In the slow lane with Craig Lown­des

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE - JOHANNA LEGGATT

THIS V8 Su­per­car rac­ing leg­end in­hab­its two very dif­fer­ent worlds.

There is the high-oc­tane world of rac­ing car driv­ing, where he has carved out an im­pres­sive ca­reer. Then there is the trea­sured do­mes­tic world of home life in Bris­bane’s north­ern sub­urbs with wife Lara and the cou­ple’s beloved dog Lola.

“When I am at home, it’s about shut­ting down,” Lown­des said. “We have eight dif­fer­ent vegie patches and Lara has taught me a bit about cook­ing.”

Lown­des is one of the great cham­pi­ons of the mo­tor-rac­ing world and holds the record for the most race wins in the his­tory of Aus­tralian Tour­ing Car and V8 Su­per­car cham­pi­onships.

He is a six-time Bathurst win­ner, has won the Barry Sheene Medal — the sport’s best and fairest award — a stag­ger­ing five times and in 2012 was awarded an OAM for ser­vices to the com­mu­nity.

Like many suc­cess­ful driv­ers, he cut his teeth on the go-kart cir­cuit, which he joined at the age of nine.

Be­fore that, he would race bikes with his brother and fool around with “pad­dock bombs” on the fam­ily prop­erty. “I ac­tu­ally grew up in Mel­bourne, in Greens­bor­ough, and it was acreage back in those days so we had a lot of time to play with bikes,” he said.

It wasn’t un­til he turned 18 that he re­alised he wanted to race for a liv­ing. “It was ac­tu­ally re­al­is­ing that I could make money off do­ing some­thing I loved that was a turn­ing point,” he said.

Lown­des will race at the next V8 Su­per­car event, the Wil­son Se­cu­rity Sandown 500, at Sandown Race­way in Spring­vale, on Septem­ber 15-17.

Typ­i­cal Satur­day morn­ing

I don’t know if we even have a typ­i­cal Satur­day morn­ing as we travel so much for the sport. So when we are at home, there are no plans as such, we just take it easy. I am gen­er­ally wo­ken by Lola at about 6.30am look­ing for some food and then I will get up and make a cup of tea.

Se­cret do­mes­tic skill

There are a few things I think I am good at, but Lara might dis­agree. I think I am pretty good at un­load­ing the dish­washer and keep­ing the floors clean. I am very or­gan­ised and there is a touch of the OCD about it.

Sig­na­ture dish

Lara is a much bet­ter cook than me. I chop and do all the prep work, so I guess you could say I am the sous chef or as­sis­tant chef. I have learned a lot from her, though, and if I was to give any­thing a go, it would be chilli mus­sels.

Hap­pi­ness at home

Just be­ing at home, do­ing noth­ing and en­joy­ing be­ing around the house, spend­ing time with Lara. I also like to make sure the house is in or­der. I love com­ing home and walk­ing in the door and the house is nice and clean.

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