Getting back on track – literally and figuratively – after the offseason has a bit more to it for the drivers than just jumping behind the wheel and taking the Red Bull Holdens for a leisurely stroll around Sydney Motorsport Park. Luckily, Lowndesy’s on hand to give us the lowdown on how he prepares for the new season.
Relax – It’s really important to come into the new season relaxed and refreshed. Obviously I had a big crash at Homebush last year, so this Christmas break was particularly critical for me to make sure I was unwinding both physically and mentally so that I could come into 2015 feeling my best, but obviously I had to maintain my fitness at the same time. And that brings us onto…
Fitness – Although we get the chance to kick back and relax, enjoying food that we wouldn’t usually during the season, it’s vital that we keep our fitness at a good level. We do taper off during the offseason, but boost our training and get back into a solid diet and exercise routine in the new year.
New gear – A new season means new equipment, and that’s not just on the car. We need fresh suits, helmet, boots, the lot, and that takes a fair bit of preparation. Our OMP suits and boots are made in and imported from Italy and our helmets are painted locally, but you want to get all this organised as early as possible in case any changes are needed.
Team time – Before I head back on track I like to spend a bit of time at the workshop, catching up with everyone and helping on the car where I can from time to time. Although nothing has really changed for us within the cabin, it’s still really important for us to sit in the car for a bit and check we’re comfortable because you don’t want to get to the test or first event and realise you need to waste time changing some really basic stuff. It’s not just the cars we have to think about though – we have to do photo and film shoots, which all happen at the workshop.
New engineer – This year is a bit different for me as I obviously have a new engineer in Grant McPherson, so it’s been really important for us to spend time getting to know each other and how each of us works. It’s a massive change for both of us as I was with Jeromy Moore for so many years and he’s never worked with the Holden, so it’s going to be a learning process for both of us, but I’m confident we’ll hit the ground running.