The fate of Triple Eight's Sandman Supercar

15 Nov
How an iconic piece of Triple Eight history ended up with a rival squad
  • How Triple Eight's ‘Sandman’ Supercar ended up with rival squad

  • Supercar Sandman served as Triple Eight's ride car

  • Sandman was later utilised for testing of the 3.6-litre GM V6 turbo engine

It was a machine that turned heads when it was first revealed and took hundreds of people for a unique Supercars hot lap experience around the circuits of Australia.

But where is Triple Eight Race Engineering’s ‘Sandman’ Supercar now?

The brainchild of Roland Dane, the Supercar Sandman served as the team’s ride car and was later utilised for testing of the 3.6-litre GM V6 turbo engine that was ultimately abandoned in 2018.

The full history of the car, both its race history on-track and its ‘afterlife’ as the Sandman are covered in great depth and detail in V8 Sleuth’s new book documenting the history of all of Triple Eight’s Supercars.

Triple Eight Race Engineering, The Cars: 2003-2023 is available now from the V8 Sleuth Superstore, celebrating the team’s 20th anniversary in Supercars in Australia.

The Sandman made its first public appearance at the 2014 Gold Coast 600.

AN1-Sandman-Groves-IMG 2424D

Built using an ex-Jamie Whincup Red Bull VF Commodore ‘Car of the Future’ Supercars chassis that the Supercars Hall of Famer raced in the first half of 2013, the Sandman was a full-blown ‘panel van’ evoking memories of the 1970s icon.

“The initial idea of an ultimate Sandman on the 40th anniversary of the original vehicle came from me as a way of trying to embody something special from the Holden stable and give our customers and our fans and sponsors a different ride experience,” explained Dane.

“When I first took the idea to Holden, they probably thought I was a bit crazy."

The Sandman has had a range of pilots over the years on top of its regular Red Bull/Triple Eight full-timers and endurance drivers.

Daniel Riccardo drove it at Sandown in 2016 when it still had an enlarged Supercars engine under the bonnet, while Greg Murphy took the wheel at Bathurst in 2017 for the public debut of the turbo V6 engine.

So where is it now?

Flashback: Whincup and Ricciardo steer the Sandman

Remarkably, it is now in the possession of a rival team.

The father-and-son Groves, Stephen and Brenton, purchased the car in 2020 and have retained it ever since.

After carrying a wide range of liveries over its life with Triple Eight – many of which are pictured in the book – the car was restored to its original silver livery, though still with the rear wing that was added to the car a few years after its debut for added stability.

“Originally, we were going to do some sponsor rides in it, but I think RD made it so Mickey Mouse that we’re too scared to drive it,” Brenton told V8 Sleuth back in 2020.

“Not many people outside the Triple Eight/Red Bull family have driven it. We’ll keep it in our workshop and take it to sponsor rides and show clients, but beyond that it’s now a collector’s item.”

However, while it has origins as a Supercar, it does not live at their Grove Racing Supercars workshop in Braeside in Melbourne, rather among the team’s Porsche race cars at a separate location closer to the Grove Group’s Melbourne base.

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