Craig Lowndes dedicates Bathurst 1000 win to Peter Brock

– Words and Pics by
Brock’s protege Craig Lowndes paid the ultimate tribute to his fallen
idol when he claimed an emotional, emphatic win in the biggest event of
the V8 Supercar season, the Bathurst 1000.
It was a classic win in a battle which
ran right down to the flag, as Rick Kelly came up just a little short in
a winner-take-all six-lap shootout.
Lowndes and talented young co-driver
Jamie Whincup hit the front early, then resisted the challenge from Rick
and Todd Kelly after the dramatic early exits of front-row starters Mark
Skaife and Jason Bright.
As always, Bathurst was filled with
incidents and they included some huge crashes and the almost
unbelievable first-lap retirement of Skaife, who had clutch problems on
the line and was cleaned up by Jack Perkins on the first climb up
Mountain Straight.

“What can you say? To be the first
to have my name on the Peter Brock Trophy is obviously very
special,” Lowndes said.

“To do this today is pretty
emotional. We never had a problem all day.

“The best way to show respect (to
Brock) is to do this.”

Lowndes gave co-driver Whincup a huge boost
and also said he provided motivation to overcome the pressure of
performing on a day which began with a 30-minute tribute to Brock.

“I couldn’t have done it without
this little whiz kid alongside me. He’s a gem,” Lowndes said.

“We’re the same height, the same
weight and we share the same good looks.”

He admitted Rick Kelly had pressured him
all the way to the flag. “I knew he was right behind me so I
couldn’t give an inch,” Lowndes said.

But both Kelly brothers, who were
delayed with an early tyre problem, said they were beaten by a better

“I couldn’t give it any more. The
old girl was scraping the wall in a couple of places, but I couldn’t
quite do it,” Rick said.

He added: “We cannot be too
satisfied. It’s extremely painful to leave this place knowing we came so

Third place went to James Courtney and
Glenn Seton, a combination of youth and experience that worked well
through the day.

And Courtney had the speed at the end
— despite running back-to-back driving stints to the finish — to
hold out Stone Brothers’ teammate Russell Ingall.

Courtney had cramps in his hand and said
it was “like a claw” in the run to the flag.

“It’s probably the hardest race
I’ve ever done. We didn’t quite have the pace . . . but it went quite
well and we finished third,” Courtney said.

“I just managed to beat my
teammate, which makes it even better.”

The action was torrid, from the
first-lap crash which took Skaife out of the contest, to Jason Richards’
trip into the concrete in the final laps.

The safety car was sent out 10 times and
37 of the 161 laps were run under caution.

Jason Bright looked a contender in the
early laps with his FPR Falcon, but had a tyre drama before he was
sidelined by engine failure.

The second FPR car also went out, after
repairs to its engine, when suspension trouble put David Brabham into
the sand trap at McPhillamy Park.

The hits on the sharp end of the field
continued when veteran Jim Richards crashed the second HRT Commodore and
then Steven Johnson slapped the wall with his Falcon at Reid Park.

“I guess I buggered it up. The back
end was really, really knife-edge and it got away from me,” Johnson

Cameron McConville also crashed in his
SuperCheap Commodore, but the worst hit came when Paul Radisich touched
Nathan Pretty’s Commodore at The Chase and went head-on into the crash

Safety crews cut the roof from the Team
Kiwi Commodore to get him free and he was helicoptered to hospital for
checks after complaining of chest pains.

The middle laps of the race were filled
with interruptions and silly mistakes by tailenders, including Dale

He had brake failure at the top of
Mountain Straight in the second of Brad Jones’ BOC Falcons.

“The boys forgot to tell me to pump
the brakes after a pad stop. I had no option,” Brede said.

The last major drama was an engine
failure in Dean Canto’s Valvoline Commodore, although he was able to
limp around to take the flag.

The finishing order at Bathurst reflects
the battle for this year’s V8 Supercar championship, as Lowndes now has
a 101-point lead over Rick Kelly after drivers drop their worst-scoring
round in the series.



1. Lowndes/Whincup (F)

2. R.Kelly/T.Kelly (H) 6:59:54.1720

3. Courtney/Seton (F) 7:00:03.1256

4. Ingall/Youlden (F) 7:00:03.1312

5. S.Richards/Dumbrell (H) 7:00:04.3759

6. Morris/Ellery (H) 7:00:07.9750

7. Owen/Longhurst (H) 7:00:11.3233

8. Weel /Pretty (H) 7:00:13.1540

9. A.Davison/Denyer (F) 7:00:13.6298

10. Bargwanna/Baird (F) 7:00:16.0367

11. B.Jones /Bowe (F) 7:00:18.4526

12. Simmonsen/Lyons (F) 7:00:23.5839

13. Ritter/McLean (H) 160 laps

14. Besnard/Wilson (F) 160 laps

15. Noske/O.Kelly (H) 159 laps



After 9 of 13 Rounds

1. C Lowndes (Ford) 2378

2. R Kelly (Holden) 2277

3. M Winterbottom (Ford) 1983

4. R Ingall (Ford) 1952

5. J Whincup (Ford) 1880

6. G Tander (Holden) 1848

7. S Richards (Holden) 1812

8. J Bright (Ford) 1714

9. S Johnson (Ford) 1693

10. P Dumbrell (Holden) 1646



Celebration for a King!



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