Way back in 2006, an interesting rumour did the rounds in the V8 Supercar paddock.
Triple Eight Race Engineering was backed by a failing whitegoods chain called Betta Electrical, which had spent the majority of the year financially eroding away. Right before that year's Bathurst 1000, Betta finally went into administration.
Nobody was particularly worried about the future of Triple Eight (or Team Betta Electrical, as it was known at the time). It was odds-on favourite to win Bathurst (which Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup duly did), and Lowndes was embroiled in a heated championship battle with Rick Kelly. With fast cars and the most recognisable face in Australian motorsport at its disposal, finding a new sponsor for 2007 was going to be a doddle.
But, according to folklore, the team's boss Roland Dane had another idea. Along with T8 co-founder Peter Butterly, he (apparently) tried to buy Betta Electrical. It was an outrageous situation. Sure, sponsors have bought race teams before, but here was a race team attempting to buy a sponsor.
To continue reading this feature, subscribe to Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus subscription includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.