One of Australia's most popular, motivational and recognised sporting heroes
Craig Lowndes is perhaps the world’s most successful supercar driver of all time; he has won more championship races than any other driver and is also the recipient of a record five Barry Sheene Medals. In June 2015 Craig became the first Australian driver to win 100 Championship races at the sport’s most elite level.
Craig made his first appearance on the touring car scene in 1994 with the Holden Racing team. He was the late call-up and clearly, he made an impression; Craig replaced Swede Rickard Rydell for Bathurst. It was in that race that Lowndes became a household name, launching an audacious pass for the lead in front of John Bowe in the closing stages and eventually finishing second. He made his full-time debut in 1996, taking the clean sweep of the Supercars title followed by Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 victories with Greg Murphy.
Pursuing his Formula 1 dream, Craig headed abroad in 1997 to the International Formula 3000 but he returned home after a tough single campaign. Two more Supercars titles with HRT followed in 1998 and ’99, before he switched from the factory Holden team to Ford, with the revamped Gibson Motorsport in 2001.
After a second season with the team, Craig was on the move again to Ford Performance Racing. His only victory of three seasons plagued by unreliability came early, at Phillip Island in 2003. Lowndes joined Triple Eight in 2005 and never looked back. A fourth title proved elusive, finishing second in the championship sixth times including the controversial finish to 2006 against Rick Kelly.
Bathurst was a happier hunting ground, including a hat-trick of victories alongside Whincup that started with the 2006 race immediately after the death of Lowndes’ mentor and close friend Peter Brock. Back in a Holden following Triple Eight’s brand switch, Lowndes conquered Mount Panorama again in 2010 with former HRT team-mate Mark Skaife, and in ’15 and ’18 with Steven Richards. That leaves his Great Race tally at seven victories and 14 podiums entering 2019.
While Lowndes endured a winless 2017 season he bounced back, taking two wins, seven podiums and fourth in the championship. 2018 saw Craig bow out of full-time competition after winning his seventh Bathurst 1000.
Craig was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He was honoured for his “service to motor racing and the community”, including his work in promoting road safety.
Craig Lowndes stepped into a chair behind the Fox Sports desk as he will from part of the commentary team for the 2019 Supercars season where he will provide his expert insight and analysis for the viewers at home. Craig is also an accomplished public and keynote speaker and is involved with a number of foundations including: Mates4Mates, The RSPCA and The Australian Road Safety Foundation.