Dane: Triple Eight 'hungry' in title chase

02 Nov
Triple Eight faces a big task in Adelaide to defend both championships
  • Triple Eight "hungry" to take both title fights down to wire, says Jess Dane

  • Brodie Kostecki, Erebus lead both championships heading to Adelaide

  • Kostecki 131 points ahead in drivers'; Erebus leads teams' by 170 points

Triple Eight Race Engineering is “hungry” after a winless Gold Coast to take both title fights down to the wire in Adelaide, says Jess Dane.

Shane van Gisbergen is 131 points behind Brodie Kostecki heading to the VAILO Adelaide 500, with Erebus Motorsport 170 points up the road in the teams’ championship.

Van Gisbergen and Triple Eight reduced both deficits in the Saturday Gold Coast race, before Kostecki restored his lead to 131 points when he finished second on the Sunday.

Kostecki and Erebus could clinch both titles on the Saturday in Adelaide, and while giving credit to their rivals’ performance, Dane knows Triple Eight will fight to the bitter end.

Full battle: Waters and van Gisbergen fight for the win

“It’s identical, 131 points behind, which is not how we wanted to leave, but we’re definitely leaving hungry,” Dane said on the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.

“Coming into Adelaide, traditionally it’s somewhere we’ve gone fairly well.

“The atmosphere of last year of Adelaide being the last event was awesome, it was such a cool event.

“Coming in with a title fight still out there — we haven’t often been the hunter, rather than the hunted.

“Definitely looking forward to taking it down to the wire if we can, but hats off to Erebus and Brodie, they haven’t put a foot wrong.”

At no point in 2023 has Triple Eight led the drivers’ or teams’ standings, with Erebus leading all the way in the latter.

Full battle: Kostecki, van Gisbergen dispute Perth win

Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert were surprise leaders early on after Triple Eight’s Newcastle disqualifications, before Kostecki took over at the Grand Prix.

Save for Will Brown leading in Townsville, Kostecki has led all the way, and has won more races (six) and taken more pole positions (eight) than any other driver.

The teams’ championship has been hard-fought too, but Dane ceded the Bathurst heartbreak for Broc Feeney and Jamie Whincup “really hurt”.

A potential second place — worth 276 points — ended up in 72 points for 23rd after a gear tower failure for the #88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro ahead of the final stint.

Feeney could yet be used in Adelaide to help van Gisbergen’s title push, but Dane says the team will cross that bridge should they get there.

Late heartbreak for Feeney/Whincup

“Bathurst really hurt,” Dane said of the teams’ championship.

“We were in such a good position at Bathurst when it was looking like we could’ve got a one-two.

“Teams’ championship, we’re still in with a shot, but it’s a longer shot. Again, credit to Erebus to have had two cars up there consistently taking the battle to us.

“I can’t say how Adelaide will play out from that perspective. We’ll have to look at the overall picture — if it’s possible to have two cars up there, that’s fantastic.

“But if we’re in the situation where one car has to sacrifice for the benefit of another, that’s a decision you can only really make in the heat of the moment.

“It’s one of those hypothetical situations you can’t give an answer to until you’re faced with it."

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