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HomeNewsTriple Eight wary of Hamilton/Alonso-type boilover

Triple Eight wary of Hamilton/Alonso-type boilover

TRIPLE Eight team principal Jamie Whincup has branded his driver line-up ultra-exciting but is mindful of not letting any internal competition boil over.

For the first time since 2004, Triple Eight enters a Supercars season without a champion on its books (as a primary driver, at least).

Instead, it has youth on its side, with Broc Feeney and Will Brown aged 21 and 25 and already with multiple race wins under their belts.

Previously, Craig Lowndes, Shane van Gisbergen and Whincup himself have been staples behind the wheel of the Banyo team’s machines.

“That’s also a big change for us: we go into the year without a driver that’s won at least one championship,” said Whincup.

“In my opinion, I feel like we have got the youngest and most exciting driver line-up that we’ve seen in a long time.

Will Brown joined in the off-season and will drive the #87 Red Bull Ampol Camaro. Pic: Nathan Wong

“I’m a fan of both guys so I’m looking forward to seeing how they go this weekend and beyond.

“But I certainly wouldn’t have signed Will and we wouldn’t keep committing to Broc if we didn’t think they were the real deal and good enough to do the job.”

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So long as they push each other to new heights and not in a detrimental manner.

“We’ve always had the luxury of the drivers being at different stages of their careers,” Whincup explained.

“There was a good eight years between Craig and myself, and there was another eight years between myself and SVG, and then I think it was more than that between SVG and Broc.

“But now we have got two drivers very similar age and similar skill level and similar stage of their career, so my job is to make sure we don’t have a Lewis Hamilton/Fernando Alonso scenario back at McLaren in 2007 where they both just ran into each other and Ferrari ended up winning the championship.

“That’s going to be my biggest task this year, to make sure there’s a healthy rivalry between the two.”

Triple Eight finished second in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships last year; while its 2023 conquerors Brodie Kostecki and Erebus Motorsport are going through a messy split, Whincup is taking nothing for granted at the Thrifty Bathurst 500.

“Where we stack up against the rest of the field, we don’t know,” he said.

“The Gen3 product is so similar, it’s anyone’s game at the start of the year and as it always does, it comes down to who wants it the most and hopefully that’s us this year.”

Opening practice for the Repco Supercars Championship at Mount Panorama starts today at 12:20pm local/AEDT.

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