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The Summernats Triple Eight Commodore

WORD that Cameron Hill is set to pilot his Matt Stone Racing Camaro around the streets of his home city reminded us of the last time a Supercar put on a show in Canberra.

Hill’s Gen3 Chevrolet will play an active role in the Canberra Festival of Speed on March 2-3, taking part in static and dynamic displays at Thoroghbred Park among a roster of some 300 exotic machines.

The Canberran’s demonstration runs are likely to be a little more tame than the last time a Supercar was unleashed in the nation’s capital.

The 2016 edition of Summernats included a star turn from Jamie Whincup, who led the event’s opening parade and took part in the Burnout Masters competition aboard a genuine V8 Supercar.

Asked by Street Machine if he’d done any “skid practice” before making his Summernats debut, Whincup joked: “If wakeboarding and drinking beer was practice then yeah, I did plenty.”

Carrying the team’s new Red Bull livery for the 2016 season, Whincup launched into the burnout with aplomb.

The team even carried out a tyre change during his display, rattling off a set that generated red smoke for a set that produced blue!

A couple of changes were made to the car prior to going to Summernats to aid its burnout performance, but the display had an expensive postscript.

“We disconnected the rear brakes, which was a massive help, and we installed some thermo fans on the radiator,” Whincup explained.

“They were the best ones we could find but, to be honest, they didn’t work as well as we would’ve liked.

“It was good the crowd enjoyed the show because we ended up smoking an engine: my engineer and I got a bit carried away and (suddenly) the engine was at 140-degrees Celsius.

“It wasn’t a test engine, either; the car and the engine were straight out of (the last round at) Homebush.”

Mark Dutton has the headset while the crew changes the rear tyres during Whincup’s burnout. Pic: Red Bull Content Pool

It wasn’t just a ride car that Triple Eight took to Summernats, either.

Whincup was behind the wheel of 888A-040, the very Supercar he’d finished the 2015 season in, and the one he went on to race throughout the first half of 2016 – albeit with a different engine.

Its full history is told in Triple Eight Race Engineering: The Cars, 2003-2023, available to buy in the V8 Sleuth Superstore, but the Summernats cameo wasn’t the only time Chassis 40 did some extra-curricular work.

Triple Eight used this car as the basis of its Project Night Drift special, before returning it to Supercars spec for Whincup to drive at Mount Panorama as part of filming for a Virgin Australia pre-flight safety video.

Eggleston Motorsport then bought Chassis 40 to field in the Dunlop Super2 Series, its most recent appearance coming at the Sandown round in 2022 when Jack Perkins drove it in a retro Marlboro Holden Dealer Team-inspired livery.

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