Jamie Whincup has secured his future with Triple Eight Race Engineering, but not behind the wheel. The seven-time Virgin Australia Supercars champion has joined the team’s portfolio of shareholders as a co-owner.
Whincup’s career with Triple Eight began in 2006 and he has since claimed every single one of his 113 championship race wins with the Brisbane-based squad, including four Bathurst 1000 victories.
“The guys and girls at Triple Eight are like family to me and if it’s my choice, I will keep racing with them until I am 80 years old,” he said.
The 35-year-old is the first to admit that he doesn’t want to make up numbers on the Supercars grid or occupy the spot of a deserving young driver and has thus been taking steps to build a career beyond full-time driving for a number of years, with the overarching objective being to build a long-term career in Australian motorsport.
“My motivation to be a team owner has risen from the fact I simply love the concept of motorsport. I want to ensure that I’m still racing well after my driving career.”
The team itself planted its feet firmly in Australia in September 2003 when co-founder and managing director Roland Dane made the move from the British Touring Car Championship with the support of then co-owners Derek Warwick, Ian Harrison and Peter Butterly. Over the years, Dane became the sole team owner, but in 2015 began laying the groundwork for the future of Triple Eight, welcoming new investors into the fold whilst retaining control.
With Dane at the helm, Whincup joins Tim Miles, Paul Dumbrell and Jessica Dane as a minority owner of Triple Eight.
“I thank Roland and the management of Triple Eight and the current sponsors for accepting my proposal to be a shareholder and I promise I won’t let you down,” Whincup continued.
Dane confirmed that the sentiment within the team has been overwhelmingly positive: “Jamie has proved over the years that he is a team player and has Triple Eight’s best interests at heart. Just as in racing, it’s vital in business to be planning ahead for every scenario and the boys and girls here at Triple Eight recognise that he potentially has a lot to offer in this respect.
“Jamie and I have been working on a plan for him to come into the business side of the team for a few years, so to see this start to come to fruition now is very satisfying. I’ve no doubt he’ll put every effort into learning as much as he can about the running of Triple Eight to make sure that his contribution is valuable.”
Whincup is currently contracted to drive his Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore until the end of 2019, but has confirmed that he currently sees himself behind the wheel full time for at least another two years.
“While my focus during the next two seasons is to drive the race cars to the absolute best of my ability, I look forward to investing my spare time into learning the Triple Eight and Supercars business,” he said.
“We proudly display the Peter Brock trophy at our headquarters and focus on the fight to retain the drivers’ championship trophy.”