06 Jul 2018
The Adelaide 500 has paid tribute to its inaugural winner Craig Lowndes, who today announced his retirement from full-time Supercars racing.
In 1999, Lowndes steered the #1 Mobil Holden Racing Team Commodore to victory in the very first Adelaide 500 (then known as the Sensational Adelaide 500).
That victory was characterised by a fantastic back-of-grid drive on Sunday to take the chequered flag, having been relegated to the rear of the field following his win in the opening race on Saturday.
The penalty that resulted in that the relegation was subsequently reversed.
Lowndes continued winning by taking out the Saturday race the following year, and again winning the first heat after switching to Gibson Motorsport and Ford in 2001.
Although he hasn’t won an outright Adelaide 500 event since his first-up win in 1999, Lowndes currently holds six race wins - the second-most race wins behind Jamie Whincup.
He has finished on the podium eight times and has two Adelaide pole positions.
Lowndes is also distinguished as being the only driver to have started every race in the Adelaide 500, racing for the Holden Racing Team, Gibson Motorsport, 00 Motorsport, Ford Performance Racing and, since 2005, current outfit Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Lowndes, who currently drives the #888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing Commodore in the Virgin Australia Supercars Series, is poised to continue driving for Triple Eight in the mid-year endurance races, however the 2018 Adelaide 500 was his last race at the traditional season-opening event.
He is a three-time Australian Touring Car/Supercars champion, and six-time Bathurst winner.
“Craig Lowndes has a unique and significant history with the Adelaide 500,” Events South Australia executive director Hitaf Rasheed said.
“As our first ever Adelaide 500 winner back in 1999, Craig will forever have a special place in the history of Supercars racing in the Adelaide parklands.
“As our event has grown over the last 20 years, so too has Craig’s place within the hearts of fans – and if there’s one name that stands out on the many race shirts and caps in the Adelaide 500 paddock, it’s ‘Lowndes’.
“He’s a true fan favourite and a great friend of the Adelaide 500.
“We congratulate Craig on a truly amazing career at the top level of Australian motorsport, and look forward to welcoming him back to our race in the future – even if not behind the wheel of a Supercar.”