Ingall was ‘unanimous’ driver pick in wildcard bid

Russell Ingall

From the outset, Russell Ingall was Supercheap Auto’s first pick as plans with Triple Eight Race Engineering to field a wildcard at the Repco Bathurst 1000 became a reality.

Triple Eight team principal Roland Dane put out the call to Ingall to co-drive the team’s wildcard at this year’s event with Broc Feeney.

It came after discussions about drivers were held with Supercheap Auto, who were vocal about who they wanted as part of the line-up alongside Feeney.

According to Supercheap Auto managing director, Benjamin Ward, Ingall was at the top of their list.

“When we looked at the list of drivers when we sat down with Roland and our team, Russell stood out as our unanimous number one pick,” Ward told Speedcafe.com.

“He’s experienced, this will be his 25th start on the Mountain and that’s what the Mountain takes; it requires that experience and maturity and he has that.

“He will guardian Broc through that as well; the partnership is absolutely perfect. Russell was our number one pick and we couldn’t be happier.”

As a brand, Supercheap Auto has supported Ingall in many of his racing ventures over the years, partnering up for much of the latter half of his full-time Supercars career.

Asked whether Feeney could be Supercheap’s next candidate, as such, Ward said: “We’ll see what the future holds.

“We haven’t made any commitment beyond this; we have made commitments to Triple Eight and Broc is a part of that stable.

“I’ve actually just met him for the first time [on Wednesday] — we start somewhere, but I’ve got no doubt he’s an absolute talent and as part of the Triple Eight stable, he’s going to be competitive and he’s an absolute up-and-comer and why wouldn’t we get behind that?”

Broc Feeney (left), Benjamin Ward (centre), Russell Ingall (right)

Repco taking over naming rights honours for the Bathurst 1000 from Supercheap was a major storyline last year, but the latter has not pulled back on its support of motorsport.

Having picked up the naming rights deal for TCR Australia, Supercheap didn’t want to let their 24 years worth of history at the Great Race and with Supercars fans fade away.

Ward insisted that backing the Triple Eight wildcard is more of a show of love for the event than a scheme to steal the limelight from Repco.

“We were really disappointed to lose the naming rights for the Bathurst 1000,” Ward commented.

“The Bathurst 1000 is actually in Supercheap Auto’s DNA and has been for 24 years, so that was a bitter pill to swallow.

“To lose that to a foreign-owned competitor was particularly difficult.

“Really this is about us staying a part of Supercars; the Australian and New Zealand fans love Supercars, they particularly love the Bathurst 1000 and we’ve always been a part of it, so that’s our number one motivation.”

This year’s Bathurst 1000 takes place from October 7-10.

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