As we head to one of the world’s most iconic races, we wanted to pick the brains of our drivers and find out just which race tracks around the globe they rate as their top picks.
Luckily for us, Lowndesy’s had a bit of spare time on his hands since his footy team didn’t make it too far in the finals, so we tracked him down to get his thoughts on which circuits really make him tick. If you know what we mean.
Hands up if you can guess what tops the table!
“Bathurst would be the first one because of the tradition, the history and the distance that we race,” he says, tailing off as he reminisces fondly about the legendary Mount Panorama circuit where he’s taken victory in the 1,000km classic five times. Earth to Craig…
“Then Phillip Island because it’s naturally just a great drivers’ track. It’s obviously very picturesque, fast-flowing and gives you great satisfaction as a driver.
“I just have great memories of victories at Bathurst and Phillip Island.”
Well, with 97 of them under his belt, there’s a fair few to choose from.
What about overseas race tracks? Craig’s been lucky enough to do a fair bit of racing abroad over the years, mostly in the days when he was more The Kid than the silver fox.
“The third one would be the Nürburgring again for the history of the track,” he continues. “The old original track is a bit over 20km long with a great history. It’s incredibly hard to memorise and get right for a full lap, which is a great challenge for drivers.
“Just having the experience of going there and having a drive around there and realising how great the place is – they’re great memories. I’d love to go back.”
His admiration of this next one was rekindled just earlier this year after he finally got to sink his teeth into a 24 hour race, but the love affair started way back in the days when the Spice Girls still topped the charts, Dolly the sheep was a household name and Glen Seton’s way was clear to take the 1997 ATCC crown.
“Next one would be Spa, again because it’s just got a great flow down through Eau Rouge. I was there in 1997 in Formula 3000, so that was an unbelievable experience to get the sense of what the track’s all about.”
And in a roundabout way, we almost end up at Bathurst to complete Lowndesy’s top five: “The last one would probably be Pau in France, which was a street race that we did in Formula 3000 in 1997 again. It’s very much like a mini Bathurst. It’s a street circuit and quite incredibly difficult with good elevation, but a great series of corners, which remind me of Bathurst.”