SLEUTHING: THE EX-MCLAUGHLIN TRIPLE EIGHT COMMODORE

Jack Le Brocq at the wheel of Warren Millett's Wake Up! Commodore. Photo: Nathan Wong.

JACK Le Brocq’s domination of the Combined Sedans races at the 2022 Bathurst 12 Hour came aboard a VE Commodore with a special place in Supercars history.

Not only was it the car in which Scott McLaughlin made his Supercars Championship debut as a co-driver in 2012, it stands as the only Triple Eight chassis the Kiwi raced.

Dubbed 888A-029, it was the third chassis constructed during Paul Morris Motorsport’s customer alliance with Triple Eight that spanned the 2010 and ’11 seasons.

It sat at PMM in 2011 but the Norwell-based squad never completed the build of the car and eventually sold it to new Triple Eight customer Tekno Autosports ahead of the following season.

It was finished and became Jonathon Webb’s race car for the 2012 V8 Supercars Championship, which included being joined by McLaughlin for Sandown and Bathurst.

At that stage on his way to victory in the Dunlop Series with Stone Brothers Racing, McLaughlin had been overlooked by the Ford squad for a co-driving berth and inked a late deal with Tekno.

McLaughlin behind the wheel at Sandown in 2012. Pic: an1images.com / Justin Deeley

“I remember asking if I could do my own thing, to go and find a drive, (and) I literally just drove straight across the highway (from SBR) to Tekno,” McLaughlin explained on the V8 Sleuth Podcast in 2020.

“I went to Bruce (Jenkins, then Tekno team manager who McLaughlin had worked with in Formula Ford) and said, ‘I can’t get an enduro drive at SBR, is there a seat?’.

“I think initially I was meant to be with (second driver Michael) Patrizi, and then we had a test day, and I went pretty quick, and Jono was like ‘nah, we’ll put Scott in my car’. Typical team owner!

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“I don’t think SBR were too happy with me (being) in debriefs from that point on. It got a little full-on there for a little bit, but I had to do what I had to do to make sure I was there (in the enduros).

The Webb/McLaughlin combination finished 10th at Sandown and an impressive sixth at Bathurst, which helped launch the youngster into a full-time seat with Garry Rogers Motorsport for 2013.

“It was the best thing I ever did because Garry really picked me based on what I did in those enduros,” McLaughlin added.

The car donned this livery for the 2012 Bathurst 1000. Pic: an1images.com / Justin Deeley

McLaughlin then spent the bulk of his eight-year full-time Supercars career as a serious thorn in the side of the Triple Eight squad, beating its drivers to the 2018, ’19 and ’20 drivers titles!

As for 888A-029, the Supercars Championship’s move to the Car of the Future regulations in 2013 meant the car was no longer required by Tekno and it was sold to Eggleston Motorsport.

It was campaigned by the team in the Dunlop Series for Jack Perkins (who won three races with the car in 2013), Garry Jacobson and Liam McAdam over the seasons that followed.

Jack Perkins drove this car to a race and round win in the Dunlop Series at Ipswich in 2013. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Its last appearance in the second-tier class came at Bathurst in 2016, where McAdam crashed out of the weekend in practice.

Although repaired it was not again fielded by Eggleston and eventually sold to Kumho Series regular and former V8 Ute racer Warren Millett.

A long-time sponsor of Le Brocq, Millett invited the Supercars Championship regular to drive the car in the Combined Sedans at the 2022 Bathurst 12 Hour, where he won all three races.