Craig Lowndes has long been considered a legend of V8 Supercars. Last year, he added to his legacy by winning his 100th race and sixth Bathurst 1000, before finishing runner-up in the Championship.
This weekend at the Clipsal 500 he smashes the record for the most V8 Supercars round starts beating Russell Ingall’s big 250. Lowndes will complete a lap of honour before lining up on the grid for this afternoon's first race.
Ingall may be a commentator on FOX SPORTS after retiring at the end of 2014, but he managed to add three event starts to the resume last year, standing in at Sandown and Bathurst with Holden Racing Team and the Gold Coast with Prodrive.
Despite the unplanned additional races, Lowndes has managed to crack the record and notches up 251 this weekend.
“You could’ve left me with one record!” Ingall said to Lowndes when the two caught up for the broadcast.
“Most round starts, you’re about to beat that. We’re level pegging on 250, you’re going to 251 and take that out.
“Mate it’s a credit to you, because I think it’s a credit to stay in this sport that long … it’s a hard gig.”
The two started full-time in the category in 1996 and Ingall won his 2005 Championship in a Caltex Falcon, which had a similar look to Lowndes’ new TeamVortex ride.
Ingall described the sport as one that is punishing both on and off the track, and Lowndes agreed.
“When you first start out you don’t know how long you’re going to be in the sport and there’s no guarantees,” Lowndes said.
“Regardless of whether you’re on top, at the bottom … for me, I’ve been lucky enough to be in good teams most of the way through.
“To be able to have the starts – unless you’re [Ingall] going to make a cameo appearance later in the year – it is nice to know the longevity I’ve had in the sport.
“This is my 20th year so it is a bit sad to say, but it’s great to know you’ve been in the sport [so long].”
Lowndes has won six races at the Adelaide Parklands circuit and starts today’s two races from 11th and ninth.