PAUL Dumbrell is a man who has been around the pits for more than a decade, so when he claims that Triple Eight Engineering is the best team in the V8 Supercars series, it is a well-informed opinion.
Given Triple Eight are one of Dumbrell’s current employers it is easy to be cynical about his claim, but there is plenty of evidence to back it up.
Since their debut in 2003, Triple Eight have claimed five V8 Supercars drivers’ championships and five Bathurst 1000 crowns.
Dumbrell was a part of that most recent Great Race win, which came in 2012 as he paired with Jamie Whincup.
Twelve months ago the duo very nearly made it back-to-back Bathurst wins with the Ford Performance Racing entry of Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards the only car to finish the 161-lap epic ahead of them.
So far this season Triple Eight have continued to impress, with their duo Whincup and Craig Lowndes sitting one and two in the drivers’ championship.
Most recently, Dumbrell shared the Red Bull Racing Holden Commodore with Whincup which took out the Sandown 5000 last month.
“Triple Eight is undoubtedly the best team in pit lane,” co-driver Dumbrell said.
“I’ve driven for a number of teams – Larry Perkins, Paul Weel, Ford Performance Racing, HSV, Walkinshaw – so I have done the rounds in my career and Triple Eight over the last five to 10 years have been the best team in the category.
“They know how to win and they know how to win consistently.”
Dumbrell’s move to Triple Eight for the 2012 endurance season saw him unite with one of his good friends in Whincup.
After competing against each other as teenagers in go karts, the pair took different paths. In 2002 while Dumbrell was busy winning the V8 Development Series crown, Whincup got his first taste of the Great Race, albeit ending in a DNF.
But the once rivals have now formed a top endurance combination with a 2013 Sandown win to their credit as well.
The job is one which comes with a load of pressure as Dumbrell plays a role in Whincup’s championship bid, but it is something which has seen him thrive.
“Sharing the car with Jamie, I play a small part in his striving to win the championship,” Dumbrell said.
“My role is to play a small part in getting him the most championship points as is possible and working towards the end of the year.
“Obviously the biggest thing when I first went to Red Bull was that they want to win – they are a team that wins races and a championship winning team. I was very aware of that going into it, and it is a great environment to be in.
“They make you look at yourself and get the best out of yourself.”
Whether or not Dumbrell’s best will be enough to get on the Bathurst podium for the third consecutive year remains to be seen, but it is hard to bet against it.