Triple Eight evaluating Bathurst 1000 wildcard
Tuesday 16th March, 2021 - 6:00am
Triple Eight Race Engineering will make a call on whether it fields a wildcard entry in this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 by May.
The team has only once previously run a wildcard entry in the Great Race.
That came in 2013 with an all-international line-up of Mattias Ekstrom and Andy Priaulx, the pair taking the #10 Holden VF Commodore to 10th place.
Now the team looks set to field a third car in the 2021 edition alongside the #88 of Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes and #97 of Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander.
Speedcafe.com understands teen prodigy Broc Feeney is a leading option to spearhead the wildcard.
Red Bull Ampol Racing managing director Roland Dane confirmed the team is considering its options.
“It’s certainly a possibility, but we’re still going through all of that,” Dane told Speedcafe.com.
“We’re still looking at whether it makes sense. We haven’t ruled it out at this stage.”
The team has three fully fledged Holden ZB Commodores in its stable.
Whincup received a new chassis at the start of the 2021 season, leaving the team with an extra Supercar up its sleeve.
However, there remain a few hurdles before the team ratifies an entry in Supercars’ crown jewel event.
“If we do one, we’ll use that car almost certainly,” Dane continued.
“I think we’ve said we’ll make a call on it probably by May. We’re considering it as we have done plenty of times before.
“We’ve only done it once, but we’ve considered it plenty of times over the years.
“It just comes down to the financial model, whether it works or not. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. That’s what we’re looking at.
“As I said, we’re looking at it. If we don’t get the money together then we won’t do it; if we do, then there’s a strong possibility we will.”
In the event that the wildcard does go ahead as expected, there are two obvious candidates for the seats.
Young guns Feeney and Angelo Mouzouris are both in the team’s Super2 Series programme.
Feeney has one Bathurst 1000 start to his name, which came with James Courtney at Tickford Racing in 2020.
The 18-year-old was bestowed the iconic #888 on his Holden VF Commodore for this year’s Super2 Series and won the opening race of the year at Mount Panorama last month.
Feeney is thought to be a potential pick to replace Whincup when he retires from full-time Supercars competition at the end of this season.
He is yet to secure a co-drive elsewhere with limited seats still available; Mouzouris, 19, meanwhile is yet to contest a Great Race.
Speedcafe.com understands drivers from outside of the organisation would be considered for the wildcard, too.
Asked whether Feeney or Mouzouris were in the running for the seats, Dane said there were commercial elements at play.
“It comes down to whether there’s the financial model to run with it,” Dane explained.
“That’s the first and foremost important thing and those things, those financial models, sometimes come with conditions attached as to who is driving.
“Until we’re in a position to align something it would be pure speculation.”
This year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 takes place across October 7-10.