Triple Eight Race Engineering have announced the return of their Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard for the 2022 Bathurst 1000, with a media event and livery reveal on the banks of the Brisbane River in Southbank.
One of the most iconic names associated with the Bathurst 1000, Craig Lowndes, will team up with Triple Eight’s Super2 young-gun, Declan Fraser for this year’s Great Race, with the latter making his Supercars debut at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit.
The wildcard features the iconic #888, with the current livery to remain for the team’s upcoming test days, before transitioning to its Bathurst 1000 race livery at a later date.
It will be Lowndes’ 29th start in the Great Race, a race which he has won a staggering seven times, with his most recent win coming in 2018, the same year he retired from full-time Supercars racing.
Supercheap Auto first became involved in Australian motorsport as a team sponsor 25 years ago and were the naming rights sponsor of the Bathurst 1000 from 2005 to 2020.
The team’s 2021 wildcard entry was piloted by Russel Ingall and Broc Feeney, which set the record for the oldest-youngest driver pairing in history.
The Supercheap Auto wildcard will be the team’s third entry at the Bathurst 1000, alongside Red Bull Ampol Racing’s #88 and #97. Garth Tander will return as co-driver of the #97 alongside Shane van Gisbergen, while Jamie Whincup will make his highly anticipated return to Supercars, co-driving with rookie Broc Feeney in the #88 entry.
The Bathurst 1000 will be the only two-driver endurance event in the 2022 Supercars season on October 6-9.
CRAIG LOWNDES – DRIVER
“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.
“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.”
DECLAN FRASER – DRIVER
“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. 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.”
BENJAMIN WARD – MANAGING DIRECTOR SUPERCHEAP AUTO
“The Supercheap Auto wildcard entry is about bringing our team and fans together to share our passion for the Bathurst 1000.
“We love this sport and its fans, and we are always looking to capitalise on our amazing partnership with Triple Eight in the Supercars championship.
“To have a legend of the sport like Craig representing our brand this October will be a dream come true for all of us here at Supercheap Auto.
“Craig’s partnership with an up-and-comer like Declan, at the infamous Mount Panorama circuit, is the ideal storyline for our wildcard program which continues the theme of pairing youth with experience.
“We hope fans get behind Lowndesy and Declan and follow us on this journey to the Great Race.”
JAMIE WHINCUP – MANAGING DIRECTOR TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING
“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.
“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.”