Jamie Whincup’s 2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship-winning Red Bull HRT Commodore has found a new home overseas.
The car, driven by Whincup to his record seventh championship last season, was recently delivered to its new owner in Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the son of the Sultan of Johor.
Tunku during a Triple Eight workshop tour last year
Johor is the southernmost state in West Malaysia next to Singapore and its Johor Circuit hosted the 1998 Malaysian 500cc Grand Prix, won by Aussie legend Mick Doohan.
Last month Tunku AR hosted Doohan at the Johor Circuit 20 years on from his victory in the sole 500cc Grand Prix held at the venue.
Red Bull HRT boss Dane introduced Tunku AR to Doohan last year and says the son of the Sultan is a huge Supercars fan.
Tunku and friends with Dane and Mark Dutton at the 2017 Gold Coast 600
“He’s a massive Triple Eight fan. He and one of his brothers each have a replica Red Bull HRT VF Commodore road car, so now he has one of the real deal race cars too,” Dane told Supercars.com.
“Scott Wilkinson - who many in the Supercars paddock know by his nickname of Shady and has been Shane van Gisbergen’s number one mechanic here at Triple Eight for the last couple of years - is leaving here next week to go and work for Tunku in Johor helping look after all of the family cars.”
The replica Red Bull HRT Holdens in Malaysia
The car - 888A-047 - was built new for the 2017 season and driven by Whincup all year, claiming a total of four race wins at Townsville, Sydney Motorsport Park, Pukekohe and Newcastle on its way to giving its pilot the Drivers' Championship.
It’s the latest successful Supercar to be sold off overseas given the 2011 HRT Bathurst-winning Commodore VE II driven to victory by Garth Tander and Nick Percat was sold overseas late last year to United Autosports co-owner - and now Walkinshaw Andretti United partner - Zak Brown.
Triple Eight's other 2017 cars are meanwhile competing in the Dunlop Super2 Series, with the ex-van Gisbergen Holden driven by Kurt Kostecki and the ex-Craig Lowndes example in the hands of Brenton Grove.