Lowndes to drive Button's McLaren at Bathurst

By on Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feb.17 (GMM) A modern formula one car could pose a threat to the new fastest-ever lap at the fabled Mount Panorama circuit, otherwise known as Bathurst west of Sydney.

A sponsor-fuelled car swap between McLaren's Jenson Button and V8 Supercar driver Craig Lowndes before the Australian grand prix next month has finally been approved by the local council.

Bathurst mayor Paul Toole told national broadcaster ABC that the event will be the first time a F1 car has lapped the imposing 6.2 kilometre layout.

In a V8 Supercar, it was Lowndes who recorded the fastest ever lap at Mount Panorama - 2:06.801 - late last year.

Australian Lowndes, 36, was Juan Pablo Montoya's teammate at Helmut Marko's F3000 team in 1997, but he has never driven a formula one car.

"It would be a dream to drive a F1 anywhere, let alone Bathurst," he said before Bathurst council gave its approval for the publicity event.

He said he is confident he can break his lap record.

"You would be very disappointed if you couldn't go sub-2:06 in a car like that," said Lowndes.

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