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HomeNewsHOW TRYING TO BE LIKE TRIPLE EIGHT HURT WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED

HOW TRYING TO BE LIKE TRIPLE EIGHT HURT WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED

WALKINSHAW Andretti United Team Principal Bruce Stewart has opened up in the latest V8 Sleuth Podcast Powered by Repco, admitting his team long ago abandoned trying to beat Triple Eight by playing the same game the same way.

The two teams have constantly been compared to one another given the latter’s arrival into the Holden fold in 2010.

The Brisbane-based outfit then became Holden’s official factory-backed team from 2017 onwards, leaving the former Holden Racing Team stripped of its factory backing and left to rebrand and re-focus.

The team became Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2018 after the buy-in of Andretti Autosport’s Michael Andretti and United’s Zak Brown and Richard Dean and will make a much-publicised move to Ford for 2023, announced in May this year.

“I think in the early (part) in ‘11, 12, 13, 14, when they (Triple Eight) came across (to Holden) we were constantly being compared to them,” says Stewart.

“Often at different times it (HRT) became quite a hard place (to be) because we were trying to ‘out-elite’ them, out-do them at a military precision exercise.

“I think, unashamedly, it was trying to be a lot like Triple Eight with a really strong leader at the top who would point and tell everyone what to do and everyone got in line.

“I think we tried to be a little bit like them for a long time and we didn’t do very well at it. We’ve got to be ourselves and if you look at our owners and who they are, and the Walkinshaws and particularly Ryan.

“We have personality, we have character, we embrace difference between our people, we allow people like Chaz to turn up with crazy hair at different events, we really celebrate hard and, hopefully, it’s a culture that will be different from the other teams.

WAU Team Principal Bruce Stewart with drivers Mostert and Percat in Darwin with a range of guests in the team garage. Photo: WAU.

“We certainly have structures and processes, but we went back to being ourselves. We’re a very different group of people to them. I back our people to do it their way. If you constantly trying to emulate another group, you’re playing second fiddle.

“I think we have elements in the way that we operate that hopefully, hopefully, give us an advantage over them when we can get our car up to spec.”

WAU currently sits fifth in the Team’s Championship heading into this weekend’s next round of the Repco Supercars Championship, the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park.

Chaz Mostert sits fifth in the Driver’s Championship with teammate Nick Percat 14th.

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