SIX-TIMES Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes will be made an honorary Bathurst citizen during this year’s Great Race festival.
Lowndes will become the city’s 19th honorary citizen six years after the Western Advocatefirst proposed granting him the honour.
He will be the sixth honorary citizen from a motor racing background, joining Peter Brock, Allan Moffat, John Hinxman, John Reid and Arthur Blizzard.
Mayor Graeme Hanger made the announcement on Wednesday evening, saying it was fitting that Lowndes be granted the honour during his last appearance at the famous track.
Lowndes announced in July that this would be his final season on the Supercars circuit.
“Craig will join just 18 other people who have been honoured with the title honorary citizen, and he joins fellow racing drivers including Peter Brock and Allan Moffat, artist Dr Lloyd Rees and owners of the Mars confectionery company John and Adrienne Mars on that list,” Cr Hanger.
“Craig is a three time Supercars Championship winner, a five times Barry Sheene Medal recipient, a six-time Bathurst winner, a two-time Bathurst 12 Hour winner and the first driver in Australian history to reach 100 championship race wins.
“He was also awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to both the community through his road safety work and to his sport. He is also a firm fan favourite.
“Craig has also recently voiced an app for council which tells some of the motorsport stories associated with the iconic Mount Panorama circuit.”
Lowndes said Bathurst was very close to his heart.
“It is a great honour to be recognised as an honorary citizen,” he said.
“Bathurst and I share a lot of history and Mount Panorama is a place I consider very special.
“It’s an icon of Australian motorsport, but also a place very close to my heart.”
The title of honorary citizen of Bathurst is awarded to those who are not citizens of the city, but who have contributed beyond the call of duty to the city.
The title is only awarded after a resolution of council.
Countdown to the Bathurst 1000
Previous honorary citizens include:
- John Reid AO: September 29, 1979
- George Hibbert: September 29, 1979
- John Hinxman: June 26, 1981
- Peter Brock: July 7, 1981
- Allan Moffat: October 3, 1981
- Dr Lloyd Rees: October 6, 1981
- Harry Bartrop: April 8, 1982
- William Bowmore OBE: November 21, 1983
- Rt Hon Henry, 8th Earl Bathurst: March 18, 1985
- Arthur B Blizzard: April 4, 1985
- James C Kelso: August 30, 1993
- Prof C D Blake AM: May 4, 1998
- Mr Don & Mrs Colleen Liddle: July 16, 2014
- Mr Sonny Sonobe: August20, 2014
- Mr John Mars KBE & Mrs Adrienne Mars: March 16, 2016
- Prof Warren Somerville: December 13, 2017