Xiberras no longer feels like Supercars ‘outsider’

Matt Cook (left) and Peter Xiberras (right)

PremiAir Racing owner Peter Xiberras says he no longer feels like an “outsider” in the Supercars paddock after his first full season.

The Top Fuel drag racer purchased the remnants of Team Sydney and established his own squad months out from the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship.

PremiAir Racing came out swinging when it axed Garry Jacobson mid-season and took a gamble on James Golding ahead of the Townsville round.

More changes are in store for this year, with Tim Slade replacing Chris Pither at the Gold Coast-based outfit.

Ahead of Supercars’ Gen3 era, Xiberras feels he has settled in properly.

“In the beginning — not through any doings of anyone — I felt like an outsider and probably didn’t really know what I was doing,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“Not that I didn’t feel welcome, but I just felt like a real outsider and as the year progressed I really feel like most teams have embraced me and welcomed me.

“Hopefully that will change [in 2023], I’m hoping that they liked me [last year] because we haven’t troubled them too much, but I’m hoping that they hate my guts this year because we want to be front-runners.”

PremiAir Racing will run a pair of Chevrolet Camaros this season, although there is still plenty up in the air with the introduction of a new formula.

Xiberras hopes the team, as well as its drivers Golding and Slade, will be able to adapt quickly.

“If anyone gives you an honest opinion right now, they’re probably lying because we don’t know,” he added.

“Our first hit out will be our first hit out; we have no data, we have no idea, we have nothing.

“Just like every team we’re all going to be trying to learn as fast as we can and I’m hoping that I’ve got two drivers that will excel.

“With their input, their engineers’ input hopefully we can get a hold of it quicker than some others.

Asked of the potential of Golding beating experienced campaigner Slade, Xiberras said: “There’s no favouritism in this team.

“There’s no favouritism in what side of the garage — he or she will win on merit on any given day.

“If Tim has a great day then so be it and if Jimmy has his day it will be his day as well.”

PremiAir Racing Team Principal Matt Cook has previously told this website the squad moved “heaven and earth” in its debut season.

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