To lose a race, it needs to have been within one’s capability to win it in the first place. We hate losing.
However, we can accept being beaten, and that, friends, is the honest truth.
For sure, we don’t enjoy being beaten, but it is a true Triple Eight belief that we only deserve to win if we’ve done the best job on the day, whether that’s with car speed, reliability, pit stops or all of the above. If we tick all those boxes apart from one and throw a race win away, that’s what really gets our Red Bull boiling.
We’re also the first to admit that, as annoying as being beaten is, it is fantastic for the sport and the benefits for the fans who get to enjoy not just good racing but an epic championship battle vastly outweigh our love of silverware and compulsive bling habit.
It’s true, we haven’t consistently had the fastest cars this year, but the championship is tighter than Dutto’s shirt sleeves and we’re aiming to keep it that way until the very last lap, whoever the winner may be.
After Townsville, Jamie commented, “I’m not going to stand here and make any big statements like we’re back or anything. We did get dusted in qualifying and then race one. We put in a really good performance on Sunday, which got us the win, but we’re under no illusions that we’re the quickest car out there, we’ve still got a lot of work to do behind the scenes.”
Back at base, we know we’ve got our biggest challenge ahead of us to date. One of Bossman Roland “RD” Dane’s favourite pastimes is setting the boys and girls of Triple Eight completely unrealistic goals and saying “go on then, kick them”.
“We’ve done a lot of work recently, it’s an incredible workload we’ve got through to keep the cars competitive as well. It’s a big thing,” he told Speedcafe.
“People outside the team really have no idea about how hard everyone works.”
It’s true. Cauchi keeps a sleeping bag at the workshop, the mechanics haven’t seen daylight in over six weeks and Shippy forgot his son’s name the other day. But that’s all part of this glamorous world of motorsport and they’re sacrifices we willingly make.
“Competition makes everyone better,” RD continued, “and if we’d stayed at the same level we’d just be beaten.
“Hopefully it’s a big year, a big fight and the enduros are going to be very meaningful. I’m really happy with our driver line-up.”
“We’ll run them down,” said Jamie, “but it’s going to take some time, going to take a lot of effort, a lot of man hours back at the workshop, but that’s what motorsport’s all about. That’s what we love. There’s this battle going on and then we throw it all out on the line each race weekend.
“Car pace is what wins races and wins championships, so we really need to dig deep. It was great to get a small reward (with the race win in Townsville) for the hard work that’s been put in, but we know there’s a long, long road to go.
“I think it’s great for everyone, the battle that’s going on, and we’re going to fight it out right ‘til the end.”
So what’s the moral of this story, kids? Stop waiting for the other team to lose, don’t be content with getting beaten and start bloody winning.