Craig Lowndes 'numb' as retirement from full-time Supercars begins

Craig Lowndes said he felt "numb" after bringing his career as a full-time Supercars driver to a close in Newcastle last weekend

Craig Lowndes 'numb' as retirement from full-time Supercars begins

The three-time champion and seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner made his final start as a series regular ahead of his new role as a dedicated Triple Eight enduro driver from 2019.

There were a number of special tributes to Lowndes on the final day of the season, headlined by a guard of honour that stretched the length of pitlane in the build-up to the Sunday race.

Lowndes bowed out with an 11th-place finish, having led for a spell after pitting late in the hope of a caution period, and admitted his retirement from full-time racing "hasn't sunk in" and might not for some time.

He said his race engineer John McGregor "made a comment going into the last lap to enjoy it for what it is. And I did.

"I could see the crowd waving and cheering on.

"We all have a lot of respect for each other. To see the whole of pitlane come out on the apron to show respect, I'll always remember that.

"To bow out of the sport on a high, and to really share the moment with everyone, to do that lap in the Commodore out of the sunroof - I haven't heard a crowd cheer that hard in my life - that was really special.

"To be able to sit back in years to come and see how that all unfolded, I think the memories will be more special going into the future than right now.

"For me, at the moment, it's a little a bit numb, to be honest, knowing that I'm not getting into a car until October next year. It's a bit different."

Lowndes aimed to upstage new champion Scott McLaughlin with his post-race burnout, although he admitted he had to be mindful of the hardware given the Bathurst-winning ZB Commodore has already been sold to collector and racer Scott Taylor.

"All I wanted to do was do a bigger [burnout] than Scotty," said Lowndes.

"The engine is alright, I think it got to 105 [degrees]. It was in third gear, so I was making sure I didn't blow it up."

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Series Supercars
Drivers Craig Lowndes
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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