Six-time Bathurst 1000 winner, Craig Lowndes, has today been honoured during the premiere event of the 2016 V8 Supercar racing calendar. This year’s Clipsal 500 marks the start of Lowndes’ 251st round, grabbing him the record for most starts in the history of the sport.
To recognise his breaking of previous holder Russell ‘The Enforcer’ Ingall‘s record, Lowndes was celebrated with a solo lap of the track prior to commencement of the first race of the season.
Lowndsey is one of only two drivers in the league (the other being Garth Tander) to have competed in every Clipsal 500 event since its beginning as the ‘Sensational Adelaide 500’ in 1999, so it seems fitting for the track to be the venue of his celebratory lap.
In an interview for Channel Ten earlier in the day Lowndes had said that he loves the heat. “The hotter the better for me.” This opinion proved useful with temperatures heading for a top of 39°C, placing in-cabin temperatures in excess of 60°C.
Today also marks the debut race of the new Triple Eight Team Vortex car, placing Lowndes in the garage next to that of his T8 umbrella teammates Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen who race for Red Bull Racing Australia.
Lowndes placed seventh in the first race of the day and tenth in the second.
Both Courtney and Whincup also made podium in the second race, with Courtney finishing in pole position followed by Whincup in second. Chaz ‘Mozzie’ Mostert from Supercheap Auto Racing placed third, making for an impressive comeback following the injuries he sustained during qualifying at the Bathurst 1000 last year.
Today won’t be one that Lowndsey or his supporters will soon forget. He has proven time and time again that he’s still going strong and shows no sign of leaving any time soon.
Craig Lowndes is guaranteed to go down in history as one of the legends of the sport and it will be interesting to see what he will bring to the track this season.