Triple Eight boss Roland Dane is not frightened by the potentially explosive competition between his new Red Bull driver Shane van Gisbergen and six times V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup.
Van Gisbergen and Whincup are highly fancied to lock horns at the front of the pack at the opening Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide.
Dane says both drivers are acutely aware of what is required in the heat of battle and that the situation should not be out of the normal to manage.
“I think they will both know when to hold and when to fold,” Dane told Speedcafe.com.
“We will manage it. We are not frightened by it and neither are they. I expect them to race hard and fair.”
Van Gisbergen arrives at Red Bull having finished in the the top five in the past three championships at the Tekno Autosport operation which utilises Triple Eight equipment.
“You have to try and score points over the balance of the season. Jamie has proven that,” Dane said of the title battle.
“I think Shane has as well. He’s finished in the top five in the last three years.”
Dane concedes that a careful verbal caution will no doubt have to be rolled out at some point this season as the competition intensifies.
“Nothing self manages itself completely. Every so often I’m sure we will have to make sure they understand when they have got to win and when they can’t win,” Dane said.
“I think Shane and Jamie are both excellent race drivers. I don’t know about no prisoners (Van Gisbergen’s aggressive style), remembering that one swallow doesn’t make a summer.
“I say it once (laying down the law) and everyone in the team knows. Don’t put me in a position to make me say it again.
“It’s up to them. They are big boys and they know how to race. There’s mutual respect for everyone.”
Dane will be hoping that altercations will be as rare as those experienced by Whincup and team veteran Craig Lowndes, who moves into the TeamVortex Holden this year.
“Jamie and Craig have fought over positions for years,” he said.
“They have had one run in in a decade. At Tasmania (2014) and it was a 50/50 call. Both of their fault really and they know that.
“That is one incident in 300-and-something races.”