The fate of the first Bend Supercar winner

16 Aug
A famous Commodore has been through many hands
3 mins by James Pavey

The first Supercars race-winning car at The Bend Motorsport Park has lived a very storied life, and is still racing today.

Supercars first raced at the The Bend — the site of this weekend’s OTR SuperSprint — back in August 2018.

It was a weekend awash of Triple Eight glory, with Jamie Whincup taking two poles and a win, with Shane van Gisbergen winning the first race.

While the #1 scored the first pole, the #97 was the first car home ahead of Nissan duo Rick Kelly and Michael Caruso, with Whincup only sixth.

Van Gisbergen has five victories at The Bend, equal most alongside Scott McLaughlin, but will go down in history as the first Supercar winner at the circuit.

The New Zealander raced chassis 888A-052 — a Holden ZB Commodore — across the 2018 and 2019 seasons, taking it to debut victory in Adelaide.

Massive impact for Pye

Van Gisbergen’s Bend victory was key towards his ultimately unsuccessful title bid in a thrilling showdown with McLaughlin, which went to the final race in Newcastle.

The Kiwi carried on with 888A-052 to the end of 2019 — he finished sixth in the two 2019 Bend races — before the car moved to a new home for 2020.

Then Triple Eight customer team, Team 18, acquired the chassis as it expanded to two cars in 2020.

Scott Pye raced 888A-052 between 2020 and 2022 before he stepped into a new Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro this year.


Pye, a former Triple Eight junior, carried 888A-052 to three podiums in 2020 — all in Darwin — en route to ninth in the drivers’ standings.

The South Aussie driver finished 15th overall in 2021, with the car going through the wringer in 2022 as Pye was caught up in a number of major incidents.

Kai Allen on track in Townsville

Notably, Pye was sent into the pit straight wall in Perth, and was an innocent bystander in a Darwin pile-up — both incidents caused red flags.

With Team 18 debuting new Camaros in 2023, 888A-052 was set for another new home — and it has found victory once again.

The car moved on to Super2 in 2023 with title-winning team Eggleston Motorsport and into the hands of wunderkind Kai Allen.

Allen hails from Mount Gambier, which is just under four hours south of Tailem Bend, and was a dominant force in the 2022 Super3 Series.

The teenager was called up to Super2 this year, and is a favourite for the 2023 title after winning the last round in Townsville.

Chassis 888A-052 will return to the track at next month’s Penrite Oil Sandown 500, with Allen to make his main game debut at Mount Panorama aboard a Dick Johnson Racing Mustang.

Van Gisbergen, who was confirmed to leave Triple Eight at season's end, will continue his 2023 campaign at the OTR SuperSprint on August 18-20.

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