Leading Supercars team Triple Eight Race Engineering has joined forces with Scott Taylor Motorsport in an all-out assault on next year’s Bathurst 12 Hours.
The Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes entry will be crewed by Triple Eight Supercars drivers Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen.
In addition to comprising what is certain to be the race’s strongest all-local driver crew, it marks the reunion of the highly successful Bathurst pairing of Lowndes and Whincup – together the pair won a hattrick of Bathurst 1000s from 2006 to 2008.
In another reunion of sorts, Triple Eight’s naming rights sponsor from that period, Vodafone, returns as major backer of next year’s 12 Hour effort. The STM Mercedes GT3 AMG will appear in a Vodafone red/silver livery reminiscent of the Triple Eight V8 Supercars colours from 2008-’09.
Lowndes and Whincup have already shared a victory in the 12 Hours, alongside Italian Toni Vilander in a Ferrari in 2017, while van Gisbergen also won the race, in a McLaren in 2016.
Between them, the three drivers have 15 wins and 29 podiums across the Bathurst 1000 and 12 Hour. Van Gisbergen has not won the Bathurst 1000 but his sports car racing credentials are impeccable – he won the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup in 2016.
“It’s sort of like the old rat pack back together again, although we’ve got Shane on board,” said Lowndes.
“The car has lots of memories of when we had Vodafone on the Supercar, but it’s great to see the old colours back, great memories for that era. Hopefully the three of us can do Vodafone, Scott Taylor Motorsport and Triple Eight very proud.
“It’s going to be nice, obviously the three of us are very well compatible and we know the circuit very well. To have all three of us in one car is very strong. The car for me, I’ll need to get my head around it, but I’m sure that’ll come pretty quickly.”
Whincup, whose two starts in the 12 Hour have delivered victory and third place, is looking forward to pairing up with Lowndes again at Bathurst, and in their old sponsor's colours.
“Lowndesy and I and Team Vodafone competed at Bathurst for many years, so it’s good to get the band back together. I’m looking forward to teaming up with Lowndesy again, but both years Shane has been opposition for me, so it’s good to be in the same team for an all-out assault.
“All the elements are there for a good show, but I’m just looking forward to bringing all that good that Triple Eight has, STM do a fantastic job and combining all that, we’re confident we can do a good job.”