V8 Supercar Champion Craig Lowndes OAM told a mining industry audience at the Gold Coast that winning races is not a matter of chance…it’s a matter of controlling risks.
Speaking at this year’s Queensland Mining Industry Health and Safety Conference, Lowndes told approximately 800 safety delegates from across Queensland that precise planning for management of risks is critical to winning on race day from both a personal and team perspective. He described to the audience in detail some of his past motor racing incidents and told the audience that we all must learn from mistakes particularly when it comes to safety.
Lowndes also emphasised that “Being fit for the journey on the way home is critical. You need to understand the condition of the road, the car you’re driving and yourself.” Lowndes shared that it was common practice for drivers to walk the track to understand its’ condition and ways in which it might affect your drive. He said that the race track is a very controlled environment where you can be controlling risks, not unlike a mine site. He added “When you leave that controlled environment that unknown risks present themselves.”
Lowndes described his experience on driving public roads as much more dangerous than the track. Public roads are more dangerous because there are more obstacles like oncoming traffic, pedestrians and school zones, a whole different range of things you don’t find on a race track. He said road rage was increasingly becoming an issue in Australia that we must address.
Lowndes commented on his impending retirement from V8 Supercar racing. “I’ve always said there are two key factors keeping me racing and those are my motivation to keep getting up and doing what I love and my competitiveness, and for me, nothing has changed. But at the same time I want to make sure I finish my last full-time season with some strong results in the bag and after this year’s results so far Roland and I came to the decision between us that this will be my last full season behind the wheel.”
The conference has also heard from leading road safety campaigner Russell White who said that controlling risks, particularly with respect to road safety, outside the mine site is important for Australian mining companies.