Triple Eight Race Engineering (Australia)

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This article is about Triple Eight Race Engineering's V8 Supercar operation. For the BTCC team, see Triple Eight Race Engineering (United Kingdom).
Triple Eight Race Engineering
Triple 8 logo.png
Manufacturer Holden
Team Principal Roland Dane
Team Manager Mark Dutton
Race Drivers 1 Jamie Whincup
888 Craig Lowndes
Chassis Holden VF Commodore
Debut September 2003
Drivers' Championships 5 (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
Round wins 58
Race wins 105
Pole positions 70
2013 position 1st (6,100 points)

Triple Eight Race Engineering is an Australian motor racing team competing in the V8 Supercars Championship. The team has been the only Brisbane based V8 Supercar team since its formation, originally operating out of the former Briggs Motor Sport workshop in Bowen Hills before moving to Banyo in 2009. Since taking over the former Briggs Motor Sport team during the 2003 season the team has won the V8 Supercar Championship, the team's championship and the Bathurst 1000 five times.

The team currently runs two Holden VF Commodores for their drivers, five-time series champions Jamie Whincup and three-time series champion Craig Lowndes. Additionally the team provides technical support for fellow Queensland based team Tekno Autosports. The team performs its testing at Queensland Raceway.

Originally affiliated with champion British Touring Car Championship race team Triple Eight Race Engineering and owned by Peter Butterly, Roland Dane, Ian Harrison and Derek Warwick, the team in now solely owned by Dane and fully independent of its British ancestry.

History[edit]

Triple Eight Race Engineering was formed in 1996 in the United Kingdom, running Vauxhall's program in the British Touring Car Championship before expanding into Australian V8 Supercars, purchasing the Briggs Motor Sport team in September 2003.[1] The sale included a custom-built faciity in the Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills, and a staff of 35 people. Engineers in Brisbane worked closely with the Triple Eight staff in the UK to build two new Ford BA Falcons, while the team principals managed to attract substantial financial support from Ford.

Team Betta Electrical[edit]

The team debuted at the 2003 Sandown 500. 2004 was Triple Eight's first full season in V8 Supercars. It was a disappointing year for all involved, with both cars dogged by mechanical problems. Paul Radisich came 19th in the championship, while Max Wilson finished a lowly 28th. The team's car speed, however, was certainly up with the front-runners for many weekends.

2005 saw a massive form reversal for Triple Eight. Craig Lowndes and Steve Ellery were signed as drivers and Stone Brothers Racing engineer Campbell Little joined the team. Lowndes in particular was a catalyst for change, which along with powerful and reliable Stone Brothers Racing sourced engines saw a massive improvement in the team's performance. Lowndes finished second in the championship, finishing the year strongly and narrowly missing out on snatching the title from Russell Ingall. Ellery came 13th. The year's highlights included a win for Lowndes and Yvan Muller at the Sandown 500 and a third placing for Ellery and Adam Macrow at the Bathurst 1000. Lowndes won a further three rounds, and qualified on pole position four times (including Bathurst).

2006 saw a continuation of this strong form, with new recruit Jamie Whincup replacing Ellery, and making an instant impact in the form of a win at the Clipsal 500. Lowndes scored four round wins, including sharing victory at the Bathurst 1000 with Whincup.

Having led the championship to Round 11, Lowndes lost the series lead at the Symmons Plains weekend. Having seen a big chunk of his lead evaporate at the previous round on the Gold Coast following two penalties for dangerous driving approaching the starting grid, the pressure was on Lowndes to perform at the Tasmania event. Unfortunately for Lowndes, he was caught in a massive crash on the opening lap of the first race, forcing him to the rear of the grid for the next race. He recovered, but he lost the series lead to Rick Kelly, who took a handy 73-point lead. At the next round in Bahrain, Lowndes stormed back into contention as Kelly encountered problems of his own. The stage was set for a spectacular finale at Phillip Island, with the two contenders separated by just seven points.

Lowndes qualified on the third row of the grid, while Kelly was further back on the fifth row. However, Kelly fought back in the first race to be right on Lowndes' bumper at the conclusion of the race – Lowndes was fourth, Kelly fifth. In the second race, Lowndes came third while Kelly was fourth – again close behind. The points going into the final race of the year were tied. On the opening lap of the final race, Kelly pushed Lowndes on the rear bumper while in the high-speed section between Turns 3 and 4, sending Lowndes into a spin, eventually cleaning out both Lowndes and Todd Kelly (Rick's older brother). Rick Kelly was given a drive-through penalty, and finished 18th. Lowndes' car was extensively damaged and was only able to salvage 29th place. Rick Kelly had won the championship.

However, Lowndes and his Triple Eight team protested, claiming that Kelly had deliberately taken Lowndes out of the race. The stewards, after deliberation, dismissed the appeal, saying that the drive-through penalty was sufficient punishment for Kelly. Furthermore, Lowndes and Triple Eight accused the Toll HSV Dealer Team and the Holden Racing Team for bad sportsmanship – Mark Skaife was given a bad sportsmanship flag in Race 1 for blocking Lowndes, while Kelly's team-mate Garth Tander was given a drive-through penalty for blocking Lowndes in Race 2. Some days later, Lowndes was awarded the prized Barry Sheene Medal, which was some consolation.

Team Vodafone[edit]

In 2007, the team retained the services of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes. The new title sponsor was Vodafone, replacing Betta Electrical who had gone into receivership. Whincup narrowly missed out on the 2007 drivers championship by 2 points, with Garth Tander and Toll HSV Racing Team winning the last race of the season (Phillip Island).

In 2008 Jamie Whincup won the championship, and Lowndes and Whincup won their third straight Bathurst 1000.

In 2009 following Ford's decision to withdraw support from all teams other than Ford Performance Racing and Stone Brothers Racing, the Ford logos on the front of the cars were replaced by a stylised pink pigs head, referring to the Hog's Breath Cafe, one of the team sponsors. The team ran new FG Falcons. Triple Eight Racing won fifteen of the twenty-three races staged during the championship, with Whincup winning eleven races and the championship and Lowndes taking four wins at Winton, the Gold Coast and Barbagallo, finishing the year in fourth.

Change to Holden[edit]

In 2010 the team switched to racing Holden VE Commodores, after signing a three-year deal with Holden.[2] The team also re-signed with major sponsor Vodafone for another three years until the end of the 2012 season.[3]

The team celebrated the first race of the year with a 1-2 finish with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes respectively. Jamie Whincup won both races in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Hamilton, but lost the championship lead after troubled races at Queensland Raceway and Winton, while teammate Craig Lowndes finished on the podium several times. They also had a great result at Bathurst with a 1-2 finish with Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup, Steve Owen respectively. Whincup finished the year in 2nd, with Lowndes in 4th.

in 2011 Whincup regained the championship from Lowndes with the team winning the team's championship.

In 2012 Triple Eight dominated winning 19 races including the Sandown 500 (Lowndes and Warren Luff) and the Bathurst 1000 (Whincup and Paul Dumbrell) with Whincup won the title from Lowndes.

Red Bull Racing Australia[edit]

In June 2012, Vodafone announced it would not renew the sponsorship.[4] In August 2012, it was announced that energy drink company Red Bull would take over the naming rights for the 2013 V8 Supercars season onwards.[5]

In 2013 the new Car of the Future specification cars were introduced with Triple Eight racing the new Holden VF Commodore. Whincup and Lowndes finished first and second in the championship.[6]

Whincup and Lowndes are both contracted to drive for the team until the end of 2015.[7]

Development series[edit]

Triple Eight have previously entered cars in the Development Series for Andrew Thompson in 2011,[8] Scott Pye in 2012[9] and Casey Stoner in 2013,[10] winning the series in 2011. In 2014 Triple Eight is providing technical assistance to Eggleston Motorsport.[11]

Car supplier[edit]

As well as building cars for its own use Triple Eight has also built cars for other teams. It has provided chassis for Dick Johnson Racing (2009),[12] Paul Morris Motorsport (2010),[13] Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (2013)[14] and Tekno Autosports (2013).[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Triple Eight buys Briggs V8 team Crash.net
  2. ^ Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Racing team in Holden switch Courier Mail 29 July 2009
  3. ^ Lowndes returns to Holden "Wide World of Sport"29 July 2009
  4. ^ Lee, Julian (7 June 2012). "Vodafone dumps cricket, motorsport sponsorship". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 June 2012. 
  5. ^ "Red Bull Australia secure naming rights to sponsor Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden V8 Supercars". Fox Sports News. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2013. 
  6. ^ 2013 V8 Supercars Championship V8 Supercars
  7. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (19 February 2014). "Whincup to sign one year contract extension". SpeedCafe. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Dane: Thompson is the perfect choice". SpeedCafe. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Scott Pye confirms switch to Development Series". SpeedCafe. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Casey Stoner signs one-year deal with Triple Eight". SpeedCafe. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Paul Dumbrell to contest full Dunlop series". SpeedCafe. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  12. ^ Bartholomaeus (21 June 2010). "Fifth DJR Falcon added to its stable". SpeedCafe. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Triple Eight: Eight VEs is the limit". SpeedCafe. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Triple Eight's COTF production line at full speed". SpeedCafe. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2014. 

External links[edit]