Lowndes, Goddard to race Triple Eight Supercars wildcard
Zane Goddard will join Bathurst 1000 legend Craig Lowndes in Triple Eight's Supercars endurance wildcard entry this year.
For the third year running T8 will field a third entry for the Bathurst 1000 thanks to major backing from Supercheap Auto.
The entry could also race at the revived Sandown 500, with the team yet to confirm the exact plans for the wildcard.
The automotive parts and accessories retailer has funded what has been a one-off entry for the past two years in response to rival Repco taking over the naming rights backing of the Bathurst 1000.
Broc Feeney and Russell Ingall shared the car in 2021 before Declan Fraser and Craig Lowndes took over the entry for last year, the pair finishing eighth.
With Fraser inking a late deal for a full-time drive with Tickford, Goddard will join Lowndes in what will be the Supercheap Auto Camaro for 2023.
For Goddard the wildcard entry will be a shot at Great Race redemption after an early mistake in James Courtney's car last year took two other cars out of the running in spectacular fashion.
The 23-year-old is also hoping it may help him find his way back to the Supercars grid on a full-time basis for the first time since he split with Matt Stone Racing after the 2021 season.
“The Supercheap Auto wildcard programme has been so successful for the past two years, and to join a team that have been so dominant in both the drivers’ and teams’ championships is amazing," said Goddard.
"Having Craig to learn off, not just on the track but also off the track is going to be a great experience. To also work with an iconic brand like Supercheap Auto is fantastic and an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
“When I was younger, I loved watching Lowndesy winning races, and to now be partnering up with him for the enduro season is amazing – hopefully we can win some races together.
"To learn off him is going to be the most valuable part – the way he is with sponsors, TV, the way he drives, the way he conducts himself – there’s a lot to learn off him.
“It’s not very often you get a new car either, so that’s going to be special as a racecar driver. The Camaros look awesome and they’re going to look even better on the track.
"I had a little bit of an involvement in the Gen3 programme last year as a test driver, so hopefully I have an upper hand there. They’re awesome cars and a lot of fun to drive – I think it’s exactly what the category needs.
“I’ve obviously been in the main game before and my aim is to get back there, so working with a great team, a great driver and a great sponsor is hopefully going to help me achieve that."
Lowndes welcomed the opportunity to reprise his role as a mentor for a young driver as he did with Fraser last year.
“I’ve been working alongside Zane for the last couple of years. We’ve been doing some demonstrations together with the Gen3 car, so I got to know Zane pretty well over this time, as well as his stint in the main game," said Lowndes.
“He’s a great young kid with great speed, and a great head on his shoulders.
“I really enjoyed the mentoring side of things last year with Declan. I think that Zane is a bit further down the path then what Declan was or is now, so for me I don’t think it’ll be as intense, but off the track, hopefully we can share the knowledge and experience we have, especially when you go to Bathurst because it’s such a long week.
“My focus going into this year is to better our result from last year. We achieved the best result for any wildcard entry at the Bathurst 1000, so that was great. The problem is, you want to do that again, so my focus is to finish higher than eighth.
“It’s fantastic to have a major organisation like Supercheap Auto backs a program like this – you really have to take these opportunities with both hands. I know Broc did and has now migrated into the main game, same as Declan.
"Zane has been in that position, but we now want to get him back there and this is a great opportunity for it.”
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