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Feature: The next generation Dane

Jessica Dane now has a 30 percent stake in Triple Eight Race Engineering, second only to new investor Tony Quinn. The second-generation Dane and Jamie Whincup face the challenge of filling the shoes of Roland Dane, not only to keep the team at the front-end of Supercars but also to expand into other areas, as we profile in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #122.

03 September 2021

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #122. 

Dane acknowledges she is lucky in some ways, but she tells you luck is only part of the story. The other part is one where she carries the skills to take over the commercial operations of Australia’s most successful motorsport team, both on and off the track. One where she has extra knowledge via study and the endorsement of a father who doesn’t follow the path of nepotism.

Born 30 years ago, Jess has travelled an interesting path to being part of the leadership structure at Triple Eight Race Engineering. She started life in the media, which took her on a journey through horse magazines and television shows to the Olympics before settling in at Triple Eight, her father Roland Dane’s business.

This is where the luck comes into it. But if you know Roland, you know Jess would not be where she is if she couldn’t do the job. He has made her work for it, learn the sport and the team from the ground up before being handed the keys. She calls him Roland or RD; she’s never called him dad just as his father was never granddad or grandpa, he was just Dave.

In the last issue of SupercarXtra Magazine, we spoke with Roland and Tony Quinn about the future of the team now that Quinn has taken a significant stake in the operation and Roland has signalled his intent to step away. Quinn stated in that interview that he is investing in Jamie Whincup and Jess as the two operational heads of Triple Eight. So, who is Jessica Dane? And what does she do?

“My every day at the moment is changing dramatically, and I think that’s why I’m enjoying it so much” she says.

“I can’t really give you a typical day. I am in the office working in the commercial team, but doing more and more outside of it, working more with management from all departments as we’re transitioning from Roland to Jamie and me taking more of a leading role. 

“I’m getting far more involved in things like dealing with the governance and other teams. Jamie and I are learning far more about behind the scenes and the political side of it than we ever have.

“I am getting far more exposed to team life than I was before as well. On top of all that, I’m doing far more legal work because I’m almost finished my law degree and doing the media side of things while still working on TV with the FIA and Motorsport Australia.”

She has worked with Whincup for years, but she has never worked with him like this. Nor has she worked at Triple Eight without Roland. While there is plenty of change, there is also much that is unknown.

“We’re still working it all out, to be honest; Jamie and I are still working out how that will all work” she explains.

“Triple Eight is expanding into other categories as we have been over the years with GT. Jamie is very much Supercars focused; it’s what he knows and it’s why he’s going to be undoubtedly one of the best people in pitlane as a team leader.

“I’m very keen, as Jamie is as well, on the talent development side of it. Seeing what Triple Eight could be doing in terms of developing future talent, both in the car and out ““ mechanics and engineers as well as drivers.

“Jamie is the person at the front of the ship steering it and I’m the person coordinating the crew behind the scenes to make all the magic happen. I’m so excited about the future; there’s so much opportunity.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #122 within Australia to read the full feature and more.

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