HIS name might be above the door, but don’t expect to see Craig Lowndes running the show when he steps out of the Supercars cockpit for the final time.
The 43-year-old veteran has called Triple Eight Race Engineering home since 2005 and penned his latest deal with them in May last year, one which takes him through to the end of the 2019 season.
But while his new squad may be branded as Autobarn Lowndes Racing, team ownership is not on Lowndes’ radar.
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“Yeah, no interest,” he said.
“I always want to be part of a team and be involved in a team, there’s no doubt about that.
“But actually owning a team? I’ve got enough grey hair now, I don’t need any more from worrying about whether the sponsorship’s coming or going, or employees.
“For me, Roland (Dane, team owner) runs a very good ship. I’d be happy to stay at Triple Eight long term if we can get a position within the team and do something else beyond driving, if and when that point comes.”
Only time will reveal when that point will be, but Lowndes makes clear that he has no intention staying past his used-by date.
“I think it’s really going to come down to how these next two years unfold; how motivated I am at the end of this year and next year,” he said.
“Roland and I have talked about it; I don’t want to sit in a seat of a car and just be a number man, you want to be competitive, you want to be at the front.
“Last year was probably one of the poorest years I’ve had in a decade and we’re very motivated to turn that around this year.
“You don’t want to be making up the numbers; you want to be there as a driver and a racer to hopefully win races and championships, if not win Bathursts and Sandowns.
“We’ll see how this year pans out. If 2020 turns into a co-driving role, I’m sure I’ll sit with Roland before then and we’ll make that work.”
Beyond that, Lowndes is eyeing a role in the media or as a mentor to younger drivers coming up through the ranks, much like his precocious talent was nurtured by Peter Brock.
“At the moment I haven’t even focused on or thought about it because I’ve been worried more about the driving, but definitely down the line I’d like to help someone develop,” Lowndes said.
“Todd Hazelwood, we spent some time with him at the Adelaide Festival of Speed and he’s a great kid, very enthusiastic, very level-headed. He’s got a great future in front of him.
“Hopefully with the experience and knowledge that we’ve got, we can help people like that to get into bigger and better teams and get the results they deserve.”