The first ever ‘The Bend SuperSprint’ created some special moments last weekend, and not just moments like inaugural wins at the circuit or sightings of RD with his cap on backwards.
The special moments we’re talking about are SVG and J-Dub’s two wins over the weekend, Triple Eight’s 180th and 181st race wins, which catapulted Triple Eight into the records books as the most winning team in ATCC/Supercars history.
Don’t worry, we didn’t immediately recognise the significance of those numbers either, nor did Team Owner Roland “RD” Dane – the man that has been there for every single one of them mind you.
“Well, it’s never been something that I’ve given thought to as we’ve all been too busy getting on with the job!” said RD.
“Records are for looking back at later.”
Fair enough, boss. Although with the eight drivers’ championship and eight teams’ championships to our name, RD might find himself looking back for the most of his retirement (whenever that does eventually happen).
But for now, how does RD feel knowing he and his team have re-written the record books?
“Very proud indeed – of all the people, past and present, who have been a part of building this record,” continued RD.
“Everyone can justifiably feel extremely proud not only of the achievement, but also the relatively short period of time it has taken.”
From that first win at Sydney Motorsport Park in 2005 by Craig Lowndes, through all eight drivers’ championships and eight teams’ championships, to the latest two wins at The Bend, each win holds its own story and memory.
We don’t have time to sit through all 181 winning stories (particularly when it’s RD talking) so we’ve asked him to share his most favourite wins – because there couldn’t possibly be an unfavourite win.
“Starting with Eastern Creek 2005 because it was our first win as a team, as well as Bathurst 2006 because it was our first Bathurst win and the first time the PB (Peter Brock) trophy was awarded,” RD said.
“Abu Dhabi 2010 was special because it was our first race with Holden and we had a 1-2.
“Also, Adelaide 2012 because it was the best race J-Dub has ever driven, and the saddest circumstances, and we did an alternate strategy, as well as Newcastle 2017 because we never gave up.”
Now, in September 2018 we’re focused on the upcoming Sandown 500 – which conveniently is the 15th anniversary of Triple Eight Race Engineering Australia’s first race.
And while 200 wins is the next major milestone, it isn’t something RD is keeping tabs on at present.
“I don’t look at records. If we do our job properly then we should get a few records along the way,” he said.
“Maybe I’ll look back at them in due course, but for now we’re focused on trying to win the next race.”
Alright, RD said it – heads down, bums up, we’ve got plenty of work to do!