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HomeNewsLOWNDES LEADS BATHURST WILDCARD, WHINCUP IN #88

LOWNDES LEADS BATHURST WILDCARD, WHINCUP IN #88

TRIPLE Eight Race Engineering has revealed the full driver line-up for its three-car attack on October’s Repco Bathurst 1000.

For the second year in succession, it will field a Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard entry alongside its Red Bull Ampol Racing Commodores.

The #888 wildcard will be shared by seven-time Bathurst 1000 winner Craig Lowndes and Triple Eight Dunlop Super2 Series driver Declan Fraser.

Jamie Whincup is set to return to the cockpit as co-driver to his full-time replacement Broc Feeney in the #88 Red Bull Commodore.

Garth Tander meanwhile returns to partner Shane van Gisbergen for the fourth-straight year, having won the race together in 2020.

“All three cars we take to the mountain this year will have nothing but equal opportunity to deliver a result,” said Whincup, who graduated to team principal this season.

“With myself piloting the #88, I look forward to working with the guys to dial in the cars during the week and then of course help each other in the race where possible.

“I can assure you the 50-plus people at Triple Eight don’t care which Triple Eight car wins the Great Race, as long as it’s one of us.”

The wildcard is once again a youth and experience combination. Pic: Supplied

Lowndes and Whincup had driven together over the last three years since the former’s full-time retirement.

This year is a very different role for Lowndes as the wildcard again takes on a youth and experience feel, as it did with Feeney and veteran Russell Ingall in 2021.

“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Declan for the Great Race, and I’m so excited to guide him on his journey into the Supercars,” said Lowndes, who suits up for a 29th Bathurst 1000 tilt.

“It will feel a little strange not being in a Red Bull Ampol car for the first time in a long time, but we’re all one team here at Triple Eight.”

Fraser sits second in the Dunlop Super2 Series standings after two rounds, having joined Triple Eight following an eighth-place finish in his 2021 rookie season aboard an MW Motorsport Nissan.

As per 2021, Supercheap has unveiled a testing livery for its wildcard. Pic: Supplied

“I grew up watching Lowndesy at Bathurst like every other kid did, so to see my name on the side of this car alongside his heading to Bathurst is super special, surreal even,” he said.

“My aim is to hone my skills over the next few months to make sure I’m fully prepared by the time I get to Bathurst.

“We get a couple of extra test days being a wildcard entry which will be good for myself to get familiar with the ZB Commodore, but at the moment there’s still a few Super2 rounds that I need to focus on.”

Fraser was a non-starter in both Super2 races at the 2021 Bathurst 1000 after a major crash in qualifying but gained valuable Mount Panorama miles in a MARC Car during the recent 12 Hour.

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