Star Hale storms home
CRAIG Lowndes will join forces with Jamie Whincup for the Supercars endurance races this year, reuniting one of Bathurst’s most formidable pairings.
In a boost to his hopes of chasing down mentor Peter Brock’s record of nine Bathurst wins, Lowndes will team up with seven-time Supercars champion Whincup for the three endurance races at Mount Panorama, the Gold Coast and Sandown.
Lowndes and Whincup dominated to win three consecutive Bathurst 1000s from 2006-08, but were separated when full-time drivers could no longer pair up in 2010.
Fellow Triple Eight teammate Shane van Gisbergen had joked he and Whincup would “arm wrestle” over Lowndes’s services as a co-driver after the veteran announced his retirement as a full-time Supercars driver at the end of 2018.
Lowndes said he was more than excited to start his next chapter alongside Whincup for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.
“I had to retire to go and drive with him again,’’ Lowndes said.
“There is no doubt that a lot of people wanted this combination to happen obviously with the history that we have together. That’s something that will put us in good stead.
“I’m really looking forward to it … hopefully we can create some more history.’’
Lowndes claimed his seventh Bathurst crown last year — alongside co-driver Steven Richards — in a fairytale finish to his last race at Mount Panorama as a full-time Supercars driver.
The victory pulled him with- in two wins of the late great Brock’s record of nine triumphs at the iconic event, and he has not given up hope of matching it.
“That number I have always said will be very hard to beat,” Lowndes said.
“Now having seven under our belt, I think for me it’s a great opportunity to be able to grow that number.
“Jamie and I have got a formidable combination at Bathurst. I know Jamie is desperate to win.
“He loves to win Bathurst as much as the championship.’’
The endurance pairing brings to an end Whincup’s seven-year partnership with co-driver Paul Dumbrell, who he won Bathurst with in 2012. The Whincup-Dumbrell pairing also tasted success three times in the Sandown 500, most recently leading home a Triple Eight trifecta in last year’s edition of the race.
“I’ve had a great stint with my current teammate Paul Dumbrell, which was great, but with Lowndsey ... I feel like we are getting the band back together,’’ Whincup said. A RARE appearance by sprinter Jack Hale provided the highlight of Round 10 of Athletics South’s interclub competition at the Domain.
The Northern Suburbs athlete, now based in Melbourne, won the 100m in a relaxed 11.21 seconds, easing up on the line, ahead of Jarred Gilroy and Bayley Campbell.
Caitlin Stalker took out the women’s equivalent from Bianca Taglieri and Sophie Young.
Walker Will Robertson set another state record, this time in the 5000m in which he broke Rohan Best’s 30-year- old mark with a time of 22.55.
Launceston’s Sam Clifford, was a class above the rest in the 5000m, clocking 14.53 in breezy conditions.
The Australian junior champion led from the gun and finished well clear of Alex Humphrey and Josh Durno, with Anita McGinnis first home in the women’s event.
The women’s 400m saw Samantha Lind and Amy Pedder clash for the second time in 24 hours, Lind repeating the result of the ATLAS meet with a narrow victory in a time of 57.85.
In the men’s race, North West Coast athlete Lachlan Bonney recorded 50.10 to just shade Jarred Gilroy.
Former Australian rep Justin MacDonald wound back the clock with a throw of 34.75m to win the men’s discus, while Huw Peacock won the hammer and shot put.
The top four women in the 1kg discus all threw personal bests, Rachel Hosie coming out on top with 34.47m.
Jane Hickie returned after an injury lay-off to win the high jump and 4kg shot, and Isabella Hippel won the 3kg.
The long jump events were won by Cam Mann and Caitlin Stalker, while the 4 x 200m relays were taken out by Sandy Bay (men) and Eastern Suburbs (women).