Craig Lowndes is confident that Triple Eight adding a third car will make the team better across race weekends next season.
It was announced late last week that the front-running squad has secured a third Racing Entitlements Contract for the 2016 season, which will be used to field a third Triple Eight car for Shane van Gisbergen next season.
That will give the team a formidable driver line-up, with 99-time race winner Lowndes, six-time champion Jamie Whincup, and Kiwi superstar van Gisbergen.
According to Lowndes, having an extra car and top-level driver will help the team stay ahead of other multi-car squads such as Prodrive Racing Australia, Walkinshaw Racing, and Brad Jones Racing.
“Race weekends at the track are going to be structured differently, and I think that is where people will see a bigger change,” Lowndes told Motorsport.com.
“No doubt that having the third car will help with extra data and extra information, so that is definitely going to improve our strengths – but of course with that we’ve got to make sure that we are more efficient.
“We need to make sure that we get the data out of all three cars quickly to analyse it.”
Expansion happening slowly
While the third car won’t be added until the 2016 season, Lowndes says there are already signs of the team’s expansion beginning to show at the factory in Brisbane.
“I’m looking forward to the expansion, obviously with running three cars we’re going to have more going on inside the workshop; it will mean that we’re going to be busy,” he said.
“At the moment the team is expanding slowly, it’s probably hard to see from the outside, but there are already people in positions to accommodate for the third car coming on next year.
“Within the workshop scenario, it’s just going to be another car, we’re obviously going to have more engineers, more mechanics, and of course using the second transporter to the get the car around.”
No change for van Gisbergen
One thing that Lowndes isn’t expecting is for van Gisbergen to take long to settle in to his new surroundings. The Kiwi already drivers a Triple Eight-built Holden Commodore thanks to his Tekno Autosports squad’s close technical ties with T8, and Lowndes says the transition will be simple.
“There’s no doubt that Gizzy’s fast, but people have to remember he is already running a Triple Eight-built car now, so I don’t think much really changes in the sense of what he’ll have,” he said.
“The only real change for him will be the sticker on the side of the car.”