The start of the season is now a mere 41 days away, so what better time to announce the leading ladies of 2016. And by that we mean, new chassis. Well, what did you think we were talking about?
After a rocky start last year, J-Dub finally hit it off with Jen (chassis 040) and now it’s time for Shane Van Gisbergen to welcome his new squeeze, currently known as, chassis 042.
Treat it as a welcome gift to the team SVG, this brand spankin’ new bull is ready for number 97 to be stickered all over it.
With upcoming shake downs and test days on the horizon, the new rig will certainly have plenty to prove on the track.
“We expect and demand big things from all our chassis. The level of attention to detail that is being put into this build is better than ever. We are constantly trying to improve what we do while not compromising reliability,” said Team Manager Mark Dutton.
“We wanted to start 2016 with all three drivers having brand new chassis, but we altered that plan slightly midway through 2015 when we debuted Jamie’s chassis 040 for Sandown, but for the other two we have stuck to the plan.”
Chassis 042 marks the 12th Car of the Future manufactured at Triple Eight and it’s been smooth sailing thus far (touch wood!).
“Timing of the car build could not be going any better, in fact it’s the smoothest build we have had,” said car #97 lead mechanic Matt Cook.
“The build actually started towards the end of 2015 and we were fortunate enough to have people working on components while we were away racing. This means that by the time we finished the season, we had a small break then got our hot little hands on the new chassis well ahead of schedule. The car is literally falling together.”
We know what you might be thinking, “but RBRA, have you lost the ability to count? You’ve jumped from 040 to 042”. Well, we can now confirm that chassis 041 is also under construction and bound for the six-time Bathurst Champion himself, Craig Lowndes.
However chassis 041 has a lot to prove, replacing the 2015 Bathurst winning chassis 036. Let’s not forget that same chassis was also completely rebuilt over night after Lowndesy’s blow out in Pukekohe. So, no pressure chassis 041, but you have got some mighty big shoes to fill.
Both new chassis are set to get their first run at the team’s upcoming test day on the 18 February in QLD. Then it is straight into the 2016 V8 Supercars season at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, March 3 – 6.