CRAIG Lowndes calls taking part in a top 10 shootout at Mount Panorama "the ultimate lap of your life" and come next year, drivers will get three chances to do an ultimate lap.
This week Supercars confirmed the race formats for its 2021 championship, and it revealed that the iconic Bathurst circuit would host three top 10 shootouts.
As usual, one will be to determine the front of the grid for October's Bathurst 1000.
The others will come in February at the season-opening Bathurst 500. As had been widely expected, that new event will consist of a pair of 250 kilometre races.
Each of those races include a shootout as part of qualifying - a prospect which is sure to delight drivers and fans alike.
Certainly Lowndes has relished his past opportunities to push the limits in the one-lap flyer around the 6.213 kilometre circuit.
"It is the ultimate lap of your life, you go around that circuit, the spotlight is on you, you can't afford to make a mistake, the excitement as a driver knowing you've made the 10 and you're going to start in the 10 for the biggest race of your life," Lowndes said.
Greg Murphy, who became the first Supercars driver to go below the 2:07 mark as he clocked a two minutes, 06.8594 effort to claim pole in his 'Lap of the Gods' in 2003, has also talked about the prestige of being in a Bathurst shootout.
"I think it's one of the most amazing sessions in the whole calendar through the whole year to be a part of and if you're not in it, you're a loser," Murphy said.
In total the 2021 Supercars series will feature nine top 10 shootouts and and 32 races across 12 events.
The Bathurst 1000 will be the sole co-driver round of the year, but refuelling strategy will still come into play at the Bathurst 500 event.
The Townsville and the Gold Coast rounds will also feature a pair of 250km races, seven events will use the three-race SuperSprint format, while the Melbourne 400 will consist of four races over three days.