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Wednesday, May 29, 2024


CRAIG Lowndes and Brad Jones are back together after 28 years apart.

Lowndes’ first ever V8 touring car race came in 1994 when he shared a Holden Racing Team VP Commodore with Jones at that year’s non-championship Sandown 500.

They built on a fifth-place finish there by challenging Dick Johnson and John Bowe for victory in a Bathurst 1000 debut that put Lowndes firmly on the map.

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That was the last time they were on the same side of the fence – until an unexpected collaboration today at the Sandown SuperSprint.

In the upcoming additional practice session starting at 3:20pm, Lowndes will hop into Brad Jones Racing’s SCT Logistics ZB Commodore ordinarily driven by Jack Smith.

The planets aligned given Smith is the only full-timer without a confirmed co-driver as yet, and Lowndes’ wildcard ZB Commodore is not eligible to take part in Sandown practice.

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Jones and Lowndes in a 1994 Bathurst press conference. Pic: an1images / Graeme Neander

And so, Jones and Lowndes are reunited, now in a team owner/one-off driver capacity.

“This is the first place we raced together in ’94 at HRT and then obviously we did Bathurst together,” Jones recalled to V8 Sleuth.

“Since then the only interaction we’ve had within a team is probably today, which is a bit funny.

Lowndes takes the chequered flag at Bathurst in 1994. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

“Certainly a lot of water under the bridge but it will be interesting to see what he thinks.

“Obviously he spends a lot of time driving Triple Eight cars and has done for a long time, so it’s very generous of him to give up his time to come along and jump in the car.

“I’m sure the boys will be interested in what he has got to say about driving the car, but this is more of an opportunity for him to have a run in a car and for us to have our car out there running around.

“He’s going to be doing some commentary in the car so the pressure isn’t on him to perform.”

Asked if there was ever a time Lowndes had come anywhere near driving a BJR Supercar before, Jones revealed a little-known approach ahead of the 2005 season.

Lowndes ahead of driving the SCT Logistics #4. Pic: Brad Jones Racing

“I spoke to his manager (David Segal) when he was looking around prior to going to Triple Eight,” he said.

“Craig was a commodity everyone was looking for; in those days I don’t think there was a team up and down pit lane that hadn’t spoken to his manager, to be honest.”

Lowndes will race in the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 partnering Super2 Series leader Declan Fraser in a Supercheap Auto-sponsored, Triple Eight Race Engineering-run Holden.

LISTEN: Brad Jones on the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Repco

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