CRAIG Lowndes has his sights sets on becoming a championship contender after breaking through to win his first race in two years at the Tasmanian Supersprint on Sunday.
In a blast from the past, Lowndes showed he could still be a force by holding off Ford young-gun Scott McLaughlin to claim his first victory since 2015.
Lowndes’ resurrection as a race winner could see him go on to break a much longer drought with the Holden legend looking to claim his first title since 1999.
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“It is a great relief for me,’’ Lowndes said.
“As a race car driver you always drive with confidence and belief but to not win races is never a good feeling. It has been a long drought and it is just great for the team to get the win. Last year we were up and down like a yo-yo. We had a good performance and then a bad performance and then a good performance.
Hopefully the win rolls on and leads to some more consistent speed because that is what we have been after.’’
Lowndes said he did not know it had been two years since he won his last race – the victory coming at Queensland Raceway in 2015.
“We don’t go out there and think about the last time we won,’’ Lowndes said.
“Or when our last pole position was. I didn’t know when my last win was until some one pointed it out. We just go out and do our best every week.
The three time champion described the current competition as the toughest he has ever faced in a V8 career that began in 1996.
“You have 25 cars out there that all have great resources, equipment and sponsors,’’ Lowndes said.
“It makes it bloody hard. You make one mistake in a qualifying session and you loose six spots. You can be a fraction of pole and be out of the top ten. It is so competitive and I think that is what makes this series so great.’’
Lowndes is intent on continuing his charge by challenging for another race win at Phillip Island later this month.
“You need to have a complete weekend,’’ Lowndes said.
“That’s starts with practice, rolls into qualifying and than into the race. You need to get everything right and that includes pit-stops which have been a bit hit and miss for us.
“We need to get all those elements right to get a podium let alone a win. I am looking forward going to Phillip Island and starting a fresh.’’
Lowndes’ stable mate Jamie Whincup said he will not be changing his approach to racing after claiming the championship lead with a first
and a third in Launceston.
“It means nothing,’’ Whincup said.
“You just go out and win as many races as you can and the points will look after themselves. It is not nice being out of contention but there will be no change for me from here.’’