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Whincup hails latest Triple Eight rivalry

IT’S official: Triple Eight Race Engineering has a new Supercars rival in the form of Erebus Motorsport.

Over the best part of two decades, the Banyo squad has had various nemeses.

Craig Lowndes pushed the Stone Brothers Racing duo of Russell Ingall and Marcos Ambrose hard in 2005 before the archrivalry between then Ford-aligned Triple Eight and Holden’s HSV/HRT kicked off (defined by two thrilling title deciders).

Come its switch to Holden in 2010, it found stiff competition from the Blue Oval via Ford Performance Racing and, at least briefly, Dick Johnson Racing.

Eventually, DJR returned to being the chief enemy, coinciding with its Penske-inspired resurgence, but Triple Eight has pretty well had its own way for two years… until the debut of Gen3 sparked Erebus to life.

Erebus has achieved a series of firsts this year and a quarter of the way through the season leads both the drivers’ and teams’ championships with relative comfort.

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Brodie Kostecki is 100 points up on Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert, with Triple Eight’s Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney third and fifth, 136 and 220 points adrift respectively (split by Erebus’ Will Brown).

In the teams’ standings, Erebus is 180 points clear of Triple Eight, with Grove Racing next best, a further 279 back.

“They’re doing a good job,” Triple Eight managing director Jamie Whincup told V8 Sleuth of Erebus.

“I always give credit where credit is due.

“I think everyone in pitlane has challenged us for the top spot in some way, shape or form over the last 15 years and at the moment that’s Erebus; they’re doing a good job and we thank them for the carrot to dig a bit deeper and work a bit harder.”

Elaborating on Erebus’ evolution into true archrival status – perhaps aided by its Perth protest – Whincup said: “I think it is at the moment, for sure.

“They’re doing a very, very good job and they’re really hitting their strides and outperforming everyone.

“It’s up to us to step up. I always say, we don’t spend any time trying to bring anyone else down; we want people raising to a new level and now it’s up to us to try to find that and match it and if not do a bit better.

“We’re 180 points down in the teams’ championship – that doesn’t sit well with me.

“So we’ll put our heads down and try to make sure we get it back.”

Round 4 of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship takes place at Symmons Plains across May 19-21.

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