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One won, two to chase: Whincup hunting second trifecta

Supercars
27 Oct
Bathurst is in the bag, and now both championships are the target for Triple Eight boss Jamie Whincup
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  • Jamie Whincup wants drivers' and teams' titles with Bathurst win

  • Triple Eight has claimed drivers'/teams'/Bathurst trifecta on three occasions

  • Erebus has led both championships for majority of 2023 season

With a Repco Bathurst 1000 victory in the bag, Triple Eight boss Jamie Whincup wants the drivers’ and teams’ championships to stay in Banyo.

Erebus Motorsport leads the drivers’ and teams’ championships heading to this weekend’s Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, the penultimate round of the season.

Brodie Kostecki leads Shane van Gisbergen by 131 points with 600 remaining across the Gold Coast and VAILO Adelaide 500 weekends.

Kostecki has been the benchmark of the first season of the Gen3 era, and has led for 17 of the 24 races this year. Erebus, meanwhile has led the teams’ standings since Newcastle.

Kostecki can potentially clinch his first championship title this weekend on the Gold Coast, and Erebus is in position to have two drivers in the top three, with Will Brown third in the standings.

The double-defending champions, Triple Eight, haven’t led either championship all year. However, the team already has one of the big three trophies locked away, with van Gisbergen winning Bathurst.

stanaway win 2023 gisbergen

If Triple Eight can overhaul Erebus in both championships, the team will have won all three major titles for a record-extending fourth time, and for the second year in a row. Only the Holden Racing Team, in 2001 and 2002, has claimed the trifecta in consecutive seasons.

Triple Eight could also achieve a rare quadruple, given it also won the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 with Broc Feeney and Whincup. The team won all four in 2012, when Whincup won the Great Race with Paul Dumbrell after Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff won the Sandown 500.

“The drivers’ championship is by far the biggest trophy of the year,” Triple Eight Team Principal and Managing Director Whincup told media on the Gold Coast on Thursday.

“We’re very proud to be in contention this year with two drivers. Of course, SVG has the best chance of getting the drivers’ championship [for Triple Eight].

“But Brodie Kostecki has shown how fast he’s been, all year really. We’ll do what we can, there’ll be a balance going on between trying to get as many points for both cars and of course, especially 97.

“Bathurst is the second biggest trophy, we’ve got that in cabinet already, and then we’ve got the teams’ championship. If we can grab that as well… I don’t mean to be greedy, but we’re aiming for all three.”

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Triple Eight and Erebus both have two drivers in title contention, with Brown 390 points down. Feeney, meanwhile, is 408 points behind, with both drivers set to play a key role in where both titles land.

Kostecki, SVG ready for Gold Coast chapter of title fight

Whincup had particular praise for 21-year-old Feeney, who has rebounded from his Bathurst heartbreak — a gear tower failure late in the race — to be raring to go at his home track.

Whincup acknowledged his team will have to balance scoring as many points as possible while pushing van Gisbergen to close the gap to Kostecki, and knows the Gold Coast could spring yet another shock.

“He’s come a massively long way,” Whincup said of Sandown-winning co-driver Feeney.

“I’m trying to play the fatherly figure and trying to keep a cap on it, and making sure he doesn’t read his own press and get too ahead of himself.

“He’s a genuine race winner, he can do some damage this weekend as far as results. We’re right behind him, as we are with SVG as well.

“It’s going to be on this weekend, as it always is. It’s a crazy little track, a concrete canyon. Generally, what can happen does happen.

“We’ll try and get through unscathed but of course, it’s a battle. We want to try and finish as far up the front as we can.”

Supercars will hit the track on Friday at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 for two practice sessions.

Bathurst/Supercars drivers’/Supercars teams’ in same year

  • Triple Eight: 2008, 2012, 2022

  • Holden Racing Team: 2001, 2002

  • DJR Team Penske: 2019

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