THIS ITEM HAS BEEN CANCELLED
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HOLDEN VT COMMODORE
HOLDEN RACING TEAM
#15 DRIVER: CRAIG LOWNDES
1998 AUSTRALIAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER (ORAN PARK)
LIMITED EDITION OF TBA PIECES
Biante Model Cars are very pleased to present the 1:18 Scale Mobil Holden Racing Team VT Commodore driven by Craig Lowndes to take out the 1998 Australian Touring Car Championship at Oran Park.
Craig Lowndes’ victory in the 1998 Shell Australian Touring Car Championship gave ‘The Kid’ his second V8 Supercar title in his second attempt. It came in a season marking his return to local touring car racing after an ultimately unsuccessful year in Europe in 1997 chasing his F1 dream in the International Formula 3000 championship. Returning to the familiarity of the Holden Racing Team and the V8 Supercar ranks, Lowndes aimed to pick up where he’d left off after his breakthrough 1996 season title.
The 1998 championship wasn’t going to be so easy and Lowndes would have to work for this one. There were some new kids on the block in the form of aggressive new HRT teammate Mark Skaife and the fast and competitive Russell Ingall, again driving alongside Larry Perkins in the Castrol Racing Commodore squad. Lowndes took round wins at Sandown, Symmons Plains, Phillip Island, Barbagallo and Calder. While Skaife occasionally faltered, Ingall was a consistent presence and emerged as Lowndes’ major championship rival as the title chase built to a climax.
The title came down to the wire at the ‘98 season Grand Finale at Sydney’s Oran Park in a winner-take-all race for the championship. Lowndes entered the weekend with a slender six-point championship lead over Ingall with 120 points up for grabs across the three sprint races. Both pilots had a curveball thrown at them in the closing stages of the title chase as well; officials decreed that both combatants had to drive Holden’s brand new VT Commodore in the closing rounds to ensure teams couldn’t ‘sandbag’ the new model’s capabilities pre-Sandown and Bathurst. HRT teammate Greg Murphy had given the new VT its racing debut at Calder two rounds earlier while Lowndes’ first drive in the new car at Darwin and had been much less successful, with new car gremlins causing Lowndes to fail to start Race 2.
But the struggle that promised so much at Oran Park between Lowndes and Ingall ultimately produced very little. The key difference was HRT’s Bridgestone rubber. Lowndes took pole and convincingly won each of the day’s three sprint races to secure the title by a comfortable 50-point margin. Ingall struggled on a new Dunlop tyre construction and compound and couldn’t make an impression on the dominant Lowndes with his Bridgestone-shod Commodore.
This was Lowndes’ second Australian Touring Car Championship title and he celebrated in the traditional way, finishing off the Bridgestones fitted to his HRT Commodore with some ‘smoking’ main straight circle work. There was no doubt that ‘The Kid’ was back. He had re-established himself at the pinnacle of V8 Supercar racing and used Holden’s brand-new VT Commodore to do it.
This replica of Lowndes’ Championship winning VT Commodore has been produced in die-cast with fully opening parts with highly detailed engine bay, boot and racing interior. The unmistakeable and now iconic livery has been finished beautifully and the model will be produced in an exclusive limited edition with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. It’s one that shouldn’t be missed by any Craig Lowndes or ATCC collector.