The Goat Is Gone - And Much More

The Goat Is Gone - And Much More

Jamie Whincup is retiring at the end of the coming Supercars season.

Roland Dane, too.

And cashed-up gentleman racer Tony Quinn is joining the Triple Eight crew.

But it’s not what you think . . .

Dane has been moving the pieces on his personal chessboard for several years, in anticipation of stepping back from his all-or-nothing commitment to his team and Supercars, and now he has made it to checkmate.

Whincup, Quinn and Jessica Dane will be slotting into pivotal new roles as a new-generation T8 begins in 2022 after a transition program through 2021 under the direction of Roland Dane as team founder.

He has no plans to retire completely, but he now has cash from Quinn and a commitment from Whincup to become managing director and team principal for Triple Eight Race Engineering from 2022.

So life will be easier for Dane, whose mega-brain daughter Jessica will also play a pivotal role in the new-look T8 operation as the second-biggest shareholder.

The elephant in the garage is the name of Whincup’s replacement for the 2022 season and beyond. It could be Brock Feeney, who is racing Super2 for T8 in the coming season, or Brodie Kostecki in a poach from Erebus Motorsport, or an overseas ace who is capable of running alongside Shane van Gisbergen.

Only Dane really knows, and he’s an ace at keeping secrets – including the biggest news story of the year, regardless of who wins Bathurst or claims the Supercars crown.

“Covid-19 has reminded me that I’m not getting any younger and I’m looking forward to having more time on my hands to enjoy different forms of motorsport in different capacities and spend more time with my elder daughter in the UK, once the pandemic permits,” Dane said.

“Since Jamie expressed an interest some years ago in continuing his career in motorsport with Triple Eight after he retires from full-time driving, the plan has always been for him to take the reins. I have every confidence that he will approach his new role with exactly the same motivation, diligence and competitive spirit that he brings to the track at every round.”

The fine detail of the upheaval at T8 sees Quinn taking a 40 per cent stake in the company, but not providing any race-team sponsorship, with Whincup increasing his share from 15 to 19 per cent and Jess Dane increasing her stake to 30 per cent, leaving Roland Dane with the final 11 per cent.

“Since 2000, I’ve been on the sidelines of the Supercars Championship as a driver, team and category sponsor. I even drove in a race,” said Quinn.

If I’m going to make a wise investment, make it in the best structured and managed team. So Triple Eight was quite an easy choice.”

Whincup knows this will be his final full-time season in the Supercars main game, but he has yet to decide on any future co-driving role.

“I’m honoured that Roland trusts me to lead the family that he’s built here in Australia. I’ll certainly maximise every opportunity this year and beyond to learn from him and I’m grateful that he will still be dedicating a portion of his time in 2022 to ensuring the team and I have the best opportunity for success,” said Whincup.

The only other fine detail, until the team begins operating under the new regime, is confirmation that Paul Dumbrell and Tim Miles have sold their shares in T8 to Quinn.