Christmas has come early at the Red Bull Racing Australia workshop for one lucky driver. Yup, Jamie will be hitting the track at Sydney Motorsport Park with a brand new chassis.
With Lowndesy and SVG each starting this season in a new car, JDub has been mighty patient waiting for the arrival of his new lady – chassis 043.
The build is well and truly underway, with the Triple Eight workshop crammed full with more cars than a 1960’s Bathurst 500 race. Combined with the build for Team 18, there is plenty going on in the break before SMP.
“It’s always an exciting time for the crew working on, and building, a new chassis,” said six-time Supercars champ Jamie ‘JDub’ Whincup.
“It gets even better once we can finally take it to the track to dial in. Every car is different, so I am looking forward to trying to work through the new challenges a new car brings.”
The new No. 88 VF Holden Commodore will replace Whincup’s chassis 040 (affectionately known as Jen) which he received ahead of the Sandown 500 last year.
“We are trying to add some refinements and improvements so we are not rushing it through, however, we still have a firm deadline and a lot of work to do,” said Team Manager Mark ‘Dutto’ Dutton.
“Jen was the first Triple Eight chassis to have teething issues, so it was a steep learning curve at the time, which was on the back of a short build time, so it was a double hit. We have learnt from that experience.”
With the PIRTEK Enduro Cup edging closer and closer, the break has proved timely to finish off the project.
“We proved to ourselves when we debuted chassis 012 for Bathurst years ago that our crew could handle the added pressure of delivering a race winner for the high stakes endurance season,” Dutto continued.
“It is usually around this time of the year that we have the opportunity to physically build a new chassis and we learnt from last year where we pushed everyone hard the teething issues really hurt us. So this year, we have a dedicated team member who has been busy building 043 whilst the rest of the crew have been away racing, which has made a big difference.”
Always one to stick with tradition, JDub has already started thinking of a name for his new leading lady.
“I’m not sure yet. I need to test her out and see what comes naturally, I will know before race day,” said JDub.
The new beast makes its debut at Sydney Motorsport Park in three weeks’ time, followed by a pre-endurance season test day with co-driver Paul Dumbrell behind the wheel.
“I’m very confident in Triple Eight’s engineering in all that they do, so I am looking forward to PD (Paul Dumbrell) and myself taking the new rig into enduros,” said JDub.
The Red Bull Racing Australia team head to Sydney Motorsport Park next for the ninth round on the Supercars calendar, August 26-28.