Whincup: T8 ‘sacrifices’ in 2021 title race to ensure Gen3 ready in time

The first Gen3 chassis to have broken cover, at a Triple Eight Race Engineering facility in Brisbane

Triple Eight Race Engineering is making “plenty of sacrifices” on its current cars to ensure Gen3 is ready in time for next year’s Repco Supercars Championship, according to Jamie Whincup.

Supercars is set to move to a new generation of car in 2022, marking the biggest technical change since Car of the Future was introduced nine years earlier, and Triple Eight is an integral part of the project.

Not only is the Banyo operation the Chevrolet homologation team, it is also an existing supplier of control parts and that is expected to continue, possibly to an even greater extent, with Gen3.

Some doubts have emerged about whether the project will be completed on time, amid the recent release of the first images of a Gen3 chassis, which was apparently painted last week.

While that is going on, Triple Eight’s Red Bull Ampol Racing ZB Commodores continue to dominate the championship.

Shane van Gisbergen is unbeaten in six races to start the 2021 season and team-mate Whincup, his future boss at the squad, is his nearest rival in the title race.

Despite appearances, the latter says that Triple Eight has moved its focus away from the present campaign due to the Gen3 imperative.

“It is a fine balancing act but we’re trying to juggle it the best we can,” said Whincup.

“It’s critical that we run Gen3 next year and we’re doing the absolute best we can and doing as much work as we possibly can at Triple Eight to make sure that happens.

“It doesn’t look like it right now but there’s plenty of sacrifices going on for the current cars but I think it’s going to be for the good of the future.”

Jamie Whincup

As Whincup alluded to in that comment, the irony is that he has just helped deliver Triple Eight its first one-two of the season, in Race 6 at the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint.

The seven-time champion said that outcome was testament to the work of their engineers given the distraction of Gen3.

“We didn’t deviate too much from roll-out, which was nice, so the engineers did a good job,” he recalled.

“To be honest, they’ve spent three weeks building a Gen3 car so there wasn’t a huge amount of focus on this weekend but they still did a fantastic job making sure that both cars were competitive on roll-out.

“We didn’t have too much to change during practice and my car was good. Got a good start, was able to race out there, [and] both cars were fast.”

Today’s action at Symmons Plains begins with a pair of qualifying sessions to set the grid for Races 7 and 8 respectively, from 10:45 local time/AEST.

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