“At the moment our focus has to be on getting it back together. Sandown will...


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Read more: Winterbottom: We need wins

POLL: Did the punishment fit the crime?

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POLL: Did the punishment fit the crime?


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Read more: POLL: Did the punishment fit the crime?

The People's Champion

It’s appropriate Craig Lowndes brings up Supercars race start number 600 at Sydney Motorsport Park today.

It was here in 1996 he made his winning debut as a full-time Holden Racing Team driver, the team with which he became a household name and won three championships in the opening phase of his career.

And it was here in 2005 that he scored the first win in this country for Roland Dane and Triple Eight Race Engineering, the owner and team with which he re-birthed his career after several years in the wilderness.

Lowndes is now 42 and the second oldest full-time driver in the category, so being the first to achieve 600 starts here at SMSP is symbolic of the arc of his career from rookie, to star, to veteran.

But it isn’t that simple either. Lowndes isn’t at SMSP this weekend as an elder statesman on a farewell tour. He is still astonishingly competitive and committed and undoubtedly...


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How the Lowndes legend was born

Former Holden Racing Team boss Jeff Grech believed in a young Craig Lowndes but never thought, when pushing to get him in the car, he was helping create an icon.

Today Lowndes will contest his 600th Supercars race, already holding the record for most starts and wins in the category, after having earned his 105th victory at the last event at Queensland Raceway.

But back in 1994, his opportunity came purely from good timing – and with a big push from Grech and those at HRT, when running a young rookie for the enduros was frowned upon.

“We were very lucky with Craig – it was a bit of a punt because young blokes weren’t really thought of to get into the main series,” Grech told supercars.com. 

“Mark [Skaife] came through and Glenn Seton, but they came through in lower classes.

“To get a young bloke and throw him right in the deep end, it raised a few eyebrows – and I guess, so it...


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Read more: How the Lowndes legend was born

Chaz charges

Supercheap Auto racer Chaz Mostert has backed up yesterday’s ARMOR ALL Pole Position ahead of 200km at Sydney Motorsport Park this afternoon.

Still hunting for his first 2016 win, Mostert’s engineering team made a risky call to get out the car and end the session with five minutes remaining, in order to save a set of green soft tyres for this afternoon’s race.

Degradation has been a surprise issue this weekend with drivers shocked at how much the surface has deteriorated since racing at SMSP last year.

Mostert was nervous waiting for the chequered flag, with yesterday’s winner Shane van Gisbergen within three-hundredths of a second of his 1min29.4413 lap.

“There’s some very fast guys, but the car’s dialled in this weekend,” Mostert said.

“I was nervous – Shane was close, a few guys with quick micro-sectors – you can never be confident until after the chequered flag…

“It’s fantastic,...


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Frosty fastest in final practice

Mark Winterbottom is looking to improve his results at “hit and miss” Sydney Motorsport Park, topping the final practice session of the weekend.

The defending champ was best in the final 15-minute dash, leaving teams just one hour to tweak their Supercars before qualifying this afternoon.

Winterbottom edged James Courtney by 0.05sec, with yesterday’s fast man Scott McLaughlin tucked in third with teammate James Moffat right behind.

Nissan’s Rick Kelly completed the top five in a clean run – though Craig Lowndes had a wild moment on his last lap of the session.

Current champ Winterbottom, who has only won one Supercars race here in his career, seemed happy with his Bottle-O car and tyre usage so far.    

“It feels ok,” he said of his Ford Falcon FG X.

“It’s changed a bit since yesterday, a bit more grip in spots – turn one was troubling me yesterday.

“It’s pretty close but the...


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Read more: Frosty fastest in final practice

Van Gisbergen pips Whincup in epic battle

Shane van Gisbergen has once again denied Jamie Whincup his 100th race win, this time by a mere two-tenths of a second at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Whincup had a red hot go for the race lead, with two wheels in the dirt trying to dive past, but could not steal the win from his quick Kiwi teammate as smoke poured from his right front tyre through the closing laps.

The win is Van Gisbergen’s fifth of the season – his third win from the last six races – though he is the one pushing Whincup for the championship, now 98 behind.

After crossing the line 0.2460sec ahead of the sister Red Bull car, Van Gisbergen was excited about the battle.

“At the end, that was fun with Jamie, I knew he was coming through,” Van Gisbergen said.

“I made one mistake at turn one and had to defend, but other than that it was pretty cool, I enjoyed that one.”

Whincup hadn’t picked up the drama with his tyre in the...


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Read more: Van Gisbergen pips Whincup in epic battle

Mostert breaks his own record

Chaz Mostert has smashed his own lap record in qualifying at Sydney Motorsport Park to take ARMOR ALL Pole Position for this afternoon’s 120km race.

The Supercheap Auto racer was the only one in the ‘28’ second bracket and lowered the time he set last year with a 1min28.872 on his first run.

While he now has the most poles in the field, and the most front row starts, he is yet to win a race in 2016.

“The car was really hooked up on soft tyres,” Mostert said. 

“The track’s broken up everywhere but it was good to put soft tyres on.”

Shane van Gisbergen, who will start alongside Mostert on the front row, was 0.2534sec adrift in the session, also setting his time on his first run. He wasn’t sure why drivers weren’t getting more out of the cars on the second run.

“I’m not really sure, hard to explain but been that way lately first run quickest, Darwin and this session,” van Gisbergen...


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Read more: Mostert breaks his own record

Courtney breaks through at home

James Courtney has earned his first podium at Sydney Motorsport Park, racing at the circuit for the first time in two years after a horrendous accident in 2015.

The Holden Racing Team driver was ‘best of the rest’ today behind Red Bull teammates Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup, after starting fifth and making an impressive double pass on young guns Chaz Mostert and Scott Pye early on.

Courtney admitted he was hoping the teammates would take each other out during their heated battle in the dying laps, but put all three of their results down to experience as tyres degraded quickly at the abrasive circuit.

“I could see a bit of smoke coming around Corporate Hill on that last lap and had my fingers crossed!” Courtney said.

“I was pretty sure they wouldn’t run into each other.

“Their car speed was really pretty good and we were coming back at them but they were having their own...


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Read more: Courtney breaks through at home

Sydney crucial for McLaughlin’s Championship

Scott McLaughlin knows this weekend is critical to his Championship chances.

The big-points enduros are two races away, with today’s 120km and tomorrow’s 200km sprints the last to run before the endurance races. 

McLaughlin is 285 points away from leader Jamie Whincup, and even with the opportunity to earn 300 points each race meeting, the Volvo driver believes he needs to get “back into contention”.

His recent results have been inconsistent, with two top six finishes in the last two Sunday races, but 24th and 15th in the Saturday races, while the front-runners were dominant up ahead.

 “I think the only way we’ll get back into contention is if we have some stronger results,” McLaughlin said after topping practice two at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint.

“We can’t have too many bad weekends like we’ve had the last few races. Anything’s going to help and if we can get a few solid...


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Read more: Sydney crucial for McLaughlin’s Championship

High hopes for Holdsworth

Sitting out of his Preston Hire race car has boosted Lee Holdsworth’s hopes for the enduros, with co-driver Karl Reindler set to get plenty of miles at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend.

Holdsworth fractured his pelvis, ribs and knee in a nasty 95g accident in Darwin in June and did his first kilometres at a Supercars event yesterday, steering for a handful of laps in both practice sessions yesterday.

He was pleased with how his body pulled up yesterday and is certain he’ll be ready for Sandown next month.

“Before the crash the aim was to get some solid top 10s but now my expectations have gone higher that what they were before,” Holdsworth said yesterday. 

“Now I would like to see some top fives, but that’s because I’m so determined.

“Watching at home it kills you – and James [Courtney] can back me there.

“Now that Karl has more laps and more experience in the car I feel like...


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Read more: High hopes for Holdsworth

Aussie Roland

Triple Eight boss Roland Dane has been absent from Sydney Motorsport Park this morning as he attends a special ceremony in Brisbane.

After 13 years in Australia, the Supercars heavyweight will become an Australian citizen.

Given Dane’s grandfather was born in Australia, the country is a part of his family heritage.

Irishman Dane is the most successful team owner in Supercars in recent times, with six championships and six Bathurst wins in the last decade. News broke last week that his team had secured factory backing from Holden from next year and will lead the way developing the Gen2 Commodore from 2018. 

Dane will jet back to Sydney Motorsport Park for this afternoon's race, which could bring up Jamie Whincup's 100th Supercars win.

Craig Lowndes starts his 600th tomorrow – another incredible milestone – at the circuit where Lowndes took Triple Eight’s first ever Supercars win in...


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McLaughlin takes top spot

Scott McLaughlin is hopeful of getting his Championship back on track this weekend at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint, and has started in the best possible fashion, topping practice two.

The first car into the ‘29s’ when setting his fast lap, the young Kiwi topped fellow countryman Shane van Gisbergen by 0.0417sec at the end of the hour-long session.

McLaughlin sits sixth in the Championship, 285 points behind Jamie Whincup in the points, but has had good success at SMSP in previous years, earning a thrilling win in 2014 over Nick Percat.

Mark Winterbottom had a wild moment navigating turn one during the session, as he pushes to improve at a circuit that hasn’t be too kind to him in recent years. The defending champion came home third after a late fast lap in the session.

Milestone man Craig Lowndes finished eighth and was shocked by the condition of the circuit this year.

“The...


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Read more: McLaughlin takes top spot

Mostert back at successful track

Chaz Mostert has topped practice one at the place where he won two of three races last year.

The Supercheap Auto racer, who is chasing his first win of 2016, dialled in his 1min30.3346 on his 11th lap in the hour-long session, to top Tim Slade by 0.1120sec.

Darwin race winner Michael Caruso was close behind in third, with Scott McLaughlin, Rick Kelly and Jamie Whincup behind.

Mostert’s Prodrive team tested in the lead-up to this event, but it was too early to tell if any changes would make a difference this weekend.

“That practice one was all about what tyres, we were on hards most of the session then banged some softs on … I think the other guys ran softs quite early,” Mostert said after the session.  

“it was good confidence building … need to work on a few things but it’s going to be so tight this weekend.

“The car feels like it turns a little better for us which is something...


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Courtney looks ahead

James Courtney is philosophical about the team’s future after last week’s announcement Holden would shift its sponsorship to Triple Eight.

The Holden Racing Team driver is pleased be racing this weekend, rather than being focused on the off-track news, and earned ninth and sixth today in practice at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint. 

“It’s good because I can put my helmet on and don’t have to listen to you blokes!” Courtney laughed in the end of day press conference. 

While Courtney won race two at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide this year, after a thriller with current Championship leader Jamie Whincup in race one, HRT has not been able to back up the result and has come under significant scrutiny this year with its manufacturer and driver contracts up.

The 2010 champ acknowledged it as part of the sport, and reminded fans the team would continue to push forward for results.

“It’s been...


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Tags: courtney

Frosty: Walkinshaw Racing can survive

Supercars 2015 champion Mark Winterbottom writes exclusively for supercars.com, tackling the hot topics as he mounts his title defence. After Prodrive lost Ford backing, Frosty pushed on and won the Championship. He explains his team’s story in the wake of Holden’s departure from Walkinshaw Racing and tells WR fans to get behind their team. 

People might have read last week’s news that Walkinshaw Racing has lost Holden’s support and thought the team would just collapse. But our story at Prodrive Racing Australia is proof that not only can a team survive but also thrive. We lost Ford backing and then we won the championship – so it’s not like it all just falls over.

Our team has sympathy for those guys because we’ve been in a very similar position. Ford didn’t go from us to a competitor but they chose to go out of the sport.

I was a Ford man from day one and never even contemplated...


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Read more: Frosty: Walkinshaw Racing can survive

Porsche combines power

The Sydney Motorsport Park weekend is jam-packed with support categories, with international drivers hitting the circuit for the first time today in Porsche Asia.

It’s a different field, but the same cars – Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars – which means the international category not only earns points racing this weekend, but will run combined races with the Australian Carrera Cup on Sunday set for a field of 44 cars.

It is the first time the Asian category has descended on Australian shores, with some of the drivers never having visited the country before.

The field is led by twenty-five year old Frenchman and 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup France champion Maxime Jousse, who heads the standings by just two points over 19-year old German Nico Menzel with Andrew Tang, 21 and from Singapore, third and 16 points off the pace.

In fact, the category is made up of nine nationalities – including...


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Read more: Porsche combines power

 

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