Lowndes to drive Dallara Formula 1 car
The seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner will start the two-day sprint event as one of the outright favourites, the Dallara he’ll be driving having won the event last year.
That was in the hands of circuit owner Sam Shahin who lapped the West layout in 1m13.542s in the decisive Top 10 Shootout.
While Lowndes is best known for his touring car work, he does have experience in powerful open-wheelers thanks to a stint in Formula 3000 in 1997.
“I’m really looking forward to it, with everything going on it’s difficult to do anything at the moment so it’s great that The Bend is putting on a weekend like this – and obviously to have the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car,” said Lowndes.
“It’s a great opportunity and a fantastic honour to drive the cars I grew up watching at the Adelaide Grand Prix back in the day, and to drive them at a circuit like The Bend is even better.
“It’s a great circuit and to hear what they have planned for the future and the ongoing development is very exciting. I can’t wait go get down there and get in the car.”
Shahin added: “Craig is a fantastic ambassador for motorsport and we are ecstatic that the stars have aligned so he can attend this year.
“His enthusiasm for the event and the circuit are welcomed and he will be a great addition to a wonderful weekend of motorsport.
“It is our ambition to grow The Bend Classic into one of the world’s premier motorsport festivals of its type. Even though the last two years have hindered us from welcoming interstate or international competitors and their vehicles to The Bend, the response from South Australian competitors has been nothing short of magnificent.
“South Australian fans are in for a spectacular weekend and we are so inspired and thankful with the response from local competitors, car owners and enthusiasts who are supporting this event in record numbers.”
There will be a number of Formula 1 cars in action at The Bend Classic, including a new addition to The Bend’s fleet, an ex-Giancarlo Fisichella Benetton B198 that will be driven by Shahin.
Yasser Shahin will join Lowndes as one of the favourites to win the Shootout as he lines up in a Formula Renault 3.5 car.