Triple Eight to prep PremiAir cars
The newest Supercars team on the grid is currently in a race against time ahead of its rookie season, with a number of key positions, including a team manager, engineers and mechanics, yet to be filled.
As part of the pre-season negotiations, new team owner Peter Xiberras is in the throws of finalising the team’s customer relationship with Triple Eight.
Like its predecessor Team Sydney, PremiAir Racing will continue to field T8-built ZB Commodores.
The team’s two cars are currently at Triple Eight undergoing key upgrades, which, according to Xiberras, will put them at current spec, like the Red Bull-backed ‘factory’ cars.
PremiAir will also have access to T8 data across the season, while the cars will even run out of T8’s Brisbane workshop in the short term.
As it stands they are set to be prepped by T8 for the pre-season test at Queensland Raceway on February 16.
It is likely they will then return to T8 to be prepped for the opening round of the season at Sydney Motorsport Park on March 4-6.
What happens after that is yet to be formalised. There was speculation the PremiAir cars may run out of T8 all year, however it appears moving into a dedicated factory in Brisbane is now the preferred outcome.
Xiberras was initially tossing up between Melbourne and Brisbane as potential bases, but says Brisbane has won out due to the team’s ties with T8.
“What we know at the moment is that we’ll be a Brisbane-based team,” he told Motorsport.com.
“That’s for a combination of reasons including staff availability and being close to Triple Eight. And there seems to be more people with Triple Eight experience in Brisbane than Melbourne.
“Given we’re running Triple Eight cars and we’ll have Triple Eight data, it’s important to have people with that experience.”
Chris Pither and Garry Jacobson will drive the PremiAir Racing cars.
PremiAir’s Brisbane move restores the split of teams down the eastern seaboard to four in Queensland, one in New South Wales and six in Melbourne.
PremiAir and T8 are joined by Dick Johnson Racing and Matt Stone Racing in Queensland, Brad Jones Racing is in Albury, on the NSW side of the Victoria border, while Walkinshaw Andretti United, Tickford Racing, Erebus Motorsport, Team 18, Grove Racing and Blanchard Racing Team are in Victoria.