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Feeney’s perfect chance to avenge Bathurst blues

BROC Feeney is seeking to turn the pain of a maiden Bathurst 1000 podium gone begging into motivation for the perfect rebound.

After holding off Brodie Kostecki to win the Sandown 500, Feeney was running second at Mount Panorama when a broken gearshift tower crippled his #88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro in the closing stages.

That left him to limp home in 23rd and drop out of realistic championship contention, now 408 points behind Kostecki with no more than 600 to play for.

“No matter what we did in that race, I don’t think the result would have changed unfortunately,” Feeney reflected to V8 Sleuth.

“To be that late in the race and running second but sort of still in somewhat contention is pretty awesome.

“It sucks, it hurts that we lost that one and it sort of puts us on the back foot championship-wise but we have just got to look forward to getting back there next year and trying to bounce back at the Gold Coast.”

The 21-year-old is a Gold Coaster through-and-through, so the prospect of earning himself a surfboard trophy at this weekend’s penultimate round of the season is enticing.

“Home race, there would be no better way to bounce back than to get on the podium and get a surfboard. So for sure, that’s the goal,” he continued.

“All I wanted to do a few days after Bathurst was go back to Bathurst and try to race again and have another crack but I suppose that’s the greatest thing about that race, is you have got to wait another 12 months to go back and have your next shot.”

Indeed, Bathurst was a fitting opportunity to showcase how far Feeney has come in 12 months, having struggled so badly at the 2022 Great Race that co-driver Jamie Whincup had to step in for qualifying, to now being one of the premier primary drivers.

So, how does he approach Gold Coast and Adelaide, given a first drivers’ title is almost off the table?

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“Realistically it would be good to go to Adelaide with a chance, and that means we have got to get it under 300,” said Feeney.

“But I suppose for me, I’m not really thinking about championship now… at the end of the day, the big picture is teams’ championship and Shane (van Gisbergen) is still right in contention, even though I am too, for the championship.

“Our goal is to get both of those, but for me it’s to go out and try to get some trophies and try to finish the year on a high.”

Is there potential for Feeney to actively help teammate van Gisbergen’s title hopes?

Feeney’s #88 Camaro. Pic: Red Bull Content Pool

“I don’t know,” Feeney responded. “I suppose we’ll just figure out what happens.

“We always try to look after each other in the racing. It has been difficult this year, having two cars right up the front: at Bathurst we had to stack and there’s been a couple of other times where it hurts being so close.

“We’ll see how it all plays out, we’ll go racing and the goal is for us to both be one and two on the track, and if we can do that I’m sure the rest will sort itself out.”

Even though a live pitlane order for 2024 will diminish the key prize attached to winning the teams’ championship, Feeney and his crew’s motivation certainly has not diminished.

“We want to be teams’ champion, that’s the massive goal inside the team. We want to be at the front of pitlane next year, even though it’s going to move, we want to try to stay there. There’s big pride in that,” he said.

The Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 kicks off Friday.

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