A little birdy may have told you that Craig’s got a new trick up his sleeve. Well, now you’re going to hear it straight from the bull’s mouth because we can confirm that this trick is in fact a brand spanking new car.
Yep, the No.888 Holden is having an upgrade and today chassis 888A-039 hit the track at the Performance Driving Centre for its first frolic in the grass.
With shakedowns limited to a total distance of 60km, just 27 laps were cut at the Norwell circuit, but Lowndesy and the team have come back to Red Bull Racing Australia HQ with smiles on their faces. No change for CL there then.
“It’s always exciting as a driver to have a new car,” the five-time Bathurst champ said.
“We had a few little issues, but nothing major. New cars always do. In the end we did our 60km, which was our maximum and I’m really looking forward to debuting it at Sandown.”
History shows that Triple Eight has a pretty good record for bringing cars out for the first time at enduros – think back to JDub’s rocket at Sandown last year – but it’s a brave move. Isn’t it a bit daunting heading into a 500km race with something completely brand new and unknown?
“The team has always prepared a strong and reliable race car so debuting this one at an enduro isn’t daunting. We’ve debuted cars at Bathurst in the past so we don’t have any concerns debuting at Sandown.
“The outcome of the day was that mechanically and electronically the car is sound. We need to have a proper test day and play around with the car to see how sensitive it is to change.”
Before we head into the enduro season though, we’ve got the Sydney Motorsport Park 400 to take on first, which will be the closing round for chassis 888A-036, the car that claimed the first Car of the Future blood at the 2013 Clipsal 500, took Craig to his record-breaking 91st victory a few months later in Perth and won the inaugural Pirtek Enduro Cup.
It’s a fitting place for a farewell, Eastern Creek being the circuit at which Craig claimed his first ever ATCC win in 1996 and then Triple Eight’s first victory in 2005. Here’s to a solid close.