Reigning Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes has been nominated for the prestigious ‘The Don’ Award, underlining his standing in Australian sport.
Lowndes is one of nine top athletes around the nation in contention for the honour, with the winner to be announced at the 35th Sport Australia Hall of Fame Annual Induction and Awards Gala Dinner next Thursday in Melbourne.
Others nominated include tennis grand slam winners Ashleigh Barty and Dylan Alcott, NRL star Cooper Cronk, three-time Tour de France stage winner Caleb Ewan and 2018 world surfing champion Steph Gilmore.
Swimming sensation Ariarne Titmus and Ashes-winning cricketers Ellyse Perry and Tim Paine are also in the mix.
The Don – named in honour of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s inaugural inductee, the late Sir Donald Bradman – is awarded each year to the athlete or team who, through their performance and example, has most inspired the nation.
Supercars fan favourite Lowndes hailed the nomination as “an incredible honour”.
“[Bradman] is one of the greatest athletes our country has seen,” said the 45-year-old.
“To be recognised as a finalist for such a prestigious award amongst Australian sporting greats – it makes me both proud to represent my sport of Supercars, but also my achievements during my career.
“To me, winning the Bathurst 1000 is the ultimate in our sport and one of Australia’s iconic sporting events. So to be a seven-time winner is something I will always be extremely proud of.”