How teen ace Feeney has managed extreme hype
Sunday 19th September, 2021 - 2:30pm
Rarely before has a teenager quite taken the Repco Supercars Championship by storm like Broc Feeney has.
For several years now, the Gold Coaster has had mass hype surrounding him, winning the third-tier title in 2019 and making his Bathurst 1000 debut last year on his 18th birthday.
When seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup announced his impending retirement back in February, speculation instantly swirled towards Feeney, who’d recently joined Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Super2 Series programme.
He’s since had the attention that’s come with being paired with Russell Ingall’s high-profile comeback for the 2021 Great Race.
And then, finally, on August 31, his graduation was announced – confirmation a P-plate rookie will race for Australia’s most successful and most divisive motorsport team of this era.
Throughout, Feeney has handled himself immaculately, when such a youngster could be forgiven for getting a little big-headed.
“It’s come down to my parents basically,” the 18-year-old Super2 Series leader told Speedcafe.com.
“I think the biggest thing that most people don’t really know about me is I’ve been in racing my whole life; I started racing motorbikes when I was four, so I have literally been involved in racing my whole life as long as I can remember.
“So even though I have only been in cars for a few years and karting for six years before that, this has been my lifestyle for so long.
“The biggest thing that my parents have drilled into me is never get ahead of yourself.
“I’m a very family orientated man, I will always try to look after them as much as possible.
“A lot of people have got expectations on me, a lot of people think there is extra pressure but I expect enough from myself to overcome that other pressure.
“I know where I should be and where I want to be and I put in the effort to make that happen.
“At the end of the day, I’m still an 18-year-old kid and I’m just loving life.
“The biggest thing is, I have got good people around me and guys who want the best for me – they’re not doing it for themselves, they’re trying to help me.
“I have had great advice over my whole career.”
Motorsport is a way of life for the Feeney family. Broc’s father Paul was a respected motorbike racer and in fact met wife Sue at Sydney Motorsport Park in 1990.
“When we used to go racing in motorbikes, you’d watch some kids chuck tantrums, throw their helmets and that, and that was one thing Paul was always adamant about – chuck a tantrum [or] throw your helmet, we’re packing up and going,” Sue said of Broc.
“I just think teaching that from a young age has just gone right through, that this is your career, this is your job.”
Paul’s motorsport connections saw Broc grow up surrounded by the likes of Aussie MotoGP world champions Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner.
“He learnt from a very early age what it takes to be a champion, like the sacrifices you have got to make and what you have got to do and understand that you have got to have a complete package,” added Paul.
“Getting big-headed and mouthing off and things like that aren’t a part of the package. They do so much more damage than they do good, and he has got a full understanding of that from a very early age which is going to help and has already helped him.
“It’s very fortunate for us and for Broc that he is very good out of the car, as he is in the car, and I think that just comes from the grounding he has had from such a young age.”
The next challenge will be handling the ups and downs, the successes and scrutiny, of being a Triple Eight Race Engineering driver in the Supercars Championship.
“He’s learnt to handle pressure, racing in go-karting in the top level in Europe,” said Paul.
“He is very good at handling pressure. I know the stakes have gone up another level, but I’m confident that he will be on top of that.
“He’ll take it all in his stride.”