The gong for ‘Best Feature Story Of The Year’ went to Wheels for our probing profile of Triple Eight Race Engineering boss Roland Dane.
Presented by Hino and Castrol, and judged by an independent panel, the Supercars Media Awards have for the past 10 years celebrated the high standard of coverage of Australia’s leading motor racing category. The 2021 awards were presented at the weekend’s opening round of the 2022 Supercars championship at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Wheels’ profile of Dane on the eve of his retirement was declared the stand-out feature story in any media during the 2021 Supercars season. He opened up about his rise to Supercars supremacy in a 10-page feature in the December 2021 issue entitled “The Man Who Built An Empire”. Written by multi award-winning motor sport journalist Mark Fogarty, the story was praised by the judges for its depth and perspective.
Fogarty has known Dane for more than 30 years in both the UK and here, providing a unique perspective on Triple Eight’s domination of V8 racing since 2008 under his reign. The hard-nosed Anglo-Irish entrepreneur, who is also an Australian citizen, stepped down from owning and running the team at the end of last season after guiding the squad to the drivers’ and teams’ Supercars titles. He handed over control to record seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup, who retired from full-time driving to run the Red Bull Ampol Racing outfit.
Wheels paid tribute to Dane, arguably the most significant and influential figure in Supercars for the past 15 years, with an in-depth look at the man and his methods. He is a Wheels fan, having read the magazine since an Australian relative bought him a subscription when he was a teenager in London.
Dane called Fogarty’s story “hard but fair”, acknowledging its balance and authority as a prime example of the declining art of informed long-form journalism.
In accepting the Supercars ‘Best Feature Story’ award, ‘Foges’ – a former senior staff writer on Wheels – rated the yarn as one of the best in his long career.
“It’s a privilege to get so much space in one of the world’s greatest car magazines,” he said. “The effort I put into the story was rewarded with a lavish spread.
“I was allowed to tell Roland Dane’s story in unusual depth befitting his remarkable achievements. His regard for Wheels was reflected in the time he devoted to the interview and his candour.
“I rate this as one of the best motor sport stories I’ve ever written anywhere.”