Van Gisbergen's déjà vu over Cauchi departure

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 22/10/2021
  • By Charlie Bullis

Shane van Gisbergen doesn't begrudge race engineer David Cauchi’s decision to depart Triple Eight Race Engineering for Kelly Grove Racing.

Triple Eight will enter 2022 Championship with an all-new race engineering line-up, with Cauchi to skipper the Grove team next season.

Jamie Whincup’s race engineer Wes McDougall will also depart the team at season’s end.

Cauchi’s departure will see van Gisbergen enter 2022 with his third race engineer in as many years, with Grant McPherson switching to Walkinshaw Andretti United after 2020.

Van Gisbergen and Cauchi have formed a formidable partnership in quick time; after seven events in 2021, van Gisbergen has won 11 races and leads the championship by 276 points.

Triple Eight has yet to confirm its race engineer line-up for the 2022 season - but van Gisbergen doesn’t anticipate any problems filling the role.

"It’s déjà vu really," van Gisbergen told radio programme Race Control.

"It’s pretty much the same situation as last year when my engineer Shippy [McPherson] left for a higher position.

"It’s no secret at Triple Eight, the two top dogs Mark Dutton and Jeremy Moore our technical director, are not leaving any time soon.

"The engineers that I’ve had are ambitious people, they want to move up in the world and I don’t hold anything against them both for wanting to go somewhere else.

Cauchi has helped van Gisbergen to 11 wins in 2021

"It’s quite difficult to lose someone who quite quickly we have had a good relationship with making cars go quick, and it’s been really fun this year.

"We are a team that is in a position where we are quite attractive for getting good engineers, and we’ve got a shortlist already and the names on that are exciting, so I think we are in a good place."

Cauchi is a long-term member of the Triple Eight family, having joined the team in 2007.

The experienced engineer has helped the Banyo squad to eight drivers’ titles.

Before switching to van Gisbergen's side of the garage in 2021, Cauchi previously skippered Whincup’s efforts between 2014 and 2020.

Cauchi will replace Todd Kelly as Team Principal when Kelly Grove Racing moves to the new solely Grove-owned era in 2022.

Cauchi and Whincup won two titles together

"It’s a massive change for Cauchi going from a race engineer to a team manager for a very young team I guess, but it’s exciting for him for sure," van Gisbergen said.

"Nothing against them personally for wanting to move forward and grow as a person, and good on him; I just hope he doesn’t beat me!

"Cauchi has affirmed all along the way that he is solely focused on the championship this year, so he’s still got the drive to win races with us this year so I’m looking forward to that."

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship will continue at next weekend’s Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight. Tickets for all four upcoming Sydney events are on sale now.

All sessions will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and streamed via Kayo. The Seven Network will broadcast live from 3:30pm AEDT on Saturday and 12:30pm AEDT on Sunday.

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