Perfect finish! Lowndes claims seventh Bathurst win

Craig Lowndes on his way to victory at Mount Panorama.
Craig Lowndes on his way to victory at Mount Panorama.

CRAIG Lowndes has achieved a fairytale Bathurst 1000 win on his last full-time drive at Mount Panorama, partnering with Steven Richards to achieve a stunning seventh triumph in the Great Race.

Lowndes capitalised on an unfortunately-timed cramp to race leader David Reynolds, which denied the pacey Erebus Motorsport team a huge chance to retain the Peter Brock trophy.

The 44-year-old Lowndes overtook Reynolds for the lead with 27 laps remaining, cruising to victory ahead of fellow Commodore Scott Pye and Warren Luff.

DJR Team Penske pair of Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat were third. With a boisterous crowd - totalling more than 206,000 across the weekend - chanting "Lowndesy, Lowndesy, Lowndesy", their hero admitted his emotion.

"It's almost like the 06 back again I think," he said, referring to his 2006 triumph which came just weeks after his mentor Peter Brock's death.

Craig Lowndes celebrates his seventh Bathurst win. Picture: Getty Images
Craig Lowndes celebrates his seventh Bathurst win. Picture: Getty Images

"I didn't have any air in the coolsuit for the last three stints. "Richo and I came into this weekend with a lot of confidence off the back of Sandown. But you never know.

"We didn't have the speed at the start of the race but we were hoping it would develop and the track would come to us. And it did."

The success ties Lowndes with Jim Richards, the father of his co-driver Steven, on seven wins, and leaves him behind only Brock, the King of the Mountain, who has nine.

Steven Richards became a five-time winner at the age of 46.

Bathurst heartbreak for Reynolds after cramps destroyed his chance at back-to-back wins on the mountain.
Bathurst heartbreak for Reynolds after cramps destroyed his chance at back-to-back wins on the mountain.

After qualifying ninth, the planets aligned for car No.888 on race day. Favourites Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell were brought down to earth early, losing a wheel down the main straight.

James Courtney and Jack Perkins were forced into an early retirement with an oil issue, while Cam Waters' co-driver David Russell suffered a shunt from teammate Chaz Mostert to send him down the order.

And Lowndes and Richards steadily went to work.



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