TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 10: Craig Lowndes driver of the #888 TeamVortex Holden Commodore VF looks on during the top ten shootout for race 2 of the Townsville 400 at Reid Park on July 10, 2016 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

With the new liveries out of the way and most teams conducting initial shakedowns ahead of the opening test of the 2017 season in Sydney this week, Team Vortex driver Craig Lowndes is looking ahead to what should be an even stronger second season with the team.

Craig and the team put the new car through its initial paces during the allowed 60km (19 laps) at Queensland Raceway last Thursday and the V8 veteran is all ready and raring to go, however, there is still one thing left to be sorted before the season gets too involved, and that is the renewal of his contract with Triple Eight Racing.

“Look, I'm pretty relaxed about it, but by the same token, everyone wants security and wants to know where the future lies, and I'm no different,” he said in an interview with Red Bull. “Now the season has started with the shakedown out of the way, hopefully in the near future I'll sit down with (team boss) Roland (Dane).”

Craig has been racing full time in the V8 series since 1996, has 3 titles to his name, 1996,1998 and 1999, 605 races, 105 of which have been converted into victories, and 254 podium finishes, and has no intention of leaving any time soon, something he believes his boss for the past 11 years, Ronald Dane, is keen on as well…

“I think Roland is keen to keep moving onwards, and I'm keen to find out what he sees the team looking like over at least the next couple of years. I'd love to be able to sign on for an extension of two more years, so that's my timeframe.”

“For me, my first choice would be to stay exactly where I am. I've been with the team 11 years, and there's no doubt Roland has built a fantastic race team over that time. Every driver wants to be in a position to be racing cars, winning races and being competitive, and I know I don't want to be racing a car for the sake of it. You want to be there and be really competitive, not just be there and going around.”