2023 BEAUREPAIRES MELBOURNE SUPERSPRINT PREVIEW
After a controversial and intriguing start to the Gen3 era in Newcastle, the Repco Supercars Championship heads to Albert Park for the second event of the 2023 season, the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint.
There will be four quick-fire qualifying sessions and four races across all four days of the Australian Grand Prix, with the first race on a Thursday for the first time in Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars history.
Qualifying for Races 3 and 5 will be held on the hard tyre, with
drivers to use the super soft to set the grids for Races 4 and 6.
All four races will feature a compulsory pitstop, which may be taken after lap 2 of each race. Both tyre compounds must be used in each race – the hard tyre and super soft tyre, adding a big strategic variable to the racing. Of the four races, there is one 100km, one 80km and two 70km sprints.
The new Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro split the wins in Newcastle, with Chaz Mostert leading the championship with defending champion Shane van
Gisbergen still the driver to beat following what could’ve been a sweep of Newcastle had it not been for his disqualification in Race 1.
With Newcastle setting the form guide with Triple Eight Race Engineering, Tickford Racing and Walkinshaw Andretti United the teams to beat, Erebus Motorsport, Brad Jones Racing, Team 18 and PremiAir Racing in the mix and Dick Johnson Racing needing to improve, Albert Park will be an interesting gauge of the development of teams after the first Gen3 hitout.
TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING
#88 BROC FEENEY
#97 SHANE VAN GISBERGEN
Triple Eight Race Engineering didn’t miss a beat as Jamie Whincup moved from the driver’s seat to team management in 2022, with Shane van Gisbergen rewriting the record books with the championship and Bathurst double and Broc Feeney winning a race in his full-time main-game debut season.
Chevrolet’s homologation team will be hoping to lead the way amongst the Camaros, which feature in the familiar colours of Red Bull. While van Gisbergen will be out to defend his championship and Bathurst title, with Richie Stanaway in the latter in place of the Grove Racing-bound Garth Tander, Feeney looks ready to step up into a regular contender.
Martin Short and Andrew Edwards are back as the engineers for Feeney and van Gisbergen respectively, while Whincup now has a season of experience as team manager. While the new cars may close up the field, Triple Eight Race Engineering remains the team to beat after its form in 2022.
Teams Tickford Racing (2020), Triple Eight Race Engineering (2021 - 2023)
Championship Best 6th (2022)
2022 Championship 6th
Bathurst 1000 Best 5th (2022)
2022 Bathurst 5th
TeamKiwi Racing (2007), Stone Brothers Racing (2008 - 2012), Tekno Autosports (2013 - 2015), Triple Eight Race Engineering (2016 - 2023)
Championship Best 1st (2016, 2021, 2022)
2022 Championship 1st
Bathurst 1000 Best 1st (2020, 2022)
2022 Bathurst 1stBROC FEENEY SHANE VAN GISBERGEN
DICK JOHNSON RACING
#11 ANTON DE PASQUALE
#17 WILL DAVISON
There’s been big changes for Dick Johnson Racing as well as the switch to the new Mustang with Brett Ralph and his family joining the ownership structure and David Noble appointed the team’s CEO at the end of 2022. While Ford’s homologation team features some new faces off track, there’s continuity on the racing side with Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison behind the wheel, engineered yet again by Ludo Lacroix and Richard Harris respectively, and Shell continuing as the naming-rights sponsor of both entries.
Both drivers have won multiple races for the team in recent seasons, often mixing it at the front of the field. However, they will be hoping for a championship challenge after losing ground to Triple Eight Race Engineering and finishing behind Tickford Racing and Walkinshaw Andretti United entrants in the standings last season.
ANTON DE PASQUALE
Teams Erebus Motorsport (2018 - 2020), Dick Johnson Racing (2021 - 2023)
Championship Best 4th (2022)
2022 Championship 4th
Bathurst 1000 Best 7th (2022)
2022 Bathurst 7th
Team Dynamik (2004), Dick Johnson Racing
(2005 - 2008, 2021 - 2023), Holden Racing
Team (2009 - 2010), Tickford Racing
(2011 - 2013, 2020), Erebus Motorsport
(2014 - 2015), Tekno Autosports
(2016 - 2017), 23 Red Racing (2018 - 2020)
Championship Best 2nd (2009)
2022 Championship 5th
Bathurst 1000 Best 1st (2009, 2016)
2022 Bathurst DNFWILL DAVISON Debut 2004
#5 JAMES COURTNEY
#6 CAMERON WATERS
#55 THOMAS RANDLE
#56 DECLAN FRASER
Ford’s four-car team underwent a late change to its driver line-up with reigning Dunlop Super2 Series champion Declan Fraser replacing Jake Kostecki in the Tradie-backed #56 entry. Aside from that, there is stability at the team with Cameron Waters set to lead the line alongside veteran James Courtney, sophomore Thomas Randle and new recruit Fraser.
Monster Energy, Snowy River Caravans and Castrol continue as title sponsors for Waters, Courtney and Randle respectively, engineered once again by Sam Potter, Sam Scaffidi and Raymond Lau with Chris Stuckey working with Fraser.
Teams Holden Racing Team / Wakinshaw Racing / Walkinshaw Andretti United (2005, 2011 - 2019), Stone Brothers Racing (2006 - 2008), Dick Johnson Racing (2009 - 2010), Team Sydney (2020), Tickford Racing (2020 - 2023)
Championship Best 1st (2010)
2022 Championship 12th Bathurst 1000 Best 2nd (2007)
2022 Bathurst DNF
After two runners-up finishes in the championship and Bathurst over the last three seasons, Waters is primed for a championship challenge with the experience of Courtney and potential of Randle and Fraser a valuable asset for the team.
Teams Kelly Racing (2011 - 2012), Charlie
Racing / Team 18 (2014), Prodrive Racing Australia / Tickford Racing (2015 - 2023)
Championship Best 2nd (2020, 2022)
2022 Championship 2nd
Bathurst 1000 Best 2nd (2020, 2021)
2022 Bathurst 3rdSchwerkolt
Teams Tickford Racing (2019, 2021 - 2023), Brad Jones Racing (2020)
Championship Best 23rd (2022)
2022 Championship 23rd
Bathurst 1000 Best 7th (2021)
2022 Bathurst DNF
Teams Triple Eight Race Engineering (2022), Tickford Racing (2023)
Championship Best 36th (2022)
2022 Championship 36th
Bathurst 1000 Best 8th (2022)
2022 Bathurst 8th
WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED
#2 NICK PERCAT #25 CHAZ MOSTERT
It’s a new dawn for Walkinshaw Andretti United. After a long association with Holden, dating back to its days as the factory-backed Holden Racing Team, Walkinshaw Andretti United switches to Ford in 2023.
It’s a return to the Blue Oval for Chaz Mostert, who spent the early years of his career with Ford, while teammate Nick Percat will drive a Ford for the first time in Supercars.
After threatening to challenge for the championship in recent years and winning Bathurst in 2021 (the winning combination of Mostert and Lee Holdsworth reunite in 2023), Walkinshaw Andretti United will be hoping the manufacturer switch and full-field Gen3 reset doesn’t hinder its progress to the front of the grid.
Teams Walkinshaw Racing / Holden Racing Team / Walkinshaw Andretti United (2010 - 2014, 2022 - 2023), Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (2015 - 2016), Brad Jones Racing (2017 - 2021)
Championship Best 7th (2020, 2021)
2022 Championship 15th
Bathurst 1000 Best 1st (2011)
2022 Bathurst 22nd
Teams Dick Johnson Racing (2013), Ford Performance Racing / Prodrive Racing Australia / Tickford Racing (2014 - 2019), Walkinshaw Andretti United (2020 - 2023)
Championship Best 3rd (2021, 2022)
2022 Championship 3rd
Bathurst 1000 Best 1st (2014, 2021)
2022 Bathurst 2nd
#19 MATTHEW PAYNE
#26 DAVID REYNOLDS
Grove Racing entered into a partnership with Kelly Racing in 2021, morphing into Grove Racing in 2022. After building up the team with the addition of David Cauchi as team principal, Grant McPherson as a technical director and Garth Tander as endurance co-drive, Grove Racing is looking to step up under Gen3.
Penrite remains as the naming-rights sponsor of both entries with full-time rookie Matthew Payne replacing the retiring Lee Holdsworth alongside David Reynolds. Payne drove for the team in the Dunlop Super2 Series and made his main-game debut at Bathurst in 2022, scoring a sixth place. Reynolds is in his third season with the team, hoping to get back to winning ways after a number of podiums in that time.
Alistair McVean continues his long association with Reynolds as engineer, while Jack Bell will help steer Payne through his rookie campaign.
Teams Grove Racing (2022 - 2023)
Championship Best 34th (2022)
2022 Championship 34th
Bathurst 1000 Best 6th (2022)
2022 Bathurst 6th
Teams Paul Weel Racing (2007), HSV Dealer Team / Walkinshaw Racing (2008 - 2010),
Kelly Racing / Kelly Grove Racing / Grove Racing, (2011, 2021 - 2023),
Rod Nash Racing / Prodrive Racing Australia (2012 - 2015),
Erebus Motorsport (2016 - 2020)
Championship Best 3rd (2015)
2022 Championship 8th
Bathurst 1000 Best 1st (2017)
2022 Bathurst DNFDAVID REYNOLDS Debut 2007
#9 WILL BROWN
#99 BRODIE KOSTECKI
Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki enter their third full seasons at Erebus Motorsport, with their new Chevrolet Camaros now in the colours of CocaCola with the soft-drink giant replacing Boost Mobile as the team’s naming-rights sponsor.
Both drivers scored podiums last season, though they will be hoping for further improvement having achieved more success in 2021. With the new cars presenting a fresh start for the team and drivers, it’s a chance for the youngsters to step up and become regular contenders.
There’s stability off track with Tom Moore and George Commins back as the engineers for Brown and Kostecki respectively, with the new cars and sponsor the only significant changes.
Teams Erebus Motorsport (2018 - 2023)
Championship Best 8th (2021)
2022 Championship 14th
Bathurst 1000 Best 10th (2022)
2022 Bathurst 10th
Teams Kostecki Brothers Racing (2019), Erebus Motorsport (2020 - 2023)
Championship Best 7th (2022)
2022 Championship 7th
Bathurst 1000 Best 3rd (2021)
2022 Bathurst 4thWILL BROWN BRODIE KOSTECKI
TEAM 18 CHEVROLET CAMARO
#18 MARK WINTERBOTTOM
#20 SCOTT PYE
There’s a new look for Team 18 with Mark Winterbottom switching from Irwin Tools to Dewalt Tools sponsorship, while Scott Pye will feature a rotating livery for their fourth season as teammates.
After not scoring a podium since 2020, Team 18 will be hoping the switch to the Chevrolet Camaro results in a more consistent jump up the grid and an end to its winless run dating back to its foundation in 2013.
The experienced engineering combination of Manuel Sanchez and Richard Hollway partner with Winterbottom and Pye respectively, with team owner Charlie Schwerkolt desperate for podiums and wins in Gen3.
Teams Stone Brothers Racing (2003), Larkham Motorsport (2004 - 2005), Ford Performance Racing / Prodrive Racing Australia / Tickford Racing (2006 -2018), Team 18 (2019 - 2023)
Championship Best 1st (2015)
2022 Championship 9th
Bathurst 1000 Best 1st (2013)
2022 Bathurst 15th
Teams Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (2012 - 2013), Dick Johnson Racing / DJR Team Penske (2014 - 2016), Walkinshaw Racing / Walkinshaw Andretti United (2017 - 2019), Team 18 (2020 - 2023)
Championship Best 7th (2018)
2022 Championship 16th
Bathurst 1000 Best 2nd (2017, 2018)
2022 Bathurst 16thSCOTT PYE Debut 2012
BRAD JONES RACING
#4 JACK SMITH
#8 ANDRÉ HEIMGARTNER
#14 BRYCE FULLWOOD
#96 MACAULEY JONES
Brad Jones Racing continues with the same fourcar line-up as last season, with André Heimgartner expected to lead the team yet again following an impressive first full season with the team in 2022.
Teams Brad Jones Racing (2019 - 2023), Matt Stone Racing (2019)
Championship Best 21st (2021)
2022 Championship 24th
Bathurst 1000 Best 17th (2021)
2022 Bathurst DNF
Tony Woodward and Phil Keed continue as engineers with Heimgartner and Bryce Fullwood respectively, while Andrew Donnelly and Julian Stannard team up with Macauley Jones and Jack Smith respectively.
Brad Jones Racing emerged as one of the frontrunners when Supercars switched to the Car of the Future rules in 2013, with Gen3 an opportunity for a return back to the top step of the podium.
Teams Super Black Racing (2014 - 2015), Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (2016), Brad Jones Racing (2017, 2022 - 2023), Nissan Motorsport / Kelly Racing Racing / Kelly Grove Racing (2018 - 2021)
Championship Best 10th (2022)
2022 Championship 10th
Bathurst 1000 Best 9th (2017)
2022 Bathurst DNFJACK SMITH
Teams Matt Stone Racing (2018), Kelly Racing (2019), Walkinshaw Andretti United (2020 - 2021), Brad Jones Racing (2022 - 2023)
Championship Best 14th (2021)
2022 Championship 17th
Bathurst 1000 Best 5th (2021)
2022 Bathurst 9th
Teams Brad Jones Racing (2015 - 2023)
Championship Best 19th (2020, 2022)
2022 Championship 19th
Bathurst 1000 Best 7th (2018)
2022 Bathurst 13th
MATT STONE RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO
#34 JACK LE BROCQ #35 CAMERON HILL
Matt Stone Racing enters its sixth season in Supercars with Truck Assist back as the namingrights sponsor across both entries and Cameron Hill stepping up into the main game from the Dunlop Super2 Series.
Hill, the first Supercars driver to hail from Canberra in close to 20 years, raced for Triple Eight Race Engineering in the second-tier series, making his main-game debut with PremiAir Racing at Bathurst in 2022. It will be Le Brocq’s second season with the team, hoping to improve on two top-10 results in 2022.
While Le Brocq continues with Jack Bellotti as his engineer, Hill will work with Paul Forgie. Forgie was part of the Stone Brothers Racing during its championship run, reuniting with the Stone family as engineer on the #35 Camaro.
Teams Erebus Motorsport (2015), Prodrive Racing Australia / Tickford Racing (2016, 20202021), Nissan Motorsport (2017), MW Motorsport (2017), Tekno Autosports (2018-2019), Matt Stone Racing (2022-2023)
Championship Best 15th (2020)
2022 Championship 21st
Bathurst 1000 Best 4th (2016)
2022 Bathurst 14th
Teams PremiAir Racing (2022), Matt Stone Racing (2023)
Championship Best 51st (2022)
2022 Championship 51st
Bathurst 1000 Best 21st (2022)
2022 Bathurst 21stJACK LE BROCQ
PREMIAIR RACING CHEVROLET CAMARO
#23 TIM SLADE
#31 JAMES GOLDING
PremiAir Racing enters its second season in Supercars with an all-new line-up from the one that started its debut season in 2022. After replacing Garry Jacobson midway through 2022 and impressing with solid results, James Golding is rewarded with the full-time drive in the Nulon-backed entry. He is joined by veteran Tim Slade, who moves from the Blanchard Racing Team to PremiAir Racing in place of Chris Pither.
It was a solid debut season for PremiAir Racing, despite the mid-season changes, with the Gen3 introduction a chance for the team to get on an even keel with its rivals. Experienced engineer Geoffrey Slater will work with Golding, while Slade is paired with Phillip Di Fazio.
There may be more growing pains for PremiAir Racing in its sophomore season, though the pace of Golding in 2022 and experience of Slade means the team has a solid line-up to hit the ground running in Gen3.
Teams Paul Morris Motorsport (2009), Stone Brothers Racing / Erebus Motorsport (2010-2013), Walkinshaw Racing (20142015), Brad Jones Racing (2016-2019), DJR Team Penske (2020), Blanchard Racing Team (2021-2022), PremiAir Racing (2023)
Championship Best 5th (2012)
2022 Championship 11th
Bathurst 1000 Best 5th (2020)
2022 Bathurst 19th
Debut 2016 Teams Garry Rogers Motorsport (2016 - 2019), Team 18 (2020 - 2021), PremiAir Racing (2022 - 2023)
Championship Best 20th (2019)
2022 Championship 25th
Bathurst 1000 Best 8th (2018, 2020)
2022 Bathurst 12thTIM SLADE JAMES GOLDING
BLANCHARD RACING TEAM
#3 TODD HAZELWOOD
The only single car team in Supercars was the first to unveil and run its Gen3 car.
The Blanchard Racing Team enters its third season as a standalone entry, after running out of Brad Jones Racing before 2021. And after two seasons with Tim Slade driving the team’s Ford Mustang, Todd Hazelwood takes over the CoolDrive-backed entry.
After a single season back at Matt Stone Racing, Hazelwood switches to the Blanchard Racing Team. It’s a reunion of sorts with Hazelwood driving alongside team owner Tim Blanchard in the CoolDrive entry when it was run out of Brad Jones Racing in 2017, returning to Ford for the first time since 2018.
Mirko De Rosa leads the engineering team, hoping the early build of its Gen3 Ford Mustang pays dividends to counter having just one car for development as the season progresses.
Championship Best 13th (2021)
2022 Championship 18th
Bathurst 1000 Best 8th (2021)
2022 Bathurst 20thTODD HAZELWOOD Matt Stone Racing (2017 - 2019, 2022), Brad Jones Racing (2017, 2020 - 2021), Blanchard Team Racing (2023)