DELIEVRING the man he calls the greatest driver of the current Supercars era a fairytale finish at Mount Panorama - that is the mission Craig Lowndes hopes to fulfil this Sunday.
Sunday's Bathurst 1000 is when Jamie Whincup lines up for his final race as a full-time Supercars driver and fittingly he will be sharing his seat with Lowndes.
It will be the seventh time the pair have shared a Triple Eight Race Engineering entry in the Great Race and a chance to build on a partnership which has already delivered three Bathurst 1000 success stories.
Lowndes says he's determined to do all he can to make it a fourth victory together.
"We come here with a lot of confidence and I am aiming to be the best support I can, I'm pretty determined," he said.
"My role is to look after the car, put it in a position for him that when I hand it over for the final run home, we can be in the top three and let him do what he does best."
There are a lot of things which Whincup has been best at during his Supercars career. He ranks number one on the all-time list of race wins (124), race podiums (237) and pole positions (92) and equalled Ian Geoghegan's record of four championship titles in succession.
Whincup has also enjoyed four Bathurst wins since making his Great Race debut in 2002. One of those triumphs at the Mount ranks amongst Lowndes' career highlights.
"For me '06 will always be the favourite one because it was the first with the Peter Brock Trophy and for Jamie, I think he reflects back on that now, not understanding at the time who significant it was, but now knowing that and it also started off our three-peat," Lowndes said.
"So for us, that's a great memory."
One of Lowndes' other great memories was when he marked his final season as a full-time Supercars driver by winning the Bathurst 1000 alongside Steve Richards.
"That was just a fairytale finish for us because we didn't have a fast car," he said.
"If I can achieve that with Jamie this year, that would be unbelievable."
Even if Whincup doesn't claim the chequered flag in the 161-lap epic, there is little doubting the impact he has had on the sport. The man they call 'JDub' has certainly delivered on the promise Lowndes saw all those years ago.
"When he first joined the team in '05 I saw the potential. He's always had the raw speed, he made a lot of mistakes at the beginning like we all do, but he's matured and his ability to focus on the racing side of it, to dedicate his life to it, hence he's going to go on and run the team," Lowndes said. "Just his work ethic, there is no doubt he's raised the bar.
"A lot of people up and down pit lane, if you have success you want to emulate that ... so he's set the bar higher than I suppose what we did when I did when I came along with Brock and the Johnsons, he's done it again with this new evolution."
The main race is set to start at 12.15pm on Sunday.
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