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The accomplished Brit who is now WAU team principal

AMONG a high-profile cohort of Supercars team principals from Jamie Whincup to Ryan Story, Carl Faux’s name might not stand out.

But it should.

The British guru was quietly promoted to team principal at Walkinshaw Andretti United as part of a reshuffle last November that saw Bruce Stewart become CEO and Terry Kerr technical director.

The idea was to better empower the trio to drive the historic Clayton squad forward in the technical (Kerr), sporting (Faux) and commercial/business (Stewart) spheres.

So, what is there to know about WAU’s new team principal?

“I’m a racer; always have been, always will be,” Faux told V8 Sleuth.

“My great-grandfather had a business in the UK, it was a petrol/service garage so it did tyres, did servicing. He started it and then my grandfather and great-uncle were there, so I was brought up around cars.

“There’s a lot of short oval racing in the UK, so quarter-mile ovals on tarmac, a bit like what they have got in New Zealand.

Carl Faux and Bruce Stewart at the 2023 Adelaide 500. Pic: Supplied/Race Project

“I started racing in a class called Ministox for 11- to 16-year-olds. You get a Mini… it’s restricted engine capacity because you’re young, and then you go and bash into each other and race like that. So that’s sort of where I started.”

Faux left school at age 16 but took a keen interest in the mechanical, engineering and design elements of racing. Soon enough, he realised his talents were better spent outside the cockpit.

“One of my friends jumped in my car and I jumped in his car, and he went faster in my car than he did in his own car,” he recalled.

“It was like, ‘ah, that’s where I need to be, designing, building, setting up cars rather than driving them’. That was Joe Tandy, whose younger brother Nick Tandy ended up winning Le Mans.”

After gathering mechanical experience, Faux interviewed at Triple Eight (UK) at which point team boss Ian Harrison encouraged him down the path of university to become qualified as an engineer.

Given his early exit from high school, Faux didn’t have the simplest path. He eventually came across an opportunity at the Bolton Institute of Higher Education and grabbed it with both hands.

He subsequently wound up at Triple Eight, which by now in the mid-2000s was an established British Touring Car Championship powerhouse.

Carl Faux. Pic: Ross Gibb

Faux took on chief designer duties for Triple Eight’s MG project in 2012 as it regained manufacturer status.

Success ensued, and it would follow him when he switched to Team BMR.

After fielding Volkswagen Passats as an independent in 2015, BMR struck a deal to bring Subaru and its Levorg into the championship the following year. Again, Faux was a central figure in the program.

In 2017, BMR’s Ash Sutton won the BTCC crown on Sunday, October 1. Mere days later, Faux was off to Bathurst to begin a fresh chapter, in the Supercars Championship with what was about to become WAU.

“I loved the aspect of strategy racing and GT racing and I loved touring cars. I wanted to combine the both and what better place to do it than here?” Faux explained of his move to Australia.

“It’s the most difficult touring car championship in the world. The standard is so high, it’s unreal.

“The structure of NASCAR, IndyCar, F1 and here are like the proper franchise-type racing of the teams, so it’s set up the best that way.

“All of the drivers in this category are really good drivers. All of the teams are really good teams. You don’t get any duds.

“And therefore to be able to measure yourself against that and try to put the collective team together to go and actually win things is pretty tough.

“That’s the challenge and as a racer, that’s the thing I like doing.”

WAU team principal Carl Faux (right) with Dick Johnson Racing engineer Richard Harris at the 2024 Melbourne SuperSprint. Pic: Ross Gibb

Faux notes that Supercars is closely monitored by those in the BTCC, and that he’d briefly crossed paths with the category in the late 2000s when Triple Eight Australia leant on its British branch for a wind tunnel program.

Over the years, WAU has sometimes been an easy target for criticism given the high bar its predecessor the Holden Racing Team once set.

But there has been gradual progress at Clayton since hitting rock bottom in mid-2017.

That year, an underperforming car left drivers Scott Pye and James Courtney to finish just 12th and 21st in the championship.

Now, the squad is back to being a perennial frontrunner with star Chaz Mostert, even if a first race win for the Blue Oval has remained elusive for now.

“Something that gets bandied around a lot is the consistency not being good enough,” said Faux.

“But we finished fourth in the championship last year; you don’t do that if you’re not consistent.

“We haven’t had spectacular results in Gen3 and that’s for many reasons I suppose, but the consistency has still been there and that’s how you build towards a championship.”

Mostert was fastest in practice yesterday at Taupō Motorsport Park.

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