SVG: Triple Eight wants ‘fresh-faced’ Whincup successor
Monday 1st March, 2021 - 5:30pm
Shane van Gisbergen believes Red Bull Ampol Racing will look to replace Jamie Whincup with a “fresh-faced” driver at the team.
Whincup will retire from full-time driving at the end of this year, replacing incumbent Roland Dane as managing director and team principal at Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Whincup and the team have given little away as to who might replace the seven-time champion in the weeks following his retirement announcement.
However, van Gisbergen has given the strongest hint yet as to what the team is looking for in a 2022 replacement for Whincup.
Speaking in a Fox Sports interview with Bathurst 1000-winning co-driver Garth Tander, van Gisbergen alluded to the team’s future driver plans as part of a wider shake-up.
That includes investment from Tony Quinn, who is now a majority shareholder in the team, someone who van Gisbergen has had previous dealings with.
“Yeah, I think it will be a good thing and Quinny coming in as well,” van Gisbergen said.
“I know Quinny quite well from 2013 onwards where he was a supporter of Tekno and myself.
“I think it’s a really good thing and then obviously the new car [Gen3] as well. I’m not sure who is coming in to drive that as a team-mate yet.
“That will be interesting who they get, I think the team wants someone fresh-faced and a similar age gap to what I was to JDub [Whincup] but you also need someone experienced too.
“It’s a new car, you need a lot of development next year, you need someone who knows what they want in the car so it’s going to be interesting.”
Seven years separate van Gisbergen and Whincup.
By the time van Gisbergen joined the Triple Eight fold at 26 years old, he had eight Supercars Championship campaigns under his belt.
Van Gisbergen will be 32 at the start of next season, making 25 the age that roughly fits the bill.
Triple Eight does have a pair of talented youngsters in its Super2 ranks, Broc Feeney and Angelo Mouzouris, who are currently just 18 and 19 years old respectively.
In a recent Pirtek poll, rookies Feeney and Thomas Randle were the most popular options to become van Gisbergen’s 2022 team-mate.