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What happened to the prototype Red Bull ZB Commodore?

THE ZB Commodore Supercar marked the last Holden Commodore to tackle the Supercars Championship and its marquee event, the Bathurst 1000, bringing down the curtain on a long line of Holden race cars at the top level of Australian motorsport.

Rewind back to September 2017 though and the first ZB Commodore Supercar broke cover in Queensland and captured plenty of attention.

The car – plus every other Supercar built and raced by Triple Eight in Supercars – is covered in depth in V8 Sleuth’s new book ‘Triple Eight Race Engineering, The Cars 2003-2023’, available here now from V8 Sleuth Superstore.

The perfect gift for Christmas, it’s 416 pages, hardcover and limited to just 2500 copies worldwide.

The prototype ZB Commodore has also been recently produced as a 1:18 scale model car exclusively for the recent Diecast Model Expo in Victoria.

Very limited stock has been made available to V8 Sleuth and are available to order now from the V8 Sleuth Superstore here. The model has been produced in a limited edition run of 300 cars.

Rolled out in a unique camouflage livery (created by GM Design Australia’s Tom Grech, son of former Holden Racing Team manager Jeff), the Triple Eight-built Red Bull Commodore ran a shakedown at Norwell Motorplex with Jamie Whincup at the wheel back in 2017.

Over time the team’s ZB Commodores racked up plenty of trophies, including Bathurst 1000 wins in 2018, 2020 and 2022 and championship wins with Shane van Gisbergen in 2021 and 2022.

Chassis 48 rolled out to make a one-off start in New Zealand in 2018. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

But what happened to the very first prototype ZB Commodore Supercar that rolled out in September 2017?

Used for testing in late 2017, it was wheeled out for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team livery launch in Sydney Harbour in 2018 and unveiled on a floating pontoon!

A short time later it turned laps at Queensland Raceway for a driver evaluation day with American sportscar racer Jordan Taylor and Kurt Kostecki but was not used as part of the Red Bull team’s rotation of race chassis.

That was, however, up until the Pukekohe round in New Zealand in November 2018 when Whincup moved into this chassis for the round after damage was sustained to his regular car on the Gold Coast.

That Kiwi hit-out was the car’s only round start in Red Bull colours and it reverted to being used in end-of-season aero testing at Temora in December.

Acquired by Team 18 for new signing Mark Winterbottom to drive in 2019, this chassis – 888A-048 – remained the mount of the 2015 Supercars champion for four seasons through to the end of Gen2 regulations at the end of 2022 (below left).

Sold to Eggleston Motorsport, it’s now raced in the Dunlop Series by Cameron Crick (below right, at Bathurst this year), and will race again in the final round of the series at the VAILO Adelaide 500 from November 23 to 26.

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