Lowndes ready for V8 Enduro challenge

Nine hundred championship points.

It’s enough to cover the top half of the V8 Supercars field, from series leader Mark Winterbottom to 13th-placed Michael Caruso.

And it’s the maximum points haul on offer over the next month as the tour begins three Enduro Cup races at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast; races that will define the season.

For Craig Lowndes, who sits third in the championship standings behind Prodrive pair Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert, it’s a figure that is looming large in his mind.

“Enduro races will make or break your season and that’s very evident knowing that the next three races are worth 900 points,” Lowndes said.

“If you have a mishap at any of these three races it could be very detrimental – it will make or break your championship.

“Frosty (Winterbottom) and Chaz, they’re having a great year but we’re very much in the mindset of closing that gap.”

Lowndes knows the points gap between Winterbottom (1915), Mostert (1741) and himself (1660) will take some closing.

Despite being unaccustomed to the lowly position that he and Red Bull Racing teammate Jamie Whincup find themselves in, Lowndes insists there’s no panic at the reigning constructors champions.

“There’s still six round of the championships, there’s a lot of racing to be done,” he said.

“But if we don’t start beating Prodrive at race weekends, we’re never going to get there.”

The 41-year-old said he was pleased to hear the championship will head back overseas in 2016 with a Malaysian street circuit added to the tour for August 2016.

Lowndes was part of a five-driver exhibition drive in Kuala Lumpur last month and said the planned expansion will be great for the sport.

“We’ve tried to go elsewhere, the Middle East, America and it hasn’t worked but I think Malaysia will definitely a good hunting ground for us,” he said.

“The timeframe is perfect for fans, two hours different to Australia.

“And we have a lot of connections to manufacturers and sponsors … it’s easy to get to, it’s fantastic.

“We were never sure it would go beyond this year so it’s fantastic that they’ve been able to lock in a date.”

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