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Lowndes, SVG battles helping Whincup manage rising stars

Supercars
25 Jun
"I absolutely understand where these guys are coming from"
2 mins by James Pavey
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  • Will Brown leads Broc Feeney by 108 points

  • Feeney has five wins to Brown's three

  • Triple Eight has scored five one-two finishes

Tense title battles with Craig Lowndes and Shane van Gisbergen are helping Triple Eight boss Jamie Whincup understand and manage his star drivers’ current championship battle.

Will Brown and Broc Feeney have been the class of the field this season, winning eight of 12 races and sitting first and second in the standings.

Brown and Feeney, at a combined age of 48, have pushed Triple Eight along this season, with the team sitting pretty atop both championships.

After five rounds, Brown leads by 108 points, having scored 11 podiums in 12 starts. However, Feeney has five wins to Brown's three, and shaved 28 points off the margin in Darwin.

They have already battled in Melbourne, New Zealand and Darwin, but so far, have kept it clean and brought home five one-two finishes.

Whincup, now Team Principal and Managing Director of the team, knows what his rising stars are going through, having fought teammates himself.

The Supercars Hall of Famer was pitted against Lowndes and van Gisbergen in his time behind the wheel, winning six titles with Lowndes as his teammate, before beating both drivers in 2017.

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It wasn’t without moments, such as the infamous clash with Lowndes in Tasmania (2014), or contact with van Gisbergen at Pukekohe (2016) and Sydney (2021).

When asked if his own experience is helping oversee the Brown/Feeney battle, Whincup said: “It’s definitely a help.

“I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I’ve been in the driver’s seat and now I’m on the outside. I absolutely understand where these guys are coming from, which helps me adjudicate a situation if there was ever one to arise.

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“It’s a great problem to have. Hopefully this problem, where we have got two drivers fighting against each other, keeps up for the whole year."

Feeney, who won both races in Darwin, was relishing the challenge of going up against another pushing him in an identical car, having closed the gap to van Gisbergen last year.

"I like the challenge of someone really pushing you and obviously when it's in the same equipment, you know you have got to be on your best," Feeney said.

"The first person you sort of look at on the board is your teammate to see where they're at.

"It's been great fun, I have really enjoyed working with Will, we're always joking about, we're always happy for each other when we get out of the car, so it has been good fun and looking forward to plenty more."

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