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Fairytale finish for one of Australia's greatest racing car drivers
SYDNEY, Oct. 8 -- One of Australia's most celebrated racing car drivers, Craig Lowndes, has ended his illustrious V8 Supercar career with a 7th Bathurst 1000 title.
An iconic event on Australia's sporting calendar, the globally recognized race at Mt Panorama is considered one of motor-racing's toughest endurance battles -- and with difficult, hot conditions, last year's winner, David Reynolds, felt the pressure.
Leading for most of the race, the defending champ struggled with leg cramps and by lap 135 of the 161-lap race, Lowndes was able to pass Reynolds to snatch the win for the Holden Commodore ZB team and his co-driver, Steven Richards.
A devastated Reynolds told local media after the race, "It's probably the saddest day of my life, as far as my career goes I feel like it is."
"When I first jumped in the car for that first stint, the car was very, very hot, and I was whinging on the radio and I think that just dehydrated me," he said.
"And I was finding it very difficult to concentrate, all day it was very difficult to concentrate."
"I ended up dehydrating myself and my mind was saying to go, my body was saying no."
Gracious in victory, Lowndes spoke highly of his fellow competitor, praising his efforts.
"It's a pity for Reynolds, he said. "I don't know what happened to him, but they were the benchmark the whole weekend."
"But when we got the lead we didn't want to give it up!"
When the chequered flag was waved, it was Scott Pye and Warren Luff who finished the race in second place, also in a Holden Commodore ZB.
While Scott McLaughlin and co-driver Alex Premat made it to the podium in third spot in their Ford Falcon FG/X.