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Monday, 23 January 2017 00:00

Lowndes column: The engineering challenge

204columnlowndesengineer

Craig Lowndes faced an in-season engineering change in 2016, as Ludo Lacroix departed Triple Eight Race Engineering for DJR Team Penske and John 'Irish' McGregor stepped up from data engineer to race engineer.

Lowndes details the changes and the importance of the driver-engineer relationship in his exclusive column for V8X Supercar Magazine in issue #96.

Issue #96 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #96.

"The driver-engineer relationship is a massive part of success in Supercars," he writes.

"That rapport, the understanding of how a driver relates a car back, then for the engineer to interpret that and make a decision or change that the driver's happy with, is a process that needs to work smoothly for success.

"Although I've worked with Irish [John McGregor] as my data engineer, that's only one part of it. Now I've got to be confident and happy with his decisions as a race engineer about changing the car and trusting that it's going to do what I want it to do.

"Changing engineers doesn't make things easy. You've got to work really hard on the relationship to make sure you get to a point where you can be confident that you're heading into every race weekend with the car that you want.

"In some regards it's been frustrating to change engineers. Teams talk about the consistency and continuity of personnel. Staying with the same people makes a difference in results, so for me, hopefully, it's the last change for a while.

"Looking to next season, Irish and I will work closely together. Although it hasn't been ideal in the timing for last season, it's probably fast-tracked and helped us to get ready for 2017."

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of V8X Supercar Magazine issue #96 to read the full column.