So big were the celebrations following their spectacular Bathurst victory in 2000, both Garth Tander and Jason Bargwanna have fought a crippling hangover ever since. Or so it would seem.
It was a sobering experience all round last year for these once giant-killers, admittedly outpaced and outclassed for the best part of the season. And the team were at a loss to explain why.
In reality, they were never that far from the front. But when a mere second separates the top twenty competitors on any given day, Tander and Bargwanna appeared to be running on seven cylinders.
Their Commodores found wanting all too often, it is the search for the tenth or two so conspicuously lacking last year that will define their season.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]Garth Tander was the vice-champion to Mark Skaife in 1999, relishing the opportunity to lead his modest team into battle against their factory Holden counterparts.
The lanky West Australian made an immediate impact on V8 Supercar racing - literally. With walls, fences, and other cars.
Chastised for his wild driving ways, a more refined Tander emerged in '99 as an unlikely title contender, showing a level of maturity and composure well beyond his years.
With Craig Lowndes' defection, he was to become one of the brightest stars in Holden's luminous galaxy.
His star still shines bright, an exuberantly likeable young man oozing with talent, but his chronically uncooperative Commodore last year did nothing for his advancement. In 2002, he'll be out to prove he's no one-season wonder.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]Jason Bargwanna's year was no better. Yet, despite such a wretched season, his infectiously cheeky grin never disappeared from his face.
This irrepressible larrikin genuinely loves his job, which at times belies a tenacious racer, fiercely determined to reach the highest of heights.
His apprenticeship in the sport was a difficult one as he scrounged his way through the junior ranks without the funding enjoyed by some. Through sheer persistence, perspiration and undeniable talent Bargwanna conquered the open-wheeler ranks before rising to the Supercar formula with the help of Garry Rogers.
When the machinery is on-song, this pocket dynamo can win races - a pair of solo round-winner wreaths, snared at Winton Raceway in consecutive years, testament to that.
Garry Rogers showed enormous faith in the fledgling talents of Bargwanna - and Tander - in those early years. Now, his crew must provide both with competitive motorcars.