CRAIG Lowndes goes one-on-one with the Gympie Times in preparation for his visit to the region this weekend.
Q. THANKS for chatting to us one on one, Craig. You're a surprise guest for Gympie Tyrepower, what is your connection with the brand?
A. I have been a proud supporter of Tyrepower for some time now.
I think it's a great brand, extremely trustworthy and I am very happy to be working with them.
Q. Have you ever been to Gympie before?
A. I have been to Gympie on several occasions and I always love coming back, it's a really awesome spot.
I remember going to the Gympie Music Muster, which was a lot of fun.
I am keen to check it out again.
Q. We have a lot of Holden and Ford fans in this town who just love their cars. What do you think is so special about identifying with a car maker?
A. Motorsport fans are extremely passionate about their brands and they see their car as an extension of themselves, much like I do.
Q. What does it take to last in the endurance races like Bathurst 1000? Those long races must take it out of you.
A. Fitness is the absolute key to endurance races like Bathurst.
You can be driving your car for a few hours in extreme heat so you need to be in top physical as well as mental shape for these type of races.
Q. Is there a message you would like to send to young drivers?
A. Just try your best and never give up.
Q. Motorsport is an evolving beast; where do you think it's heading in Australia?
A. I think the next few years for motorsport in Australia will be extremely exciting, especially with the introduction of the Car of the Future in 2013.
There'll also be two new manufacturers next year in the V8 Supercars Championship and I believe it should bring an even and exciting competition.
Q. What kind of sportsman were you as a youngster?
A. I was extremely active when I was young.
I used to play Aussie rules football, cricket and do a lot of go-karting.
I have always been very passionate about sport.
Q. Who was it that introduced you to racing?
A. It was actually my dad who introduced me to racing.
Q. How long have you had the passion for being behind the wheel?
A. I have had the passion for motorsport well before I could get behind the wheel of a car and drive one myself.
Q. Is it still enjoyable just to take a leisurely weekend cruise?
A. I love driving and to get away from the track and take a leisurely drive is a real treat.
I like to drive as much as I can because there is so much to see out there.
Q. Is there something special about the racing community that keeps you involved?
A. I think it has to be fans.
I have received a lot of support from thousands of people since I started my career way back in the mid '90s.
A lot of them are extremely passionate about the V8 Supercars and without them, I wouldn't be doing what I am.
Q. Is there a particular fan who sticks out in your mind?
A. There isn't one fan who sticks out in my mind - they all do.
Q. What about the race itself - can you describe the feeling when you're competing?
A. The feeling I get during each race is exhilarating.
It's a combination of nerves and excitement because you never know what's around the corner.
Q. What's a special moment in motor racing that you will always remember?
A. It would definitely have to be when I won the Peter Brock trophy for the first time back in 2006.
That was I day I will never forget.
- Name: Craig Lowndes
- Age: 38
- Born: Melbourne, Victoria
- Favourite food: Seafood
- Favourite movie: Mad Max
- Favourite quote: Now this is a knife
- Favourite music: Powderfinger, Nickelback, James Blunt
- Sport you would play if not motorsport: Aussie rules
- Most memorable moment in sport: Winning the Peter Brock trophy for the first time