Stoner capable of V8 switch - Lowndes

autosport.com

Fri, 18 May 10:55:17 2012

Three-time V8 Supercars champion Craig Lowndes reckons Casey Stoner could make a successful transition to the Australian touring car series if he chose to do so.

Stoner announced on Thursday that he would retire from MotoGP at the end of the 2012 season, after just seven years at the sport's top level. The 2007 and '11 MotoGP title-winner tested Lowndes' V8 series Triple Eight Holden last winter, impressing Lowndes, and acknowledged during his MotoGP retirement announcement that he was open to racing in V8s in the longer-term future.

Asked about Stoner's V8 potential, Lowndes replied: "When he drove the car he was very good in a lot of areas. His focus and determination on trying to be fast was really good.

"In the slow sections of the track he was on par with Jamie [Whincup] and I from the outset. On the high-speed sections he took a little longer to get to grips with but eventually got to that point. His feel and his ability, knowledge and what he wants from the car is very good.

"He would crossover pretty well, it's just a matter of what he wants to do."

Lowndes added that Stoner's enthusiasm for V8s was also very clear.

"If you look at his twitter he follows what we are doing every race weekend no matter where we are or he is around the world," said Lowndes. "He follows V8s very seriously and tells Jamie and I what he thinks is wrong with the car. He is very passionate about racing and the V8 Supercars."

In light of the rumours connecting Stoner with a V8 drive, the championship said it would welcome him with 'open arms'.

"His unexpected retirement has brought with it increased media speculation that he will compete in Australia's pinnacle motor sport category," V8 Supercars said in a statement.

"V8 Supercars would welcome Stoner with open arms should he choose to make the switch from two wheels to four, following the likes of Wayne Gardner into touring car racing."

 

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