Break over, it’s time to get tough

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorsport - Craig Lown­des V8 Su­per­car cham­pion

IT’S get­ting to­wards the end of our nine-week, mid-sea­son break and I’ve got to say it’s get­ting frus­trat­ing. I just want to get back in the car and driv­ing again.

It’s been the biggest break I think we’ve ever had; even longer than Christ­mas. I’ve been able to do stuff around the farm and fi­nalise a lot of things, but I’ve been get­ting frus­trated.

Right now I’m in Europe to see the Bel­gian F1 at Spa this week­end. Well, not quite.

I’ll get to see the qual­i­fy­ing, but then I have to hop back on the plane on Satur­day night and fly home so I can be ready for our test day on Tues­day at Queens­land Race­way.

I’ve been con­cen­trat­ing on my fit­ness in prepa­ra­tion for the tough en­duro rounds at Phillip Is­land and Bathurst. And for me there is the added chal­lenge of the nine-day Aus­tralasian Sa­fari in be­tween them.

As most read­ers would know, a cou­ple of weeks ago I had my first test in the Holden Colorado I’ll be shar­ing with Kees Weel in the Sa­fari. It didn’t turn out the best with me rolling it half­way through the day.

Any­way, the Colorado is just about back to­gether again and we plan for a fi­nal test at Al­bury on the Mon­day be­fore Phillip Is­land.

Then I head home for a few days, be­fore fly­ing to Perth for the Sa­fari, so there re­ally isn’t a lot of prepa­ra­tion.

How­ever, Kees and I are still pretty con­fi­dent. He and the car are vet­er­ans in this sort of rac­ing.

I know a lot of V8 driv­ers have been tak­ing ad­van­tage of this long break to hol­i­day over­seas.

I’ve been able to keep up with ev­ery­thing they are do­ing be­cause 19 out of the 29 driv­ers have a Twit­ter ac­count and are quite ac­tive on it.

Nat and I use my Twit­ter and Face­book ac­counts to keep our fans up­dated on what we’re do­ing.

If any­one wants to fol­low what’s hap­pen­ing in my life on the farm and at the track, they can go to twit­­des888

There have been a cou­ple of things that have hap­pened in V8 Su­per­cars re­cently I would like to com­ment on.

The first is the strength­en­ing ru­mours that we will race a non­cham­pi­onship round in Singapore next year as a sup­port act to the F1.

For V8s to be show­cased be­side F1 again would be a great op­por­tu­nity. It’s also a brand new track which should be in­ter­est­ing.

It will cer­tainly be a bet­ter times­lot for the fans back home than the Mid­dle East rounds. The Mid­dle East is great in some as­pects, such as cov­er­age in Europe, but back here in Aus­tralia it’s poor.

The tim­ing is all wrong and some fans hear about the re­sults on the net or phone be­fore they see it on the TV. Singapore would be a lot bet­ter.

The other great news is that the Perth round has been saved for next year. It’s a great city and we en­joy go­ing there, so it was pretty sad we missed out this year.

Triple 8 still went over to ful­fil our spon­sor re­quire­ments and the fans showed us just how much they love the sport. There is a great sup­port base for V8 Su­per­cars over there.

I’m also de­lighted that the deal in­cludes the govern­ment spend­ing mil­lions of dol­lars on per­ma­nent mo­tor­ing fa­cil­i­ties rather than an­other tem­po­rary street cir­cuit.

Pic­ture: Emma Weel

Ready for a chal­lenge: Craig Lown­des in the Holden Colorado he’ll share with Kees Weel in the Aus­tralasian Sa­fari.

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