With the announcement that World Endurance Champion Earl Bamber is joining Shane van Gisbergen as co-driver of the no. 97 Commodore, it feels like the Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s season of endurance is already kicking off.
Hold your horses! We’ve got a hell of a lot to get through before that.
You can never start planning these things too early though and it’s no secret that Triple Eight Race Engineering is looking to field wildcards for three events during the second half of 2018 to test the much-anticipated V6 twin-turbocharged engine against its V8 rivals.
“It is envisaged that one of those events will be Bathurst,” Triple Eight MD and bossman Roland Dane said.
With the fourth car in the pipeline for Bathurst, joining the two RBHRT beasts and their Autobarn Lowndes Racing stablemate, the big question is… who’s gonna steer this bad boy?
“The entry is likely to be run independently of the other Triple Eight cars and we are talking to a number of drivers for the Great Race entry – including Matty Campbell who we hope may be available,” he continued.
With the 22-year-old’s Porsche commitments keeping him busy over at least one of the Enduro race weekends, we unfortunately had to wave goodbye to him as SVG’s co-driver for 2018. The Warwick kid seriously impressed at Sandown and the GC this year and we’re keeping all our fingers and toes crossed he’ll be able to hit Mt Panorama with us again.
“We’re also talking to several other internationally-based people as the other driver.
“Hopefully we can learn a lot, as well as allowing the new engine to give a good account of itself in Australia’s biggest race of the year.”
Holden’s new engine is no stranger to the mountain. At this year’s Bathurst 1000, our faithful Sandman hit the track in the hands of Greg Murphy, equipped with the V6 powertrain.
Let Murph tell you himself, this beast ain’t no hairdryer.
“The noise inside the car was certainly different,” he said after his first of four runs across the weekend. “It was a lot louder and tougher than I expected.
“The throttle response and driveability of the engine was awesome as well.”
Don’t know about you guys, but we can’t wait to find out who’s going to be taking the wheel of the V6 TT Next-Gen Commodore. Watch this space…