Bathurst 1000 legend Craig Lowndes has suffered a horrible break down at The Great Race after a gear failure ended his race only 18 laps in. Lowndes was once again a contender at Bathurst - having won the race seven times - but started to slow down across the top of the mountain.
This forced Lowndes to pull into the pit lane with what was later revealed to be gear failure. Lowndes emerged from the car and gestured the issue. Footage showed Lowndes clearly frustrated after the drama.
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“He’s cranky about it,” Neil Crompton said during commentary. “He was going to be one of the contenders,” Supercars legend Mark Skaife said.
“They’ve instructed him to come straight into the garage. Behind that big smile is a very, very competitive man He’ll be upset that’s happened so early. Disastrous news there for Craig and Zane (Goddard).”
Lowndes was able to rejoin the race, but was three laps behind. The seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner was hoping a break could get him back into the race.
“What actually happened is this is where it bolts to the tunnel and this is actually where the lever pivots,” Lowndes said. But it’s actually broken this leg. So when I went down a gear into the Cutting the whole lever went forward and I’m like, ‘Oh, this is not good’.
“It’s this cariel that’s broken here. We’re not sure about the other side, that’s the big thing. We’ve fixed this leg.
Lowndes got the break he needed when Kevin Estre ran wide at Turn 1. A safety car stopped the race.
Oh no! 😨 Craig Lowndes in the #888 Chevy is in the garage with a broken gear lever on Lap 18
Watch the Bathurst 1000 LIVE & FREE on @Channel7 & @7plus 🚗 https://t.co/YSq6PXsHH0#7Motorsport #RepcoSC pic.twitter.com/EpbBjU8Mcc
— 7Sport (@7Sport) October 8, 2023
This race has been a disaster for Lowndes and Goddard man 😭
— Not Brandon Brown (@NotBrandonBrown) October 8, 2023
— Anthony Bruno (@KolhirasCorner) October 8, 2023
David Reynolds race takes hit after controversial penalty
After Lowndes' disaster, David Reynolds also suffered a huge setback. Fans were left outraged when the Ford driver was forced to serve a pit lane penalty after 33 laps. The first safety car was delivered at Bathurst while Reynolds and Feeney were battling it out in the top 3.
Shane Van Gisbergen was right in front with a thrilling Bathurst 1000 race unfolding. Although drama hit when Reynolds was informed he had passed Broc Feeney when his rival was exiting the pit lane.
When the duo passed the safety car line, Feeney was slightly in front. Reynolds would ordinarily fall behind Feeney under the safety car.
But in the split second, Reynolds overtook Feeney. Reynolds' team argued with race control as everyone waited for the decision. In the meantime, Reynolds gave Feeney back second position under the safety car hoping the redress would be deemed fine.
However, on lap 33, Reynolds was told he would be forced to serve a penalty. This comes as with no redress rule used in Bathurst 1000 for safety car line penalties. This catapulted Reynolds back down to the bottom of the leaderboard.
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