Lown­des plans exit

Sunday Herald Sun - - Sport - JAMES PHELPS

THE che­quered flag will drop on one of Aus­tralia’s great­est mo­tor rac­ing ca­reers at the end of next year with Craig Lown­des re­veal­ing he will re­tire as a full-time driver.

Lown­des, 43, said he would be­come an en­durance round driver in 2020.

The Holden im­mor­tal re­vealed his re­tire­ment plan when asked about the prospect of ex­tend­ing his race-start record to 700.

“I didn’t think I would have had a ca­reer as long as this,” said Lown­des, whose con­tract with Triple Eight Race En­gi­neer­ing ex­pires at the end of 2019.

“And I didn’t ever think I would achieve a num­ber like that. But hope­fully I get this year and next year (as a full­time driver) and then we might get to 700.”

The three-time cham­pion will be­come the first driver to reach 650 race starts at the Win­ton Su­perSprint in Vic­to­ria, from Fri­day.

De­but­ing with the Holden Rac­ing Team in 1996 when he was 22, Lown­des will end his cham­pi­onship ca­reer on 698 races should he con­test ev­ery race un­til the end of next year.

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