We’ve got some more exciting news to share. Craig ‘CL’ Lowndes is heading back to America’s deep south to compete in Round 6 of Supercars All Stars Eseries at Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
CL joins his fellow Red Bull Holden Racing Team quartet of Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander on Wednesday night, and we can confirm, they’re ready and rarin’ to go.
Although the three-time Supercars champion is a dominant figure in the motor racing real world, he’s all hat and no cattle when it come to e-racing.
“My experience on a simulator is pretty limited to be honest. I’ve obviously missed that phase in my racing career, but in saying that I’ve been operating a sim from the Triple Eight workshop over the last week or so. As I’m now understanding a bit more of the technology and how advanced they’ve become, they’re actually quite a good thing.”
It will be a return to the Lone Star State for CL since last racing at Circuit of the Americas in 2013 as part of the Supercars Championship, and the thought of returning to the iconic circuit is exciting.
“It was quite amazing racing at Texas. When it first became a reality for us flying half-way across the world all those years ago, taking what we know as a product here in Australia to the backdoor of America was sensational – I loved it.
“The interesting thing was the temperature. The climate was extremely hot and very different to what we expected so a lot of drivers suffered. The Americans knew quite a lot about Supercars and they were very appreciative, very polite and they loved the cars,” he said.
Although CL’s had real-world experience racing in a supercar in Texas, he admits the differences between simulator racing and racing in real time are more than you can shake a stick at.
“I think whatever advantage you’ve had at a track you’ve raced at before is now gone. Most of the drivers have now been on a simulator and completed laps at the tracks, and as I said the sim is a completely different world for me. Getting your head around what you need to do to drive the sim to maximise your lap time is more valuable than knowing the tracks in real life.”
Watching Supercars Eseries has been a Wednesday night ritual in the Lowndes household, and it sounds like all the sledges dished out by CL might come back to bite him in the….well, you know what.
“The Eseries has been interesting to watch from afar. Both Lara (CL’s wife) and I have been home every Wednesday logging on to watch it and it’s been quite humorous at times.
“Now I’ve had time to get my backside into a sim and understand how difficult it is, I think all of my sledging at drivers watching from the TV is unjustified considering how hard it is to get your head around it.”
Having four Red Bull Holden Commodores racing in Texas is going to be a sight to see, and sure’nuff the competitiveness is already showing.
“If there’s one driver I want to beat on Wednesday night, it’s definitely my teammate, Jamie Whincup. Although he was struggling at the start, he’s definitely getting better. There’s no way I’m going to beat Shane, so if I can get ahead of JDub I’ll be happy.”
We’re certain that whoever’s going to be at the bottom of the RBHRT leader board after Wednesday night is going to be madder than a wet hen. This should make for some interesting viewing…
Round 6 of the Supercars All Stars Eseries takes place on May 13 at 18:00 AEST, with live streaming of the event available to view on the Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Facebook page from 7:00pm AEST.