Whincup takes Team Manager role on Supercheap Auto wildcard
Sunday 28th May, 2023 - 6:00am
Jamie Whincup will serve as Team Manager for the Triple Eight Supercheap Auto wildcard entry at next month’s Betr Darwin Triple Crown.
Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Supercars wildcard programme has now been confirmed for 2023, with Zane Goddard to drive the #888 Chevrolet Camaro at Hidden Valley, and Craig Lowndes to join him for both enduros.
Whincup will also be behind the wheel of one of the Banyo team’s entries at Sandown and Bathurst, as Broc Feeney’s co-driver in the #88 Red Bull Ampol Racing (RBAR) Camaro.
However, the four-time Great Race winner, including three times in Car #888, will experience something new in the Top End.
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“I wanted it; I put my hand up,” he told Speedcafe about taking up the Team Manager role.
“I’ve watched RD [former Team Principal Roland Dane] and Dutto [RBAR Team Manager Mark Dutton] do their thing for 20 years, so I understand the playbook and I thought I was best-positioned to do the gig.
“I obviously can’t do it for Sandown and Bathurst – it’ll just be for the Darwin round – but I’m really looking forward to the role.
“It’s not an easy thing. To be a Dutto or a Benny Croke [Dick Johnson Racing Team Principal, who performs a similar function at the track], to run the weekend, is quite difficult.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and hopefully I’m not the weakest link; hopefully, I can do a good thing and point them in the right direction.”
Jessica Dane, a fellow shareholder and also part of the management team of Triple Eight broadly, will have a significant role on Car #888 at all three of its events.
However, the Team Manager for Sandown and Mount Panorama, a position reprised by Roland Dane last year, is yet to be determined.
The brand-new #888 Supercheap Auto Camaro was unveiled in its testing livery yesterday evening at Maritime Green Northshore, on the banks of the Brisbane River, surrounded by much fanfare including a crowd of 2000 people.
It will turn a wheel in anger this Thursday, when all three Triple Eight entries test at Queensland Raceway, before underpinning the first wildcard entry of the Gen3 Supercars era.
“I want to thank my crew,” said Whincup.
“We all know how hard it is to get cars to the track at the moment, so for them to be able to build another brand-new car, ready to go testing on Thursday, is a credit to the group.
“It had nothing to do with me; all the crew have done a great job getting this car ready to go, so, looking forward to a full campaign.
“But, I’m not one that’s telling them to make sure they look after the car; it’s get out and go hard, and don’t come back unless you’re on the podium,” he laughed.
All six Triple Eight drivers are set to cut laps this Thursday in Ipswich, with Richie Stanaway due for a third day of testing in Shane van Gisbergen’s #97 Camaro in preparation for the enduros.
The Darwin event takes place on June 16-18, with the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 scheduled for September 15-17 and the Repco Bathurst 1000 on October 5-8.