Dane: Camaro a key piece of retirement puzzle

A render of a Gen3 Camaro in Triple Eight Race Engineering’s 2020 livery

Roland Dane says that helping to secure the Camaro for Supercars’ Gen3 era was a key element in determining when to retire.

The Repco Supercars Championship will be at least the domain of hero cars from Chevrolet and Ford, the latter represented by a reshaped Mustang, when Gen3 debuts in competition next year.

Triple Eight Race Engineering ran as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team for the four years up to and including 2020, when the famous Australian marque ceased to be, and will continue to race a General Motors product beyond 2021.

That was facilitated thanks in part to Triple Eight’s roots in the factory Vauxhall team which competed in the British Touring Car Championship, as Dane explained in an episode of the 2020/21 KTM Summer Grill.

He confirmed that locking away such a deal was a “very” important factor in his latest decision, but also alluded to other agreements which have helped to shore up the business, such as new or expanded partnerships with the likes of Supercheap Auto and Ampol.

“To be honest, it was important for the team because it was important for the paddock, and what’s good for Supercars is good for Triple Eight,” said Dane.

“So, it was an important part of succession planning to try and make sure that the company is in a good position.

“To be honest, the business is in the best position it’s ever been in, and it’s a testament to everyone pulling together last year but also to the work that the commercial team have done over the last six months, putting together such a strong roster of sponsors and deals.

“Honestly, the Camaro, and the interaction with GM over that, was one of the pieces of the puzzle if you like that, from my point of view, had to be there for me to feel that the timing line was coming together in the right way around being able to step down.”

Jamie Whincup will retire from driving, at least in a full-time capacity, at season’s end to take over as team principal and managing director from Dane.

The seven-time Supercars champion’s shareholding has also increased to 19 percent and that of Jessica Dane, who is currently commercial operations officer but slated to take on an expanded role in the running of the team, to 30 percent.

Roland Dane retains a reduced 11 percent share, with successful businessman and motorsport enthusiast Tony Quinn’s new holding being the biggest at 40 percent.

Whincup’s transition from driving to management has been in the making for some time now, as evidenced by his initial, 15 percent buy-in over two years ago, and his predecessor as team boss is confident that the right people are in place for a new era.

“Jamie, don’t forget, has been eyeing this with me for several years now,” noted Roland Dane, who will remain in the fold as an advisor and Chairman of the Triple Eight Board of Directors.

“It hasn’t come out of the blue, it’s just a question of planets aligning and me getting older.

“But I am looking forward to not only Jamie but the team, having some input into them going to hopefully the next level of evolution.

“We’ve got a lot going on here at the moment, we’ve got our biggest ever programme which, if you’d said to me eight or nine months ago that we’re going to go into 2021 with our biggest programme, then I would have thought you were mad.

“But the reality is that we are, with a lot going on, and I’m looking forward to helping the team as a whole.

“We’ve got some good people here, we’ve got some really good people here that some of you know, and some you don’t because you don’t see everyone.

“But, I’ve got people here who’ve worked with me almost all the time that I’ve been in Australia who are in the back room, as it were, and I want to see them carrying on with Jamie and with Jessica and with Tony into the future.

“I take great pride in it, frankly, so I am looking forward to it.”

CLICK HERE for Triple Eight’s own Q&A regarding the retirements of Dane and Whincup, and the team’s management and ownership changes

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