Two of the most iconic names associated with the Bathurst 1000 have teamed up for this year's Great Race with two-time race winner Russell Ingall locked in to drive a Supercheap Auto-backed wildcard entry with talented teenager Broc Feeney.
Ingall and Feeney, who drives a Red Bull-Boost Mobile entry in the Dunlop Super2 Series, will share the Triple Eight Race Engineering-prepared Holden Commodore at Mt Panorama in October.
The Ingall-Feeney car will be the oldest-youngest driver combination in the race's history.
It will be Ingall's 25th V8 start in the Great Race and his first competitive drive of a Supercar since his last appearance as a co-driver in the 2016 Pirtek Enduro Cup.
Supercheap Auto first became involved in Australian motorsport as a team sponsor 24 years ago and were the naming rights sponsor of the Bathurst 1000 from 2005 to 2020.
Ingall, who won the 2005 Supercars championship, first drove in Supercheap Auto Racing colours when he joined Paul Morris Motorsport in 2008. This partnership continued to include a two-year deal at Walkinshaw Racing in 2012 and 2013.
Ironically, this will be Ingall's second appearance for Triple Eight Race Engineering after he and Greg Murphy drove one of the team's Holden Vectras in the 1998 Bathurst 1000 for 2-litre cars.
Ingall retired from full-time driving at the end of 2014 and started his media career with Fox Sports where he co-hosted the Supercars' coverage with his competitive nemesis Mark Skaife.
Recently Supercheap Auto were announced as the presenting partner of the successful online video show “The Enforcer and The Dude,” which is hosted by Ingall and Paul Morris at the Norwell Motorplex on Queensland's Gold Coast. This is the same venue for today's launch that included Ingall driving his 2021 Bathurst 1000 entry through a massive AFL-style banner.
The online production, which is now being shown in Supercheap Auto stores across Australia and New Zealand, will be one of the key marketing tools for the 2021 Bathurst campaign.
If he was to win the race, Ingall would be the oldest driver (57 years, 228 days) to achieve the feat after Jim Richards (55 years and 41 days) won the event with Skaife in 2002. Feeney (18 years and 357 days) would also become the youngest driver to win the race, breaking the record of Rick Kelly (20 years and 268 days) who clinched the trophy with Greg Murphy in 2003.
Ingall has kept today's announcement under wraps for several weeks, using that time to step-up his preparation for his return to the track which is now in full swing.
The Bathurst 1000 will be the only two-driver endurance event in the 2021 Supercars season on October 7-10.
As part of the promotion of this program it will carry a hashtag of #Enforcerandthekid.
RUSSELL INGALL – DRIVER
“I feel like we're part of another Blues Brothers movie – we really have put the band back together,” said Ingall.
“When the idea of driving a Triple Eight-prepared Supercheap Auto car at the Bathurst 1000 was presented to me, I didn't need to be asked twice.
“Supercheap is synonymous with Bathurst and Mt Panorama and the race track means more to me than any other place.
“The concept is a great way for Supercheap Auto to maintain their valuable connection with the Bathurst 1000, which has been earned as both a team and event sponsor over more than 24 years.
“Supercheap Auto has played an important role in my career over the years and undertaking this event, in partnership with them, means an enormous amount to me.
“I'm looking forward to driving a Triple Eight-prepared car for the first time and sharing the car with Broc (Feeney) who is a terrific young driver with an enormous future.
“Let me make this clear. We are going to Bathurst to be competitive. We have every intention of being right in the mix and giving the fans something to cheer about, otherwise we might as well stay at home.”
BROC FEENEY – DRIVER
“To announce this wild card entry at Bathurst with Supercheap Auto and Russell (Ingall) at this stage of the season is exciting,” said Feeney.
“Supercheap Auto has such an incredible history in the sport and Russell is a legend in the business.
“To wear the Supercheap Auto colours and have Russell as my teammate in the biggest race of the year is all very surreal, but exciting and I am grateful for the opportunity.
“Having the chance to race with a Supercars and Bathurst champion is an exciting prospect and will certainly help to boost my racing career.”
BENJAMIN WARD – MANAGING DIRECTOR SUPERCHEAP AUTO
“Since losing the Bathurst 1000 naming rights sponsorship in a disappointing way last year, we wanted to take the time to think about what our contribution to the sport would be, going forward,” said Ward.
“We love this sport and its fans and we knew there was more to achieve. Already, we are enjoying great early success with our new partnership with Red Bull Ampol Racing in the Supercars championship.
“However, our Supercheap Auto team are heavily invested in this specific race and that relationship extends to Russell (Ingall) who is an integral part of our team as our longest-serving driver.
“This Bathurst wild card entry takes our relationship with this race to the next level, and by offering up the oldest-youngest driver combination in the race's history, we lean on the Australian passion and spirit of the traditional underdog for support.
“To bring back a legend of the sport like Russell (Ingall) to Mt Panorama and partner him with a young talent like Broc (Feeney) in a Triple Eight car carrying Supercheap Auto Racing colours is so cool and something we hope fans will really get behind.”
ROLAND DANE – TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING
“We welcomed Supercheap Auto as a valuable partner at Triple Eight this season and discussions about the possibility of a wild card entry at Bathurst were always part of the mix,” said Dane.
“We did not know what that would look like, but I think the unique combination of youth and experience with Broc (Feeney) and Russell (Ingall) will not only turn plenty of heads, but will be competitive.
“Russell will get as much time in the car as we can get him during the year and you know there is no one who would take such an opportunity as seriously as him.
“Broc will get valuable miles in Super2 this season and get his second start in the Bathurst 1000 with one of the sport's most successful drivers.”