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Whincup reflects on first Bathurst 1000 win as team boss

JAMIE Whincup has hailed a stellar start to his tenure as Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal and managing director.

Since taking over from Roland Dane at the start of this year, Whincup has already overseen victories in the Bathurst 12 Hour and now the Repco Bathurst 1000.

The Supercars drivers’ and teams’ championships are all but a formality to follow.

Some had tipped Triple Eight to be vulnerable in 2022 and beyond, with Dane no longer full-time, rookie Broc Feeney replacing seven-time champion Whincup as a primary driver, and key staff including David Cauchi (and later Matt Cook) joining rival outfits.

Come October, any such doubters have been emphatically silenced.

“The first thing that comes to mind is that Triple Eight Race Engineering winning the Bathurst 12 Hour and the Bathurst 1000 all in one year is a big achievement,” Whincup said after Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander won the Great Race yesterday.

“It’s massive as a team owner. We’re just doing everything we can behind the scenes to keep the momentum rolling from what RD (Dane) instigated.

“You can’t win Bathurst without having a good team of people. Everyone played their part, and I think in 10 years’ time we’ll talk about the good old days as being right now. We’re living those days in 2022!”

Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander lift the Peter Brock Trophy after winning the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000. Pic: Speed Shots Photography / Nathan Wong

Backing up Car #97’s triumph was the presence of the other two Triple Eight Commodores inside the top eight.

Whincup himself shared #88 with Broc Feeney, who finished fifth despite Whincup getting tangled up in an opening lap incident.

Its wildcard for Craig Lowndes and Declan Fraser ran well all day to place eighth.

“Our day should have been done 500 metres into the race,” Whincup said of his own car.

“Spinning in front of the field up Mountain Straight in the water and then I got another get-out-of-jail-free card when going through two cars after The Chase, I couldn’t believe we came out of there unscathed.

“We got to the back of the podium, which was great, but we just didn’t quite have the pace in the end.

“I would have been happy to come out of the weekend with three straight cars, but to have all three Triple Eight cars in the top 10 just shows unbelievable depth from a team perspective and I couldn’t be happier.”

Van Gisbergen, who now holds the record for most race wins (19) in a Supercars Championship season, will seal his third title later this month as long as he finishes either race at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500.

Triple Eight too will put the teams’ championship beyond doubt if it ends the Surfers Paradise event 576 points ahead of Dick Johnson Racing; its lead currently sits at 671.

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