V8 Supercar great to be remembered
THE KING of the Mountain.
However you refer to Craig Lowndes, there is no doubt he will be remembered as one of V8 Supercar's all-time greats.
Lowndes recorded his sixth Bathurst 1000 title on Sunday alongside Steven Richards, who remarkably now has four Bathurst titles.
The win gave Lowndes a record 13 podiums at Bathurst and moved him into equal third on the all-time winners' list alongside Mark Skaife and Larry Perkins. He now trails only the late Peter Brock (nine) and Jim Richards (seven).
Lowndes, who scored win No.100 in the V8 Supercars series in Darwin earlier this year, said the result made up for the disappointment of last year when he finished a distant 10th.
"It's quite amazing. I think as the day went on, the car got better, and Richo did a fantastic job," said Lowndes, who also wished last year's winner, Chaz Mostert, all the best after a spectacular crash in qualifying saw the 23-year-old watch the race from his hospital bed after breaking his leg and wrist.
To anyone with a drop of petrol flowing through their veins, either of those words will stir years of emotion and memories.
Without being morbid, there is a sense of spirit that inhabits the mountain.
It is a place that emulates raw emotion, at both ends of the spectrum.
It has been the site of ecstatic victory and heartbreaking tragedy.
It can not be conquered.
Peter Brock won nine races at Mt Panorama - but even the king was not immune from the mountain's bite.
Craig Lowndes was a Bathurst immortal before last Sunday's race.
It was a Sunday afternoon in October 2006, Brock had died the month before.
With Brock's blessing from above, Lowndes and Jamie Whincup won the race.
That was the moment Lowndes was placed alongside Brock, Mark Skaife, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson and Jim Richards as a motorsport immortal.
Not with the same number of wins but with the same contribution to the sport.
Lowndes, like Brock has the most likeable personality.
His skill behind the wheel coupled with his ability to appreciate the fans has made him a modern day Brock.
I do not think he will equal the amazing nine wins achieved by the Holden legend.
He will come bloody close.
He still has years left as a full-time racer with Red Bull Racing and then another five as a co-driver.
Plenty of time to win eight.
- Hayden Johnson