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A not so ‘off’ season

We often get asked what we do in the off-season because there are obviously no races so there’s nothing to do.

Hmmm…  Not quite, and it’s not something we’d ever suggest you ask one of the crew around here.

Aside from the Christmas break, things are flat strap and we’re talking long hours, little sleep and lots of car building.

The new next-gen Holden Commodore supercar has added some extra work around the place but we’re not complaining, anything to get us back on the track and we’ll do it.

After J-Dub’s successful 2017 championship campaign, race engineer David Cauchi has had little time to stop and celebrate, heading up much of the next-gen Commodore build.

“Since the championship hangover subsided, we have been working on the next-gen Commodore. The first part of that was attending the official Supercars aero test where we homologated the aero package that we’ll race this year.

“Now, our focus has shifted to making all the body parts and three brand new cars for our drivers.

“We are sneaking in a bit of development as well.”

View: Have you seen our new race car?

Although we’re not out on the track every couple of weekends, the team are back at Triple Eight HQ getting things prepped for another big season – the biggest difference at this time of year is the type of work with design being the main focus.

“We’re trying to keep up with design so that we allow enough time for manufacturing and assembly,” said Cauchi.

“The later we complete signing off on designs from engineering, the more stress it puts on the system downstream.

“So we’re all putting in extra effort at the moment.”

On top of that, there’s a little bit of development going on – because the guys and girls aren’t busy enough already – which included the most recent evaluation day with Jordan Taylor and Kurt Kostecki.

Race engineer Grant McPherson hasn’t dodged the busy period either and has been heavily involved in the development programs, on top of his design work.

“We are working on other development paths that may not even be for the start of the season,” said Shippy.

Working under pressure is what we as a team can do well so times like these are perfect for our team to chip in and put together a huge team effort, before the season has even started mind you.

“If this has been a quiet time, I would hate to see us during a busy time,” said Cauchi.

“Right now, I’d say the work load is at its peak. We all work hard to get the cars ready and look forward to just getting out there and racing,” he said.

“The car build is progressing nicely and the workshop floor is very busy with four cars at different stages of build,” added Shippy.

While everything is going to plan, there’s no better time to jump on a plane and join the action down at Bathurst – you can never have enough Bathurst.

“Aside from everything going on, there might be a sneaky trip down to Bathurst for the 12 Hour. Other than that, it’s all next-gen Commodore,” said Cauchi.

Our engineers really know how to keep themselves busy, don’t they?