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Triple Eight is committed to more success for surfers

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Thomas Miles

No team has ruled the streets of Surfers Paradise quite like Triple Eight Race Engineering and the team are in good shape to continue their dominance at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 this weekend.

Red Bull Ampol Racing on a high after Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander won this year’s A great race grand and arrives at a circuit where he has won half of the races held since 2008.

Even with the previous visit at the height of Scott McLaughlin’s dominance, no one could catch the two Red Bulls charging on the sunny street circuit.

The team led seven of the nine sessions over the weekend and recorded a pair of one-two finishes in races with the #888 car driven by Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes and #97 Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Thunder share the spoils.

No one could catch the Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodores in the 2019 Gold Coast Supercars pre-race Photo by Dirk Klinsmith/LAT Images

More success is sure to await a return to the competition in 2022 as Van Gisbergen is all but certain to wrap up his third Drivers’ Championship this weekend, needing only to finish 24th if Tickford rival Cam Waters wins on Saturday to move back one one.

Red Bull Ampol Racing are also on the verge of a record 11-team championship run as Dick Johnson Racing must clear their Holden rivals by 95 points to take on Adelaide.

The man who has won the most races on the streets of Surfers Paradise, Jamie Whincup will return not as a driver but as a team principal.

​While he knew more silverware would be added to the ever-growing trophy cabinet at Triple Eight HQ, Whincup said the focus this weekend remains on a few surfboards.

Jamie Whincup took his first win on the Gold Coast in 2008 and the team has been on a near-constant winning streak ever since. Image: Motorsport Images

“It’s been a long and tough year but we’ve fought well and put ourselves in a position where we can potentially wrap up the drivers’ championship this weekend,” he said.

“But it’s not in the head, it’s about doing the work we have to do with both cars and if we do it well, there could be a prize at the end.”

Aside from the team’s championship chase and how many more wins van Gisbergen can add to his record-breaking season, plenty of attention will also be on rookie Brock Feeney.

The 2021 Dunlop Super2 champion was born and raised on the Gold Coast and will be racing in front of friends and family for the first time.

Feeney has taken on the Supercars world in his first season, currently sitting sixth in the standings after a battling P5 finish at Bathurst with Whincup.

But the 20-year-old said racing on his home turf would be one of the highlights of the year.

“It’s starting to feel real now and it’s really important to race at home this weekend,” Feeney said.

“We had our last race a few years ago and I was in year 11 at school and now I’m competing in the Supercar Championship.

“It’s so exciting just being home and sleeping in your own bed makes a difference.

“All my friends and family are going to be here so it’s going to be very special, but I just have to make sure I get in the zone and do my thing.”

Brock Feeney will be in the spotlight as he races on home turf for the first time, and he prepared for the big race by playing Capture the Flag with the Surf Life Saving Club. image: Mark Horsburgh

Whincup and van Gisbergen have won 13 of the last 24 races on the Gold Coast, Feeney has the ideal mentors in his corner and the team principal and seven-time champion said the team will do all they can to support their homegrown rookie as he takes to the unforgiving streets for the first time .

“It’s a gnarly little track, but for Brock, he just needs to get down, learn the track because he knows what to do and how to drive the car,” Whincup said.

“We’ll give him all the support he needs, and with all the date and knowledge the team has built up here over the last 15 years, he should be in good shape.

“It’s a massive event and it’s going to be really important for Brock, who’s a Gold Coast local, and fingers crossed we can have two fast cars, keep them clean and get on the podium.”

The team prepared for this weekend’s Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 by trying to keep up with the ‘Beach Kings’ from the Surf Live Saving Club.

But on Friday, Feeney and van Gisbergen will have no time on the beach, instead battling for glory on the streets.

For more of the latest motorsport news, pick up the latest issue of Auto Action.

AUTO ACTION, the independent voice of motorsport in Australia.

https://autoaction.com.au/2022/10/26/triple-eight-striving-for-more-surfers-success

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