Goddard joins Triple Eight Supercheap Auto wildcard programme

Zane Goddard (left) and Craig Lowndes (right)

Zane Goddard (left) and Craig Lowndes

Zane Goddard will join Craig Lowndes in Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Supercheap Auto wildcard programme this year.

Lowndes and Declan Fraser last year drove a Supercheap Auto-backed ZB Commodore to eighth position the Repco Bathurst 1000, the best result to date for an official wildcard in the event.

With the season ahead being the first for Supercars’ Gen3 era, Triple Eight’s latest announcement means that it will be fielding as many as three Chevrolet Camaros in 2023.

However, Lowndes and Goddard already have experience with the Gen3 Camaro, with the latter being particularly involved in the development process during the previous year.

The 23-year-old drove both the Chevrolet and the Ford prototype, before signing up for a co-drive in James Courtney’s Tickford Racing Gen2 Mustang for the Great Race of 2022.

There, he was widely lambasted for causing a collision which took three cars, including Courtney’s, out of the contest less than five laps into proceedings.

Now, however, he has landed what is arguably one of the very plum seats for this year’s Bathurst 1000.

“I’m super excited to be joining the team this year,” said Goddard.

“The Supercheap Auto wildcard programme has been so successful for the past two years, and to join a team that have been so dominant in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships is amazing.

“Having Craig to learn off, not just on the track but also off the track is going to be a great experience.

“To also work with an iconic brand like Supercheap Auto is fantastic and an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.

“When I was younger, I loved watching Lowndesy winning races, and to now be partnering up with him for the enduro season is amazing – hopefully we can win some races together.

“To learn off him is going to be the most valuable part; the way he is with sponsors, TV, the way he drives, the way he conducts himself – there’s a lot to learn off him.

“There’s no one better to learn off especially leading into Bathurst because he’s won so many times.

“It’s not very often you get a new car either, so that’s going to be special as a race car driver.

“The Camaros look awesome and they’re going to look even better on the track.

“I had a little bit of an involvement in the Gen3 program last year as a test driver, so hopefully I have an upper hand there.

“They’re awesome cars and a lot of fun to drive – I think it’s exactly what the category needs.”

Supercheap Auto Managing Director Benjamin Ward (centre) with Goddard and Lowndes

Supercheap Auto Managing Director Benjamin Ward (centre) with Goddard and Lowndes

Lowndes added, “Being part of the Supercheap Auto team last year and the way they presented themselves was amazing.

“I’m excited to come back and grow on that – make it bigger and more super.

“I’ve been working alongside Zane for the last couple of years. We’ve been doing some demonstrations together with the Gen3 car, so I got to know Zane pretty well over this time, as well as his stint in the main game.

“He’s a great young kid with great speed, and a great head on his shoulders.

“For me, I’m really looking forward to going to Bathurst this year in the wildcard and sharing the load both on and off the track.

“Once we get the cars built, ergonomics will be a big focus for us to ensure we’re both comfortable inside of the car.

“Zane’s height is very similar to mine – I’m probably a little bit wider in the girth, but I’m really looking forward to getting on track to sort those things out.”

This year will be the third for the Supercheap Auto-backed Triple Eight wildcard effort, after debuting with a ZB Commodore driven by Broc Feeney and Russell Ingall in 2021.

Supercheap Auto Managing Director Benjamin Ward said, “Supercheap Auto is super excited to partner with Triple Eight Race Engineering for our third consecutive year with a Supercars wildcard.

“We’re delighted to welcome back Craig Lowndes in the Supercheap Auto Racing Camaro and provide Zane Goddard an opportunity to showcase his full potential.

“Fans can expect we’ll make it super again in 2023, with exciting plans on and off track for this year’s Supercheap Auto wildcard programme.”

Aside from the Bathurst 1000, it has not been confirmed which events the Supercheap Auto Camaro will feature in this year.

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