Retirement plans have been put on hold by Craig Lowndes for at least another two years after the Supercars great re-signed with Holden heavyweights Triple Eight Race Engineering on Tuesday.
The six-time Bathurst 1000 winner said he never considered walking away from the sport at season’s end and did not rule out extending his Triple Eight stay at the age of 45 when his new contract expires in 2019.
There was speculation the off contract Lowndes, 42, may be tempted to take a back seat and only contest the three enduro rounds as a part-time driver from next year.
The three-time Supercars champion won his last series title in 1999.
However, Lowndes said he was as motivated as ever in his 12th year with Triple Eight.
Remarkably Lowndes has finished inside the top four in the championship every year since linking with Triple Eight in 2005.
“I’ve been here a long time now and we’ve enjoyed a great amount of success together over the years,” Lowndes said.
“I’ve always said that if I’m still motivated and I’m still competitive, then I’ll keep going.
“I’m enjoying racing as much as I ever have, so it was a no-brainer for me to continue.”
Lowndes said his new contract may not be his last as a full-time driver.
“At the moment it’s just a matter of seeing what the end of 2019 looks like (when his new deal expires),” Lowndes told motorsport长沙桑拿按摩论坛, website.
“We’ll definitely analyse where I am personally and whether I still have the ambition and drive to compete after that.”
Lowndes was the first Supercars driver to record 100 race wins, back in 2015.
Overall he has a record 105 wins and 254 podium finishes from 610 races.
He is currently eighth in the 2017 drivers’ championship ahead of this weekend’s fifth round in Winton.
Triple Eight boss Roland Dane said he was always keen to re-sign Lowndes, starting talks after the first round in Adelaide.
He wanted to lock up Lowndes before negotiations began with his co-drivers, Supercars stars Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen, who are off contract next year.
“There was never a question mark for me over whether we wanted Craig to stay with the team and I’m pleased we’ve been able to confirm the extension relatively early in the season,” Dane said.
“We’ve achieved an awful lot during his time with Triple Eight and we aim to continue building on that into the future.”