Dane: 2011 incomplete without Bathurst win
Triple Eight Race Engineering may have dominated V8 Supercars racing this season, but its director Roland Dane believes the squad’s year will remain incomplete following its defeat at Bathurst.
With the V8 Supercars Drivers’ Championship already certain to go to one of TeamVodafone’s two entries, the weekend’s Norton 360 Sandown Challenge ensured the Queensland based squad will be awarded the 2011 Teams’ Championship.
The Sandown event also saw Andrew Thompson all but assure the team its first Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series win in its maiden foray into the class, with the Monster Energy backed Commodore taking its fifth round victory from six starts.
“It’s good to win the Teams’ Championship – it’s the third time we’ve won it, and we should have won it in 2009 as well,” Dane told Speedcafe.com at Sandown.
“This year, we’ve won it comfortably, which is a very good reflection on the work that everyone has done in the team across the year.
“It has been a good year for the team, but I’m still really pissed off about Bathurst.
“We let ourselves down there – we should have won Bathurst. In fact, we should have finished one-two like we did the year before.”
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s recap of the 2011 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
Despite TeamVodafone losing the Drivers’ title to customer Triple Eight squad Dick Johnson Racing, Dane rates the 2010 season as more satisfying.
“For me, 2010 was very special indeed,” said Dane, who stepped back from hands-on team principal duties at the end of last season.
“Changing manufacturers, then winning with a one-two result first time out in Abu Dhabi was, to be honest, the highlight of anything I’ve ever done in motorsport.”
Jamie Whincup will head into the season ending Sydney Telstra 500 in two weeks time with a 188 point lead over team-mate Craig Lowndes.
As third-placed Mark Winterbottom sits 396 points adrift of Lowndes, TeamVodafone is certain to become the first Holden team in the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Champion to record a one-two finish for the season.
With that honour secured, Dane would like to see his team go all out for victory in Sydney.
“I always say that in ideal circumstances they (Whincup and Lowndes) should be allowed to race each other, and frankly what I’d like to see more than anything else now is to have a Vodafone victory at the Telstra 500,” said Dane.
“We have never even been on the podium in Sydney – it’s a hard race and a lot can happen, but obviously I’d like to feel that we can win. It’d be a great way to end the year for us.”