When success is measured by results, one’s mind can be their worst enemy. And it often is.
After delving deep into the mind of legendary FMX and stunt rider Robbie Maddison last week, it’s V8 Supercars champion Craig Lowndes’ turn to take the audience into his world this week in the second instalment of the six-part FOCUS series on Fox Sports 1.
Presented by Red Bull Media House, episode two of the fly-on-the-wall series centres around MOTIVATION and the challenges Lowndes and international endurance runner Ryan Sandes face in rediscovering the drive that saw them crowned champions of their respective sports in just the infancy of their careers.
Despite being from two different countries, two different sports and seemingly sharing nothing other than their Red Bull affiliation, Lowndes and Sandes have more in common than either cares to realise. Maintaining perpetual motivation is an affliction just about every successful athlete suffers from – regardless of age, gender, sport or talent.
Three-time V8 Supercars champion Lowndes, a child prodigy of the late and great Peter Brock, first emerged on the Australian touring car scene aged just 19. Bright eyed and bushy eyebrowed, the laconic Victorian product made his debut at Australia’s most difficult and prized race – the Bathurst 1000. Affectionately dubbed “The Kid”, Lowndes finished second and within 12 months had earned himself a full-time drive, going on to win the championship in his very first full-time season.
By 1999, Lowndes had claimed the championship no less than three times in as many campaigns and his reign seemed destined to continue. But 15 years on and having just celebrated his 39th birthday, the most popular figure in Australian motorsport remains in search of that elusive fourth V8 Supercars championship as he stares down the barrel of retirement and fends off challenges from rivals 20 years his junior.
“Motivation for me is a driving force to keep driving,” Lowndes says.
“With a team-mate like Jamie Whincup who is at the peak of his powers, putting the car on pole and always putting himself in a position to win, that challenges me and that’s what keeps me motivated to keep going.
“I’d like to think I’ve helped him come along a little like Peter Brock did me and now it’s his competitiveness that pushes me. Then there are the young guys like Scott McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert coming through and that next generation of stars who you want to test yourself against.
“I’m obviously in the tail end of my career but as long as I’m in with a chance to win another championship, like I am this year and have been the past few years, I’ve got plenty of motivation. I’ve got a few years left in me yet and I’m more motivated than ever to get to 100 race wins and get that fourth championship.”
A cutting-edge cinematic experience, Lowndes’ episode of FOCUS will air on Fox Sports 1 tonight from 8.30pm.