EXIT the GOAT, enter the young gun - Triple Eight Race Engineering has announced thatBroc Feeney will replace Jamie Whincup in the Supercars Championship for the 2022 season and beyond.
While it comes as no great surprise that Feeney was selected as Whincup's replacement, having been signed by the team for the 2021 Super2 season.
But when offered a multi-year deal with the team which will see him replace the outgoing seven-time series champion Whincup, it still came as a surprise to the 18-year-old.
"When Roland [Dane, Triple Eight managing director] told me the news I was in shock. He explained everything to me and basically asked how it sounded - I said it sounded bloody awesome!," Feeney said.
"I got out of that meeting and rang my parents straight away. It was such a big relief as we've all put in so much effort the last few years, and it's a day I'll never forget."
Feeney will join 2020 Bathurst 1000 winner Shane van Gisbergen as Red Bull Ampol Racingteam-mates next year. While it is certainly a big seat to fill, the teenager has huge potential.
He currently leads the Super2 Series, having won four of the six races so far in 2021. That comes after he won the Super3 crown in his rookie season in 2019.
"The Super2 season has been a very important year for me. I knew at the start of the year that there was an opportunity to replace Jamie, and it all depended on how my results went this year," he said.
"To get four out of six wins this season and winning two out of three rounds has been a great opportunity for me, and this now feels like a big reward.
"It's an amazing opportunity for me to be replacing 'The GOAT', Jamie Whincup. It's so surreal for me at the moment, but I think it will start to kick in at the start of next year.
"To be aligned with this amazing team in my Super2 season and to be promoted into the main series is a dream come true. To be honest, I always wanted to get to Supercars, but to be behind the wheel of a Red Bull Ampol Racing machine is pretty exciting."
While Feeney will focus on trying to win the Super2 championship before setting any goals for his rookie Supercars season, Whincup is excited to see what the young can do.
The retiring seven-time champion, who will take over as the team's managing director said he was a good fit for the team.
"I'm excited, and certainly everyone within the team is excited, and our fan base should be excited as well. Of course, there's five more rounds for me to go, but I'm looking forward to giving Broc the keys to whatever number he decides to run next year," he said.
"I think some people will look at this decision and think we would have gone in an 'established driver' direction, but we're not a team that takes things conservatively. We take risks at Triple Eight, we're on the front foot and we have a crack and lead with our gutfeel, and it seemed right to give Broc the opportunity.
"Of course, there's an element of skill, but more importantly than that, certainly for me, is you need someone with good morals and a good attitude who knows the definition of hard work. Broc ticks all of those boxes, but now it's up to us to make sure we give him a fantastic car and build a fantastic team around him."
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