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Feature: Triple Eight’s enduro dream team

In 2019 Triple Eight Race Engineering fields what could be considered the strongest endurance driver line-up in the history of Australian touring cars, with Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander joining Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen respectively with 14 Bathurst 1000s and 12 championships won in total. Lowndes and Tander share their thoughts on their return to Supercars in exclusive interviews in SupercarXtra issue #113.

03 October 2019

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The path taken to Triple Eight’s super team is very different for Lowndes and Tander.

Lowndes’ venture to co-driver duties with Jamie Whincup was well planned, rolling out on a farewell tour in 2018. Tander, in contrast, woke up one day with the news he was being replaced at Garry Rogers Motorsport, prematurely ending his full-time career and opening the door for Triple Eight to complete a powerhouse driver line-up for the 2019 PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

Lowndes is now just two Bathurst wins shy of mentor Peter Brock’s record of nine. And with Lowndes re-signing with Triple Eight till the end of 2021, the record for most Bathurst wins is in sight.

Lowndes and Whincup completed a famous three-peat of Bathurst wins for Triple Eight from 2006 to 2008, before the rules were changed to split full-time drivers. It was always the tantalising dream to bring them back together, but it required the 45-year-old legend to retire from his main drive. Enter 2019.

Tander’s path to endurance co-driver duties at Triple Eight is in stark contrast to that of Lowndes. Early in the new year, Tander lost his drive at Garry Rogers Motorsport and instead had to resign himself to co-driving options.

There was no farewell tour like Lowndes. Certainly, it’s not what he wanted, expected or planned for 2019, but joining Triple Eight’s dream team presents a chance to prove he still has plenty to offer.

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