A 1-3 finish today at the Castrol Gold Coast 600 means Red Bull Racing has won the 2016 teams championship for parent Triple Eight Race Engineering.
The result means it moves ahead of Dick Johnson Racing as the most successful team in championship history winning eight titles in the last nine years.
This year Red Bull has amassed 5198 points, giving it a lead of 1732 points over the Holden Racing Team, with 1440 points still to be won over seven championship races.
“To win with two and a half rounds to go is nice to do and a reflection on the work that everyone has done and the competitiveness of Shane (van Gisbergen) and Jamie (Whincup),” said T8 owner Roland Dane.
“It is something that everyone in the team should be very proud of.”
Triple Eight has won the teams championship as both Team Vodafone (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012) and Red Bull Racing (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016) and racing both Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores.
The teams championship delivers first choice on pitlane positon, which explains why T8 traditionally occupies the garages closest to pitlane exit.
But Dane said there were other reasons the teams championship was important to win.
“First and foremost because its judged by our peer group, by the industry,” he explained.
“We also like to be at this end of pitlane and motor racing should be a meritocracy and that’s a reflection of it; the best are up here.
“But more than anything else it’s a reflection of doing the right thing by our fans and team partners. They have invested time and money in the right place.”
Last year Red Bull only overcame a faltering Prodrive Racing Australia in the final couple of championship events to win the teams championship, as the Ford team struggled to get substantial points from a number of temporary replacements who stood in for the injured Chaz Mostert.
This year PRA chose to split Mostert and Mark Winterbottom into different garages, watering down its attack.
“It showed to me they had given up on winning the teams championship from the beginning, they weren’t even going to try and win it,” said Dane.
“They wanted to avoid stacking between their two biggest stars and I don’t blame them for adopting that strategy.”
The teams championship is shaping up as the first in a series of titles T8 will collect this season.
Van Gisbergen and Alex Premat are leading the Pirtek Enduro Cup, which is resolved on Sunday on the Gold Coast.
Van Gisbergen also leads Whincup and the third T8 entry, Craig Lowndes in the Team Vortex Commodore, in the drivers’ championship.
The only major award T8 will miss out on this year is the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, which was won by Will Davison and Jonathon Webb, albeit in a T8-built Holden.