Wildcard could keep Lowndes on the Bathurst 1000 grid

A Triple Eight-run wildcard entry could be key to Craig Lowndes being on the Bathurst 1000 grid in 2022.

Wildcard could keep Lowndes on the Bathurst 1000 grid

The Supercars legend could miss out on a spot in the team's regular four-driver Bathurst 1000 squad in the likely case that retiring Jamie Whincup moves to a co-driver role.

That would leave Whincup and Garth Tander as the co-drivers, each lining up alongside either Shane van Gisbergen or Broc Feeney.

But that doesn't mean Lowndes will miss out altogether, incoming T8 team boss Whincup confirming to Autosport that a wildcard entry led by the seven-time Great Race winner is already under consideration.

"CL is part of the wallpaper at T8," said Whincup.

"We certainly want to look after Lowndesy and he's still got a few years left in him, driving-wise.

"We'll do absolutely everything we can to make sure he's on the grid in a T8 car. And the obvious way is to run a wildcard if we can. We'll work hard on that."

T8 is running a third car at this year's Bathurst 1000 for Feeney and veteran Russell Ingall.

As for Whincup's chances of racing at Bathurst next year, the seven-time Supercars champion hinted heavily at that being his preference.

"If I was a betting man I'd say I'm going to have a crack next year," he added.

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Ampol Racing, Holden Commodore ZB

Craig Lowndes, Red Bull Ampol Racing, Holden Commodore ZB

Photo by: Edge Photographics

"But it's all going to come down to the work load and how I handle that first year as managing director.

"If I felt I was going to let my teammates down by competing, then I'll be the first person to put my hand up and say, 'there's a better person for the job'. But one year out of full-time competition, I still feel like I'll be as competitive as any other co-driver.

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"So right now I'm hoping to be on the grid for 2022."

Whincup, a 124-time race winner, will make his final start as a full-timer at Mount Panorama this Sunday.

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