Craig Lowndes. Pic: Dirk Klynsmith

CRAIG Lowndes will next week drive a non-Triple Eight Race Engineering entry in a competitive Repco Supercars Championship session for the first time since 2004.

V8 Sleuth has learnt Lowndes will hop into Jack Smith’s #4 SCT Logistics/Brad Jones Racing ZB Commodore for Practice 2 on Friday, August 19 at the Sandown SuperSprint.

That half-hour session will be a dedicated additional driver practice, with the majority of Bathurst 1000 co-drivers to cut laps in the lead-up to October’s Great Race.

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Lowndes’ role in the Supercars television broadcast is likely to be a factor in his unexpected BJR cameo, with circumstances aligning nicely.

The Supercheap Auto wildcard car which Lowndes will share with Declan Fraser at Mount Panorama is not allowed to take part in the Sandown session, given it’s not entered in the full event.

Smith meanwhile is yet to have a co-driver officially locked in – although David Wall is tipped to be retained – creating a vacancy for Lowndes.

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The 48-year-old’s last competitive event outing in a non-Triple Eight car came at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2004, in his final round with Ford Performance Racing.

He has been part of the furniture at Triple Eight ever since, collecting six of his seven Bathurst 1000 victories with the Banyo squad.

Greg Murphy similarly appeared in an additional driver practice for the Shell V-Power Racing Team in 2019 at The Bend, when he was a regular on the broadcast.

Lowndes did take Fabian Coulthard’s Team Sydney ZB Commodore for a spin last year during the Mount Panorama 500, although that was not during an official session.

Smith and Team 18’s Scott Pye are the last two full-timers yet to have a co-driver confirmed.

Connor O’Brien joined V8 Sleuth in 2022 as website Editor. He won the Supercars Media Award in 2017 while working as a sports reporter at the Gold Coast Bulletin, before stints at Supercars and Speedcafe. During his time at V8 Sleuth he's twice (2022, 2023) been named Journalist of the Year at the Supercars Media Awards.