Goddard hopes T8 wildcard is springboard back into full-time seat

Zane Goddard

Zane Goddard

Zane Goddard hopes a Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard campaign with Triple Eight Race Engineering will help him return to the Supercars grid on a full-time basis.

Goddard has just the one full Repco Supercars Championship season under his belt, in 2021 with Matt Stone Racing, having spent 2020 sharing an entry with then-fellow rookie Jake Kostecki per the Yatala squad’s ‘SuperLite’ programme.

He landed at Tickford Racing last year for a co-drive in James Courtney’s #5 Mustang, but a bungled attempt at a pass took him, as well as two other entries, out of the Bathurst 1000 less than five laps after lights out.

Now, however, he will tackle the Great Race of 2023 in the privileged position of Triple Eight driver, with big praise from team boss Jamie Whincup, in the third year of the Supercheap Auto wildcard programme.

In 2021, Broc Feeney partnered Russell Ingall following confirmation he would replace Whincup in the #88 entry in the following season, while Declan Fraser and Craig Lowndes finished eighth last year at Mount Panorama before the latter landed a full-time Tickford drive for the season ahead, albeit in unusual circumstances.

Ahead of his own drive with Lowndes, Goddard said, “I’ve obviously been in the main game before and my aim is to get back there, so working with a great team, a great driver and a great sponsor is hopefully going to help me achieve that.

“You can develop so much as a driver working with such a great team on and off the track.

“I really want to get back in a Supercar in a full-time capacity and the last two drivers of the Supercheap Auto wildcard programme have achieved that.”

Goddard is not in the same situation as Feeney or Fraser were, a point noted by Lowndes, but the objective is similar for the seven-time Great Race winner.

Broc Feeney was placed in the Supercheap Auto wildcard before taking over Jamie Whincup's seat

Broc Feeney was placed in the Supercheap Auto wildcard before taking over Jamie Whincup’s seat

“I really enjoyed the mentoring side of things last year with Declan,” he recalled.

“I think that Zane is a bit further down the path then what Declan was or is now, so for me I don’t think it’ll be as intense but off the track, hopefully we can share the knowledge and experience we have, especially when you go to Bathurst because it’s such a long week.

“My focus going into this year is to better our result from last year,” added Lowndes.

“We achieved the best result for any wildcard entry at the Bathurst 1000, so that was great.

“The problem is, you want to do that again, so my focus is to finish higher than eighth.

“It’s fantastic to have a major organisation like Supercheap Auto back a programme like this – you really have to take these opportunities with both hands.

“I know Broc did and has now migrated into the main game, same as Declan.

“Zane has been in that position, but we now want to get him back there and this is a great opportunity for it.”

The 2023 Bathurst 1000 takes place on October 5-8.

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