Gen2 rules triggered Triple Eight expansion

Gordon Lomas

Friday 6th March, 2015 - 12:57pm

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Triple Eight will expand to three cars in 2016. Pic digitally altered.

Triple Eight will expand to three cars in 2016. Pic digitally altered.

Triple Eight principal Roland Dane says the decision to move to a three-car model has been prompted by the proposed Gen2 rules that will see V8 Supercars transformed in 2017.

The team announced this morning that it will campaign three cars from next year, adding Shane van Gisbergen to its current pairing of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.

Dane has previously resisted running any more than two cars even though his main opposition, the Holden Racing Team and Prodrive Racing Australia, have long overseen three or four car stables.

With the Gen2 rules potentially creating a major technical challenge as it opens the category up to new body shapes and engines, Dane feels the time is right to expand his team’s Brisbane headquarters.

“Without that (Gen2) the position might have been different,” Dane told Speedcafe.com

“We want to give us the best chance of staying at the front from a sporting and commercial point of view.

“I think that there are advantages and disadvantages (to expanding). All of our main opposition are running three of four cars.

“We have resisted it because the timing hasn’t been right but I believe in the future of the sport I need to have the strongest possible team.

“It helps us to do that in terms of resourcing and the people we can therefore employ because it’s a people business.”

The expansion will also see Triple Eight’s technical ties with van Gisbergen’s current squad Tekno Autosports strengthened, effectively mirroring a four-car operation from a technical perspective.

Triple Eight’s Banyo workforce will be beefed up in response to the extra car.

“It gives us a chance to take on some extra talent and depth which will help everyone not just an additional car,” Dane said.

Although outlining reasons why Triple Eight will move to a third car, Dane remained guarded over where he will source the third Racing Entitlements Contract (REC).

Three licenses have been handed back to V8 Supercars over the last two seasons, with James Rosenberg’s yet to go through its tender process after being parked for 2015.

“It’s probably for me to know and for you to speculate over,” Dane said of RECs.

Dane also shied away from details of his team’s new deal with Red Bull.

Although the sponsor has been confirmed to remain with the team for the next two seasons, how many of the three cars it will support remains to be seen.

“We will announce in due course where all of that is going,” Dane said.

“It would be inappropriate to comment on all of that at the moment.”

News of Van Gisbergen’s move to Triple Eight has coincided with an extension of Craig Lowndes’ contract for a further two years.

“We wanted to carry on as long as he wants to drive. I’ve said that in the past,” Dane said of Lowndes.

“He is sure he wants to carry on at this stage for another two years and it could be longer than that.

“So we will take it in bite-sized portions with him as we go forward.”

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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