The replacement for seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has been confirmed; Super2 race winner and points leader Broc Feeney set to step up into the coveted seat at Red Bull Ampol Racing.
The announcement ends months of speculation over who would replace Whincup in one of the most coveted and competitive seats in the Supercars series. Whincup is now set to step into a CEO and co-driver role, with Shane van Gisbergen now the team’s clear lead driver.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me to be replacing the GOAT, Jamie Whincup. It’s so surreal to me at the moment – I think it’ll kick in at the start of next year. But to be aligned with this amazing team, and to be promoted to the main series for next year, it’s a dream come true for me,” says Feeney.
“It’s hard to believe that this is true at the moment. I’m so excited, so grateful for the opportunity. The hard work that we’ve put in over the last few years has paid off. To get into the main series would’ve been absolutely awesome, but to be filling the role of the greatest of all time…it’s hard to put into words.
“I’ve always been pretty young for what I’ve been doing, but I like that little bit of underdog status. […] I think people probably underestimate me a little bit, but it works out well. I like beating the older dudes.”
At just 18-years-old (he will be 19 by the time the 2022 season starts), Feeney is set to be the youngest driver on the Supercars grid, as well as the youngest driver to have ever been given a full-time ride at Triple Eight. When Whincup joined the squad in 2006, he was 22 years of age. Likewise when van Gisbergen joined Red Bull in 2016, he was 26.
The appointment comes amid all sorts of rumours up and down the Supercars paddock as to whether Triple Eight would choose an experienced ‘proven hand’ for the seat, or go with a youngster. Numerous names have been connected with the slot, including Bathurst 1000 winner Nick Percat and Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki.
The team has clearly elected to go with a youngster, with Feeney’s ‘main game’ experience being limited to last year’s Bathurst 1000 campaign as co-driver to James Courtney at Tickford Racing (recording a 10th-place finish at the Bathurst 1000). He’s set to take on the 1000 again this year, partnering veteran Russell Ingall in a Triple Eight wildcard entry backed by Supercheap Auto.
Feeney won the 2019 Super3 championship, racing under the guidance of mentor Paul Morris. He currently holds a commanding lead of the Super2 standings, having finished in the top two positions of every race this season so far, bar one.
“It’s certainly exciting,” adds Whincup.
“It’s a feel-good factor as well, to give a young kid an opportunity with one of the best seats in the category to go out there and prove themselves. […] I think everyone within the team is excited, I think the fanbase will be excited, and I’m looking forward to giving Broc the keys to whatever number he decides to run next year.”
Red Bull Ampol Racing has already confirmed it will be using Chevrolet Camaros once the category switches to Gen3 regulations, which at the moment is scheduled to happen part-way through the 2022 season.