Whincup: Roland Dane in T8 workshop ‘every second day’

Roland Dane looks on at the recent GT World Challenge Australia round at Phillip Island. Picture: Australian Racing Group

Jamie Whincup has lifted the lid on just how involved former supremo Roland Dane remains in the everyday operations of Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Dane exited Triple Eight as a shareholder at the end of last year as part of a succession plan whereby he handed over the responsibilities of managing director and team principal to retiring driver Whincup.

Although staying on as non-executive chairman, Dane signalled his intentions to properly retire, stating to Speedcafe.com: “People saying I’m not going anywhere, I can assure you I am”.

However, it’s been no secret that Dane has had quite a presence at Banyo since returning to Australia from a trip to the United Kingdom, and Whincup confirmed as much in an early season video debrief with Broc Feeney released this morning.

“He’s still massively around. He is in the workshop every second day, he wants to know what’s going on with main game, Super2, he loves his GTs, he was down at the first round at Phillip Island a few weeks back,” said Whincup.

“He’s massively involved. He’s a racer at heart, loves motorsport, it’s in his blood, and to be honest, we’re grateful that he is around.

“We don’t want RD to disappear because he is a wealth of knowledge and he’s somebody that we need here as long as possible.

“So RD is always going to have his place here; hopefully we can set him up in a desk for many years to come and he can help steer the ship.”

Triple Eight is juggling plenty this season, with its Supercars Championship programme complemented by efforts in the Dunlop Super2 Series, GT campaigns in Australia and Asia, increased manufacturing, and its role as General Motors’ Gen3 homologation team.

Whincup reflected on the relief of winning the opening race of the team’s new era, last month at Sydney Motorsport Park.

“It doesn’t matter how confident you, there’s always that question in the back of your mind, if you hold a party is anybody going to rock up?” he said.

“We’ve started the team with a fresh beginning; are we going to be competitive?

“So to get that first win, we all had a bit of a moment walking down pit lane… I thought it was quite fitting to get Quinny [Triple Eight’s largest shareholder Tony Quinn] up on the podium. He enjoyed it.”

Whincup also reserved praise for Quinn’s overhaul of Queensland Raceway, which the Scotsman purchased last year from John Tetley.

“On a serious note, Quinny buying QR is probably the best thing that’s happened to motorsport for a long time,” said the seven-time champion, who hailed the Ipswich venue as Australia’s answer to oval racing in that spectators can see the whole track.

“He has taken a place that is absolutely rundown and they wouldn’t spend more than $100 worth of diesel to mow the grass, to making the facility back to a nice facility.”

Round 3 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship unfolds in support of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix across April 7-10.

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