Broc Feeney proved to himself he can fight for titles in 2023
Second-year Triple Eight driver fought for title before falling out of contention
21-year-old has won five races, including Sandown 500
Being part of the 2023 championship fight helped Broc Feeney prove to himself that he belonged in the main game.
Sophomore Triple Eight driver Feeney has won five races this season and was a factor in the 2023 title fight, which will be decided at this weekend’s VAILO Adelaide 500.
The 21-year clawed back a big early-season deficit to be 26 points off the lead, only to fall out of contention after missing out at The Bend, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.
While the title went begging, Feeney relished being in the hunt for the orange numbers in just his second season in the top flight.
“I’m stoked with the progression that we’ve made, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed that we fell out of the championship race,” Feeney said on the Rusty’s Garage podcast.
“We clawed our way back from the start of the year, we were 26 points away at Townsville, and we had a couple of bad rounds in the middle and it put us on the back foot.
“We tried to make it back at Sandown and Bathurst, we got the 300 points at Sandown and we were looking to get some points at Bathurst.
“It wasn’t meant to be obviously this year, but I’ll take a lot from it. I’ve certainly proven to myself that I can be in the title fight, and mate, I love having that feeling, trying to race for a championship and wins.”
Feeney’s rookie season in 2022 featured three podiums and a maiden win in Adelaide. Come 2023, and he has stood on the podium 10 times, five of them victories — including the Sandown 500.
He was in the fight behind Kostecki and Shane van Gisbergen heading to Bathurst, only for late mechanical drama to put a full stop on his championship bid.
“Overall, I should be happy,” Feeney said.
“I remember sitting down with Paul Morris at the end of last year, and he said, ‘Look, you’ve done a great rookie season, but it’s about stepping up next year’.
“I felt like I did make that step this year to battle for race wins and to be on the podium, and in the championship fight for most of the year.”
The Sandown win itself was a key flashpoint for Feeney, who was forced to hold off Erebus Motorsport rival Brodie Kostecki after a late Safety Car period.
Feeney came home to win by 0.9s, and become the youngest ever Sandown 500 winner — a fight he doubts he would’ve had the mettle to survive 12 months earlier.
“Without the Safety Car, it would have been a little nicer at the finish line,” he said.
“Personally, to do it with that pressure at the end, it felt great. I don’t know if the Broc of 12 months ago would’ve hung on to that.
“I felt like I’ve made a step forward in that department.”
Feeney’s Triple Eight teammate van Gisbergen is 131 points behind Kostecki with 300 points on offer at the VAILO Adelaide 500.
The 2021 Super2 champion is nine points behind Erebus driver Will Brown in the fight for third place in the drivers’ championship standings.