Star Hale storms home

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - RE­BECCA WIL­LIAMS HOLLY SMEE

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).

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