Cauchi: I’ve learnt everything I know from T8

David Cauchi (left) and Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

David Cauchi has hailed Triple Eight Race Engineering for the making of him as a race car engineer, ahead of his new chapter as team principal at Grove Racing.

The multi-time Supercars championship-winning engineer becomes the boss at Grove this year, although only once he has seen out six months’ worth of ‘gardening leave’.

The move comes after almost a decade-and-a-half at Triple Eight (including a period on secondment at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport), where Cauchi cut his teeth in motorsport.

“I’ve learnt everything I know from Triple Eight,” he told Speedcafe.com at the conclusion of his last season with the Banyo squad.

“I basically came out of university and this was my first full-time job out of university, so I’ve grown up here, I’ve learnt how to be a race car engineer, basically, and that’s thanks to all the people here that have been alongside me the whole time.

“It’s taught me how to win races, how to be a good loser as well, and what it takes to be a championship-winning team.”

Cauchi was also keen to heap praise on those who he had worked with.

“I’m just really grateful for the 14 years I’ve had here, all the success I’ve enjoyed with all these people,” he remarked.

“It’s a team effort; it’s got very little to do with me and a lot to do with the team and a large number of people that all give everything they possibly can to making sure those two cars are as fast as possible.

“But yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to a new adventure and a new chapter in my life, and see what comes of it.”

He and Shane van Gisbergen wrapped up the 2021 drivers’ championship in the penultimate event of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park, where Triple Eight also clinched the teams’ title.

Less than a fortnight later at Bathurst, Supercars conducted the long-awaited unveiling of the Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang prototypes, the former of which Triple Eight has been integral in developing given it is the General Motors homologation team.

“We’ve worked so hard, there’s been so much going on, aside from racing as well, with the Gen3 project, and I’m so proud of what everyone’s achieved with that car too because it looks sensational,” said Cauchi.

“To do that alongside winning a drivers’ and teams’ championship, that’s something that probably only this team could do.”

Cauchi leaves Triple Eight as a three-time champion with respect to drivers’ titles, including Jamie Whincup’s 2014 and 2017 triumphs.

Before he formally takes up the team principal role at Grove Racing, the Melbourne squad’s owner Stephen Grove himself will fill the breach, as previously reported by Speedcafe.com.

That outfit will field David Reynolds and new arrival Lee Holdsworth in Mustangs, while Triple Eight sees Shane van Gisbergen joined by rookie Broc Feeney in its Red Bull Ampol Racing entries, as Whincup moves into the managing director role at Banyo.

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