Exciting times last week when we finally took the wraps off my 2016 V8 Supercar challenger, the TeamVortex Commodore.
How good does it look?!
Caltex has stepped up to become the key sponsor for my #888 Holden, which will race for the next couple of years in Vortex colours alongside the two Red Bull branded cars for Jamie Whincup and team newbie Shane Van Gisbergen.
All three cars will be run by Triple Eight Race Engineering, marking the first time in the dozen or so years I’ve driven for Roland Dane’s team that we’ve run three cars.
Personally, I have had a long term relationship with Caltex, so has Triple Eight, so it’s exciting to be embarking on this new adventure with them.
Although we are still very much a part of the Triple Eight operation, we’ll also have a degree of independence as we’ll be garaged next door to the Red Bull cars, sharing space with the Tekno Commodore to be driven this year by Will Davison.
TeamVortex will be crewed by very experienced Triple Eight hands, guys and gals I have a great rapport with already and have worked with for many years … and we’ve all got this quiet determination to be the front running Triple Eight car in 2016!
I love what I do and I wouldn’t want to be driving anywhere except Triple Eight, but it’s also great to be able to freshen things up a bit and have something new to get my teeth into.
Development hasn’t stopped, even though we’ve all had a break over the festive season, so I’ll roll out this year in a brand new TeamVortex Commodore built to our very latest specifications. We’re due to test it for the first time mid-month.
After that, we have just a couple of weeks to finish everything off before we hit the ground running in Adelaide for the opening round of the 2016 V8 Supercar Championship in very early March.
We then race every two weeks until June, when there’s a bit of a break, and then from mid July onwards it’s every two weeks again until we wrap up in Sydney at Homebush in late November.
A season highlight, of course, will be the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint in April, where I’ll be aiming to sweep all three races after winning two of the three last year!
It’s a pretty full schedule this year and it’s a heavy workload for the crew, but the consistency of racing every second week should help the sport have a better identity and more coverage.
Some of you may have read that I have a bit of a bingle during the off-season, out riding my dirt bike with the kids.
Broke a collarbone and knocked myself about a bit.
So I’ve been ordered to rest and recuperate to make sure I’ll fully fit for the season start, though unfortunately the injury also meant I had to step out of my drive in an Audi R8LMS at the Bathurst 12 Hour last weekend. That’s very disappointing, but it’s the way it goes and I’m already planning my GT comeback for 2017!
I’d just like to finish by saying thanks to everyone for their well wishes when they heard the news about the accident… I’m well on my way to recovery and can’t wait to hit the track for season 2016.