Jack Le Brocq will be able to directly compare himself to Triple Eight’s star drivers in his rookie season thanks to Tekno Autosports’ upgrade to a brand-new ZB Commodore.
A customer of Triple Eight since 2012, the usefulness of data and set-up information supplied to Tekno under the tie-up has been impacted in recent years by differences in the specification of the cars between the teams.
Newly-installed Tekno manager Adrian Burgess says that the customer squad has invested in all of the latest Triple Eight parts, including a whole new chassis, in order to remove the car as a variable.
Tekno’s new Commodore has been built at Triple Eight’s workshop in Brisbane alongside those destined for Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes.
Triple Eight will take all four cars to Queensland Raceway tomorrow, undertaking shakedowns ahead of the pre-season test on February 16.
"[Helping Le Brocq] was one of the reasons why we elected not to cut-and-shut (upgrade) the old car,” Burgess told Supercars.com.
“We wanted to start with a brand-new car that has all the latest developments that Tekno haven’t upgraded to over the last year or two.
“Now that’s been taken out of the equation, we’ve got everything the same, which is important for us having a rookie.
“For us as a team, we don’t need to be worrying about if we’ve got this widget or that widget, we’ve got everything we need to focus on developing Jack as a driver and seeing what he’s doing directly to the other guys.
“When we’re trying to compare information with guys up the road, we’ll have the same kit, there’s no other variables.
“It makes our job a little bit easier. We’re still going to have a tough job, Jack is going to have a lot to learn, but we can eliminate the car as a variable.”
Friday's shakedown with Le Brocq is likely to be extended into a full Rookie Test day, of which first-year drivers get three for the season.
The move will allow the team to get a better handle on the ZB before the full-field test at Sydney Motorsport Park on February 16.
“Triple Eight has strong procedures for rolling out new cars and the basis of the car is obviously unchanged,” said Burgess of the pre-Sydney running.
“It’s really the aero package and a few packaging things that have changed, so it’s about the aero and how that affects the mechanical set-up.”
The 25-year-old Le Brocq is preparing to enter his first full season after four years in the Dunlop Super2 Series and three PIRTEK Enduro Cup campaigns.
Le Brocq’s endurance outings have taken place in three different teams, gaining experience in an Erebus Mercedes, a Tickford Ford and Nissan Motorsport Altima.
Although guarded on his expectations, Burgess is looking forward to seeing how Le Brocq performs against fellow rookies Todd Hazelwood (Matt Stone Racing), Anton De Pasquale (Erebus), James Golding (Garry Rogers Motorsport) and Richie Stanaway (Tickford).
Stanaway and Hazelwood both undertook rookie tests this week, while De Pasquale and Golding are expected to take to Winton in the lead-up to the Sydney test.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the five rookies go, I’m sure they’ll be judged against each other,” said Burgess.
“I’d like to think we’ll have as good, if not better equipment than the other rookies and we’ve got a driver with equal talent to the others.
“I’ve got a position in my head where I think it’s achievable we can finish, but that’s for me to work to.”