Triple Eight plotting enduro fightback

21 Aug
Six of last 10 Sandowns, three of last five Bathursts
3 mins by James Pavey

Triple Eight Team Manager Mark Dutton is hoping for a continuation of the team’s rampant Sandown 500 after a bruising weekend at The Bend.

The Penrite Oil Sandown 500 is set to shake up the championship once again after another topsy-turvy weekend in South Australia.

Brodie Kostecki won all three races as closest rivals Will Brown, Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney all failed to reach the podium.

Heading to the first enduro of the year, Kostecki leads van Gisbergen by 137 points, with Feeney and Brown over 200 points adrift.

Erebus Motorsport, meanwhile, opened up a 137-point lead over Triple Eight, which failed to score a podium on a race weekend for the first time since Bathurst 2021.

Sandown has been a supreme hunting ground for Triple Eight, which has won six of the last 10 enduros at the circuit dating back to 2005.

Van Gisbergen won five of the six Sandown sprints held across 2021 and 2022, with Triple Eight winning three of the last five Bathurst 1000s.

The return to enduro racing comes at a good time for the reigning champions, given Kostecki and Erebus skipped away once again at The Bend.

“We love long races,” Dutton told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.

“There are so many more dynamics and strategy at play, the team contributes so much throughout the whole day with all the pit stops.

“It’s really exciting, and it’s great to have two enduros back, and at Sandown.


“Sandown — I don’t want to jinx us, but we’ve had some good form there in the past.

“The pressure’s on, and we hope to perform."

Van Gisbergen finished fifth in all three Bend races to keep Kostecki in reach, but Brown and Feeney both had their issues. Notably, Brown was taken out of Saturday’s race, with Feeney spun out late on Sunday.

Triple Eight wasn’t at its best on and off the track, with the team penalised and fined over a pit stop infringement on van Gisbergen’s car in the finale.

Critically, Triple Eight will have an extra car up its sleeve to play a potential role in the title fight, with Craig Lowndes and Zane Goddard sharing a third wildcard Camaro.

“It was a tough one,” Dutton said of The Bend weekend.

"We struggled, we didn’t have a smooth run with 97 with the steering issues which have been plaguing us for a couple of rounds now.

“The whole team worked through it. We scored really good team points all weekend until the last race when Broc got spun.

“And we also had the misdemeanour and had to go in front of the principal’s office, and lost a couple of points there. But that’s the game, isn’t it.”

Van Gisbergen will be joined by Richie Stanaway for the enduros, with Jamie Whincup returning alongside Feeney.

The Penrite Oil Sandown 500 will be held on September 15-17, before the Repco Bathurst 1000 on October 5-8.

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