Triple Eight became the first V8 Supercars team to shake down its new-generation Commodore, on the same day it also confirmed it was close to securing Red Bull as its new title sponsor.
While the series' "Cars of the Future" were unveiled by Ford and Holden in December 2011, Triple Eight is the first team to have completed a shakedown of the new machinery. Reigning champion Jamie Whincup concluded a number of installation laps during a closed session at the Holden Driving Centre in Queensland.
"Overall, it's vastly different to what we normally play with," Whincup said. "It's a completely different beast in all areas of feel for the driver and is obviously different for the engineers as well. There are a lot of parts which are already homologated but already I can see that there will need to be some modifications. The gearbox doesn't feel as nice and at the moment the changes are short and harsh.
"There were no secrets here today and we are talking to [V8 Supercars technical manager] Frank Adamson about everything that was happening so he can report back. I think a day like today demonstrates that we are doing some major things not just for us but for the category as a whole."
At the same time, the series' top team also revealed it had agreed on key commercial terms for a multi-year title sponsorship deal with Red Bull. The deal follows the withdrawal of previous sponsor Vodafone.
"We are thrilled by the prospect of Red Bull becoming our naming rights partner from 2013," managing director Roland Dane said, "and are confident that the deal will be finalised in the coming weeks."
The team's new car will be on display this weekend as the series travels to Queensland.