Lowndes secures two-year Triple Eight deal
- By Stefan Bartholomaeus
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Craig Lowndes has renewed his contract with Triple Eight Race Engineering for another two years.
The 42-year-old's deal for the 2018 and 2019 seasons has been confirmed in a statement from the team this morning.
Lowndes, who is currently in his 21st Supercars season, described continuing with Triple Eight as a "no-brainer".
Although enduring a mixed start to 2017, Lowndes is confident that he can still be a force in the championship over the coming years.
“I’m really happy to be staying with Triple Eight for at least another two years,” said Lowndes.
“I’ve been here a long time now and we’ve enjoyed a great amount of success together over the years.
“I’ve always said that if I’m still motivated and I’m still competitive, then I’ll keep going.
“We finished fourth in the championship last year and I’m enjoying racing as much as I ever have, so it was a no-brainer for me to continue.
“Staying on with Triple Eight was always my first choice, so it’s a great feeling for the rest of this year knowing that I’m going to be continuing where I am for the foreseeable future.”
The three-time series winner joined the Brisbane-based Triple Eight at the start of 2005.
In the 12 full seasons since the partnership began, Lowndes has finished either second or fourth in the championship every year.
He has also won five Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000s with Triple Eight, adding to his 1996 triumph with the Walkinshaw-run Holden Racing Team.
Triple Eight Managing Director Roland Dane expressed his delight at extending Lowndes’ tenure with the team.
Dane's Red Bull HRT drivers Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen are both already locked in for 2018, where Triple Eight is scheduled to debut its new-generation V6 turbo Commodore.
“Craig really is part of the family here and it’s terrific that he wants to continue with us for another two years,” said Dane.
“We’ve achieved an awful lot during his time with Triple Eight and we aim to continue building on that into the future with more race wins and of course another Bathurst win.
“There was never a question mark for me over whether we wanted Craig to stay with the team and I’m pleased we’ve been able to confirm the extension relatively early in the season.”
TeamVortex’s naming rights partner, Caltex, is thrilled that Lowndes will be continuing on in the sport.
“Caltex has been by Craig’s side for more than ten years, and this is our second year as the naming rights partner of TeamVortex,” said Karen Bozic, Caltex’s Acting Executive General Manager – Retail & Convenience. “We are excited that Craig will keep on racing.”
Lowndes currently sits eighth in the championship ahead of this weekend’s Winton SuperSprint.