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Latest News Link In Bio Supercars The Bend

It’s Game On at The Bend

Break? What break?

After a mammoth four-week festival of racing, the Supercars circus is heading back down south. Destination: Tailem Bend.

With only three rounds left to race in season 2020 and the margin to the top step of the drivers’ championship only 143 points away, it’s all on the line for Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup.

“The Bend is no doubt one of the best circuits we have in this country. We are so happy to have such a high-quality facility to go racing which was much needed after 19 years after the last. A long straight mixed with fast flowing corners makes it really challenging,” JDub said.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury to circulate and collect points, not that that’s our style anyway. We’re 143 points down and need to take risks on and off the track in an attempt to bridge the gap.”

The bulls’ last podium at The Bend was in 2018, which saw JDub and Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen take out Sunday’s race with a one-two, respectively. 

So, what do you remember from that race, SVG?

“JDub and I were quite fast that weekend, so hopefully we can get somewhere close to that again.

“It’s a really good track to drive on when you have a nice car. I remember we had a couple of rockets that year and to get a one-two in the first year of racing at Tailem Bend was awesome,” SVG said.

Looking forward to this weekend, the bulls are confident their momentum from Townsville and their pace from Supercars’ pre-season testing at Tailem Bend will put them in good stead for the next two weekends of racing.

“It’s a cool track but very tough on the cars. I think qualifying is the most important because it’s near impossible to pass people, so you really have to qualify well at The Bend.

“We’re just going to try our best, have some fun and get some good results,” SVG said.

“We take some confidence out of the fact we were competitive at the test day, but we are going there with a much different setup than that having adopted some of the stuff we have learnt the last few months,” JDub said.

“Wish us luck!”

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RD Explains Team Movements

Four rounds of Supercars action in four weeks.

For many of us, it’s like Christmas has come early, but for our crew on the road, it presents many challenges.

The next three weeks are going to be demanding; mentally, physically, and logistically. To better understand what our crew will be up to during this ‘festival of racing,’ we sat down with team boss Roland ‘RD’ Dane to explain the team’s movements over this period.

“The plan currently is that they’re up in Darwin between the two events and are deliberately staying up there just in case there’s any change of circumstances beyond our control. Hopefully, there won’t be any changes, but we’re playing it safe,” RD said.

“Post-Darwin #2, the plan is that the team will return to Brisbane, then fly to Townsville two days later, and everyone else will be there by the Friday. This allows our crew a couple of days back in Brisbane to catch up with family, get some clean clothes and then head back up north.

“They will stay up in Townsville for ten days to do the two events up there, and then will return back to Brisbane. We’re awaiting instructions from Supercars as to what happens after Townsville.”

A weekend of racing for anyone involved with the sport is quite taxing, let alone four consecutive weeks. When asked how the team will keep mentally and physically fit, RD explained the importance of allowing the team to have time off when there’s opportunities to do so.

“Race weekends are quite taxing particularly on the Saturdays from what the guys have told me, but there’s also the opportunity to have several days downtime during the week between events, which gives them an ability to recharge their batteries. By the time we get to the conclusion of Townsville #2, I reckon the whole of pit lane, whether it’s officials, team crews et cetera will be ready for a well-deserved break.”

Red Bull Holden Racing in Townsville

During the break between both Darwin rounds, the garages at Hidden Valley Raceway will become a makeshift home-base for the crew, which allows the team to prepare the cars for another weekend of racing in the Top End.

“The Darwin garages are available for teams to work on the cars. There will obviously be differing amounts of work to be completed car-to-car depending on what sort of weekend you’ve had.

“There’s also things like crew suits which have to be washed, de-briefs to be done and analytics to be reviewed with regards to on-track performance. Those sorts of things are easy to do away from the factory, but the engineers who are here (Triple Eight Race Engineering workshop) give them some support during the week in terms of inputs as well,” RD explained.

When asked how grateful he was to the Victorian teams who have sacrificed so much to keep the Supercars season alive, RD offered nothing but praise.

“They have made the biggest sacrifice. I think everyone is now having to make personal sacrifices that were inconceivable a few months ago, but the Victorian teams are clearly away for much longer, which is extremely taxing for them, and we are massively appreciative for what they’re doing.

“I think the only upside for a lot of them is that they’re in better weather, and have much more freedom than what they would have if they were still in Melbourne at the moment, so there’s a small silver lining for them.”

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Latest News Link In Bio Supercars Townsville

Townsville Takeover

The Supercars circus continues its north Australian tour. Next stop: Townsville!

The streets of Townsville have been a happy hunting ground for the team over the past decade, and like the Mad Cow Tavern on a Saturday night, we’re hoping the champagne bottles get a fair workout this weekend.

“We’ve always enjoyed going to Townsville since it was introduced to the Supercars calendar in 2009. We have had some great results there in the past but that doesn’t guarantee anything this weekend,” says Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup.   

“Coming off a poor showing at Darwin last weekend, we have some work to do to be fast this weekend.”

A return to Townsville means a return to street circuits, and yes, we’re just as excited as you!

“Street tracks are a fantastic part of our sport as it brings the entertainment to the people and there is not much better than the parklands circuit in Townsville. It’s actually a hybrid circuit with really good racing corners around the back of the track which give it a best-of-both-worlds feel.”

If you’re having flashbacks to Townsville 2019, you’ll remember the absolute mayhem from Sunday’s race. Torrential rain, fire balls (the one in pit lane, not the ones flowing at the casino that night) and a win for Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen.

 

“Townsville is an awesome track – I love it,” SVG said.

“After a few changes to #97 in Darwin last weekend, the car overall is in pretty good nick so we’ll be looking to come out of the blocks fast.”

How about #88, JDub?

“Thankfully, we have some new parts coming up from our Banyo base to repair the car properly from the last fortnight. We hit the wall hard and had some decent damage from car on car contact.  

“The boys will work hard this week making it look and feel brand new again – they do such a good job. The key is getting through these coming weekends with limited damage.”

This week marks the fourth week on the road for the bulls, albeit minimal compared to our Victorian counterparts. With an emphasis to keep team mortal high, JDub says the Supercars fraternity are working hard to keep putting on a show for our fans.

“We’re all hanging in there and lucky we have racing to keep the brain focused,” said JDub.

“It’s our partners who are doing it tough, but we share the challenge with a lot of the community. Together we will all get through this stronger.” The Townsville SuperSprint begins this weekend and features three 39-lap races. Tickets to the event can be purchased here.

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Latest News Link In Bio Supercars Townsville

It’s Top End Time

Blimey! Is it really that time of year?

Supercars are heading north to the land of sun and salties, and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team are looking forward to a ‘you beaut’ time in the Top End.

For Shane ‘SVG’ van Gisbergen, driver of the #97 Red Bull Holden Commodore, the Hidden Valley circuit has treated him well in the past, where he’s scored two wins and nine podiums since debuting in 2008.

“The racing in Darwin is always really competitive.

“The track was resurfaced a couple of years ago, so it’s really fast-paced. Overall, the racing at Hidden Valley is good and the fans up north are great – it’ll be so good to see them around the circuit again,” SVG said.

“This round will be an interesting one. They’ve kept the whacky tyre rules from Sydney, so we’re going to have to decide what the best strategies will be and try to do the best we can with the tyres we have.

“Our aim is to be competitive over the three races and try to bank as many points as we can.”

This year’s Darwin Triple Crown will be a special event for SVG, notching up his 400th Supercars Championship race start. Known for his love of scorching temperatures and intense humidity, we can’t think of a better place to celebrate his milestone.

For Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup, SVG’s teammate since 2016, watching the Kiwi climb through the motorsport ranks over the years has been memorable to watch.

“It’s been awesome to watch first-hand the shy, skinny kid from New Zealand come of age and be one of the best touring car competitors the world has seen,” JDub said of SVG’s achievement.

“He was fast out of the blocks, ruffled a few feathers early on, and now has a deadly mix of raw speed and experience in the prime of his career.  He’s been a fantastic teammate that I have enjoyed so many great battles with.”

So, if you’re up the Top End of town this weekend, make sure you ‘hava gander’ at the Supercars action – we look forward to seein’ ya there!

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Holden and Triple Eight Agree to Settlement

GM Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering have reached an amicable agreement in the wake of Holden’s announcement that the manufacturer will be closing later this year.

The settlement, the details of which are commercially confidential, will see the Red Bull Holden Racing Team remain on the grid in its present guise until the end of the current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season. The existing contract had been due to expire at the end of 2021.

The two powerhouses of Australian motor racing joined forces in 2010, winning on debut in Abu Dhabi and going on to claim a one-two finish in the Bathurst 1000 in the same year. In total, Holden and Triple Eight together have claimed eight teams’ championships, six drivers’ titles and four Bathurst 1000 victories.

The future branding of Triple Eight’s Supercars team is yet to be determined, with the current contract between co-title partner Red Bull and Triple Eight in place until at least the end of the 2021 season.

The whole team at Triple Eight extends their heartfelt thanks to Holden, all Holden employees past and present with whom we’ve interacted, and the dealer network  for their incredible support and friendship over the past decade. The team is totally committed to delivering the best possible results, both on and off the track, for the remainder of the season.