Triple Eight Race Engineering has announced the return of the Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard entry for the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000.
Craig Lowndes will team up with Triple Eight’s Super2 driver Declan Fraser in the #888 wildcard entry, the second year in a row that Supercheap Auto will back the team’s additional car for the Great Race.
Lowndes moves across from the Red Bull-backed entries, where Jamie Whincup will return to the driver’s seat to pair with full-time rookie Broc Feeney with Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander reuniting in the other entry.
“Supercheap Auto has been a valuable partner of Triple Eight for the past 18-months, and I’m so glad we’ll see a return of their wildcard entry at Bathurst,” said Whincup, now managing director of Triple Eight.
“I think having another unique combination of youth and experience with Declan and Craig will not only turn plenty of heads but will be competitive.
“Declan will get valuable miles in Super2 this season and get his debut at the Bathurst 1000 with one of the sport’s most successful drivers. Don’t get me wrong, this is going to be a very competitive pairing for the Great Race.
“All three cars we take to the mountain this year will have nothing but equal opportunity to deliver a result. With myself piloting the #88, I look forward to working with the guys to dial in the cars during the week and then of course help each other in the race where possible.
“I can assure you the 50-plus people at Triple Eight don’t care which Triple Eight car wins the Great Race, as long as it’s one of us.”
It will be Lowndes’ 29th start in the Great Race, with seven victories at Bathurst.
“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Declan for the Great Race, and I’m so excited to guide him on his journey into the Supercars,” said Lowndes.
“I’m also thrilled to be representing Supercheap Auto at the mountain for the first time in my career. It will feel a little strange not being in a Red Bull Ampol car for the first time in a long time, but we’re all one team here at Triple Eight.”
“It’s no secret the affinity I have with Bathurst and Mt Panorama, it’s the racetrack that means more to me than any other place.
“I also think we’re going to be a competitive pairing. Declan has shown some great speed and composure in his Super2 career – two traits you need to win Bathurst. We have every intention of being right in the mix and giving the fans something to cheer about.”
Fraser will makes his Supercars main game and Bathurst 1000 debut in the wildcard entry alongside Lowndes.
“I grew up watching Lowndesy at Bathurst like every other kid did, so to see my name on the side of this car alongside his heading to Bathurst is super special, surreal even,” he said.
“I’m excited to get everything underway and see how it all pans out.
“To be associated with such a massive brand in Supercheap Auto, and for them to back me when they had a lot of drivers to choose from is an amazing feeling. I can’t thank them enough for enabling me to kick-start my career in Supercars in a pretty big way.
“My aim is to hone my skills over the next few months to make sure I’m fully prepared by the time I get to Bathurst. We get a couple of extra test days being a wildcard entry which will be good for myself to get familiar with the ZB Commodore, but at the moment there’s still a few Super2 rounds that I need to focus on.
“I also want to thank my family, my partners past and present, and the entire team at Triple Eight. This is an amazing opportunity that’s been presented to me, and I’m going to grab it with both hands.”
Triple Eight’s Supercheap Auto car is the third confirmed wildcard entry for Bathurst, alongside Erebus Motorsport’s Boost Mobile-backed car for Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway and Super3 team’s Anderson Motorsport planned entry.