Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight Program

Page 1

$10 BEAUREPAIRES SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT

2021 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP OFFICIAL PROGRAM

10/11/2021 1:11:31 PMpm 23/6/21 2:48

Untitled-1 1


Race Race fans! fans! Enjoy Enjoy allall thethe high-speed high-speed action action under under lights lights at at thethe Beaurepaires Beaurepaires Sydney Sydney SuperNight. SuperNight. And And if you if you need need tyres, tyres, why why notnot make make a pitstop a pitstop intointo your your nearest nearest Beaurepaires Beaurepaires store! store! WeWe have have great great tyre tyre brands brands and and great great deals. deals. Plus, Plus, ourour teams teams areare real real fastfast so so you’ll you’ll bebe back back on on thethe road road in no in no time. time.

Book Book online online or or call call 13 13 2323 81 81

SYDNEY SYDNEY

SUPERNIGHT SUPERNIGHT

20 - 2220 AUG - 22 2021 AUG 2021

beaurepaires.com.au beaurepaires.com.au Untitled-1 1 cover.indd 1 Sydney Inside

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FRIDAY 19 NOVEMBER Start Finish Category 12:55 13:15

Trans Am

PROGRAM Duration 20 minutes

Session Practice 1

13:25 13:45

S5000

20 minutes

Practice 1

13:55 14:15

Toyota 86 Series

20 minutes

Practice 1 Practice 1

14:25 14:55

Dunlop Super2/3 Series

30 minutes

15:05 15:25

Trans Am

20 minutes

Practice 2

15:35 15:55

S5000

20 minutes

Practice 2

16:05 16:25

Toyota 86 Series

20 minutes

Practice 2

16:40 17:20

Supercars

40 minutes

Additional Drivers Practice

17:35 17:55

Trans Am

20 minutes

Qualifying

18:05 18:25

S5000

20 minutes

Qualifying

18:40 19:10

Dunlop Super2/3 Series

30 minutes

Practice 2

19:45 20:15

Supercars

30 minutes

Practice 1

Session Practice 2

SATURDAY 20 NOVEMBER Start Finish Category 11:50 12:20

Supercars

Duration 30 minutes

12:35 12:55

Trans Am

11 laps or 1 lap after 12:53

13:10 13:25

Toyota 86 Series

15 minutes

Qualifying Qualifying - Race 29

Race 1

13:40 13:55

Supercars

15 minutes

14:10 14:35

S5000

14 laps or 1 lap after 14:33

14:50 15:00

Dunlop Super2/3 Series

10 minutes

Qualifying Race 1 - Dunlop Super 3 Qualifying Race 1 - Dunlop Super 2

Race 1

15:05 15:15

Dunlop Super2/3 Series

10 minutes

15:30 15:50

Trans Am

11 laps or 1 lap after 15:48

Race 2

16:00 16:20

Toyota 86 Series

10 laps or 1 lap after 16:18

Race 1

16:35 17:15

Supercars

40 minutes

17:25 17:50

S5000

14 laps or 1 lap after 17:48

18:00 18:30

Dunlop Super2/3 Series

18 laps or 1 lap after 18:28

Race 1

19:10

Supercars

64 laps or 1 lap after 21:08

Race 29

SUNDAY 21 NOVEMBER Start Finish Category

09:35 10:15 10:30 10:55 11:25 11:55 12:35 13:30 14:05 15:20

10:00 10:25 10:40 11:10 11:45 12:20 13:15 13:50 14:35

Toyota 86 Series Dunlop Super2/3 Series Dunlop Super2/3 Series Supercars Trans Am S5000 Supercars Toyota 86 Series Dunlop Super2/3 Series Supercars

P03 Contents.indd 3

Schedule

P3

Welcome

P4

Track Map

P7

Event Preview

P9

Entry List

P13

Driver Profiles

P15

Circuit Guide

P24

Support Categories

P26

Officials

P30

Volunteers

P32

Top 10 Shootout Race 2

Duration Session 13 laps or 1 lap after 9:58 Race 2 10 minutes Qualifying Race 2 - Dunlop Super 3 10 minutes Qualifying Race 2 - Dunlop Super 2 15 minutes Qualifying - Race 30 11 laps or 1 lap after 11:43 Race 3 14 laps or 1 lap after 12:18 Race 3 40 minutes Top 10 Shootout 10 laps or 1 lap after 13:48 Race 3 18 laps or 1 lap after 14:33 Race 2 64 laps or 1 lap after 17:18 Race 30

All times correct at the time of publishing. Visit Supercars.com for more.

CONTENTS

Cover design: Supercars Program design: Thao Trinh REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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3/11/2021 10:28:49 AM


SCOTT BENNET

Welcome to the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight! As official tyre retail partner of the Repco Supercars Championship, Beaurepaires is excited to be bringing Supercars back to Sydney Motorsport Park in Eastern Creek as naming-rights sponsor of

the Sydney SuperNight. Beaurepaires, which is part of Goodyear & Dunlop Tyres, have been supplying Australian motorists with quality tyres and services since 1922 through our 200plus company owned and operated stores. We are Australia’s most trusted tyre provider, offering a comprehensive range of tyres, wheels and batteries as well as automotive

services designed to excel in performance, safety and reliability. What’s more, we’re extremely passionate about all things motorsport and are thrilled to bring motorsport and Supercars to Sydney under lights. Night racing is a visual feast for race goers as well as national and international audiences and we’re looking forward to all the action ahead on track! – Scott Bennet

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship has reignited, and what a spectacular way to get back on track at the Armor All Sydney SuperNight. As we’ve seen all through the year, the competition is intense up and down the field as we approach the culmination of the championship at the Repco Bathurst 1000. Despite the challenging year that all the teams have faced, one of the most pleasing things I’ve noticed is the excitement and passion of the Supercars paddock to get back to competition. This excitement and passion for racing and supporting fans is the reason Repco has aligned itself with the Supercars championship. It’s this passion and excitement, which is

instilled by our staff throughout our 400 stores across Australia and New Zealand. Now that the championship has restarted after its border restriction induced hiatus, we can’t help but have our eyes on the big prize, Mount Panorama, the Great Race, and as it’s our first year as the title partner we promise to be bringin’ the Bathurst. The Mount Panorama circuit needs no introduction, it’s hallowed turf and the Repco Bathurst 1000 is the heartbeat for motorsport in this country. There will be a smorgasbord of fan-driven initiatives all around the mountain that attendees will be able to engage with at the circuit and see live on televisions all through Australia, New Zealand and across the world via its

award-winning coverage. We feel that Bathurst is finally in the hands of people who live and breathe motor racing, and we are going to make sure the race’s great traditions are upheld, while taking it to the next level. But, of course, before we get there, Sydney Motorsport Park is proving to be the perfect venue to entertain through night racing and mixed tyre races, where the passionate fans of the Repco Supercars Championship continued to be enthralled no matter if it’s the category veterans or the young guns nipping at their heels. So, enjoy Sydney, the Supercars and get ready for the biggest party of all at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000. – Wayne Byrant

VICE PRESIDENT BEAUREPAIRES

WAYNE BRYANT

REPCO AUSTRALIA EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER P4

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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THE HON. STUART AYRES MP

On behalf of the NSW government, I am pleased to welcome you to western Sydney for the final weekend of exhilarating back-to-back racing at the 2021 Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight. The lights are on, night

racing is back, and there is no better place than Sydney Motorsport Park to host the final of four weekends of Australia’s most exhilarating motorsport races. Events such as the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight help boost our state’s visitor economy by attracting participants, officials and their supporters to the greater Sydney area, who stay in our hotels, visit our attractions, and spend in our retail stores, restaurants, bars and cafes.

It has been a challenging year for western Sydney and we know these events are vital to our social and economic recovery, so we are delighted to support the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight again, bring crowds back to the circuit and provide an injection to the NSW visitor economy. I encourage you to make the most of this high-octane evening, enjoy the food and beverage, and generous hospitality of western Sydney. – The Hon. Stuart Ayres

On behalf of Supercars, I would like to thank you, our fans, for supporting our four-week return to Sydney Motorsport Park which has allowed us to get back to racing in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship. Since our racing in Townsville in July, Australia has dealt with unprecedented circumstances, there is no doubt. There’s been a lot of work going on in the background to get Supercars to this point and we’ve been working furiously behind the scenes with the NSW state government and our broadcast partners, Foxtel and the Seven Network to return to racing here at this magnificent venue. Now we are back, we are going to make sure that we deliver some amazing racing over the remaining

events of this year’s championship. With three events under these spectacular lights and the crowning of the Beaurepaires Sydney Cup winner, we will be bringing Supercars’ trademark style of racing over four consecutive weeks. Teams will need to be at their strategical best while here in Sydney. This venue has produced as much heartbreak as it has success for nearly every driver on the grid. Here in Sydney, fans will get to see seven-time champion Jamie Whincup race on one of his favourite circuits one final time. His teammate Shane van Gisbergen loves to race here in Sydney and will need to be at his best to hold off the likes of Cam Waters and Sydney’s born

and bred Supercars stars James Courtney and Mark Winterbottom. Thank you to our naming-rights partner Repco and our valued event naming rights and series partners, race teams, drivers, volunteers, officials and fans for your dedication and support to ensure our successful return to racing. I would also like to thank Minister Stuart Ayres, Destination New South Wales and the team at Sydney Motorsport Park for bringing us the opportunity to race here for four weeks in front of our dedicated fans. We hope you enjoy all of the events that will make up the Beaurepaires Sydney Cup and from everyone at the Repco Supercars Championship, we thank you for your support in 2021. – Sean Seamer

MINISTER FOR JOBS, INVESTMENT, TOURISM AND WESTERN SYDNEY MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY

SEAN SEAMER

SUPERCARS CEO

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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OFFICIALS SIGN ON

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SPORTS LOUNGE/ PIT GARAGE SUITES/ SUPERCARS PADDOCK CLUB

VISITORS CENTRE

UNRESERVED GRANDSTAND

TUNNEL

VIEWING MOUND

TAXI RANK

SUPERCARS PADDOCK

TV COMPOUND

MEDIA CENTRE

HELIPAD PONTOON

FREE PUBLIC BUS

FREE PUBLIC SHUTTLE

FREE PUBLIC SHUTTLE STOP

OFFICIALS ACCREDITATION

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TICKET GATES

ACCREDITATION SERVICES

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MERCHANDISE

OFFICIAL MERCH STALL

PROGRAMS SOLD HERE

BIG SCREEN

INFORMATION SERVICES

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PARKING

BAR

FOOD & BEVERAGE

FIRST AID

ACCESSIBLE TOILET

TOILET

BEAUREPAIRES SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK 19 – 21 NOVEMBER 2021

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ROOF TOP

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CARPARK A FREE PARKING VIA GATE 4

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SUPPORT CATEGORY PADDOCK

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SUPP ORT CA PADD TEGORY OCK

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ACCREDITED & CORPORATE PARKING

PARKING

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FERRER S ROAD

VIP

SYDNEY.COM CORNER T1

FERRERS ROAD

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T7 REPCO CORNER

T11

TRACKSIDE PARKING

*This map Is indicative only. Not to scale. Correct at time of printing. Please note - Super screen locations are subject to change.

T6

T9

GB

BP ULTIMATE CORNER T10

PETER BROCK DRIVE


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EVENT PREVIEW ROUND 11

BEAUREPAIRES SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT

The Repco Supercars Championship’s Sydney swing concludes with the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, with the Beaurepaires Sydney Cup on the line in the last outing before the Repco Bathurst 1000.

T

here’s plenty at stake at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, the fourth and final event at Sydney Motorsport Park in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship. The battle for positions in the Repco Supercars Championship standings will be the focus in the penultimate event of the season. It’s also the last shootout for teams and drivers before the Great Race grand finale, the Repco Bathurst 1000. And, also, the Beaurepaires Sydney Cup and a cash prize of $25,000 will be awarded to the driver who has scored the most points from the four Sydney Motorsport Park events. In contrast to the three previous Sydney events, the Beaurepaires

Sydney SuperNight features two 250km races, as opposed to the three 125km races, with the first race on Saturday night and the second on Sunday afternoon. It will be just the third event in 2021 to feature two refuelling races, following the season-opening Repco Mt. Panorama 500 and NTI Townsville 500. There will be seven sets of hard tyres and two sets of the super soft tyres available, though the super soft tyres can only be used in the two races. The longer races will be a handy practice for teams and drivers ahead of the Repco Bathurst 1000, with the endurance co-drivers who are set to feature at the Mount Panorama Circuit getting a 40-minute practice

session at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight. Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Shane van Gisbergen has been the driver to beat in 2021, cruising to what will be his second Supercars championship crown with teammate Jamie Whincup in his final full-time season before he steps out of the driving seat to become team manager at Triple Eight Race Engineering. The closest contenders to the Triple Eight Race Engineering duo are Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters, Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert and Dick Johnson Racing’s Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale. Waters leads the Ford team alongside James Courtney and Jack Le Brocq, with the latter in his final REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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events with the team before moving to Matt Stone Racing in 2022. Mostert scored his first win with Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2021, alongside former Dunlop Super2 Series champion Bryce Fullwood who moves to Brad Jones Racing next season. Reigning champions Dick Johnson Racing reset following the departure of three-time champion Scott McLaughlin and Team Penske, with Davison one of the most consistent performers of the season and teammate Anton De Pasquale scoring race wins for his new team. Other contenders include Team 18’s Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye, with the Holden team stepping up to become regular top-10 runners. Kelly Grove Racing fields André Heimgartner and either Matt Campbell or Luke Youlden (to be confirmed at the

time of printing). Heimgartner claimed his first win in Supercars this season, though he will leave the team to join Brad Jones Racing in 2022. Nick Percat leads Brad Jones Racing before departing at the end of the season for Walkinshaw Andretti United, and is another contender for the four-car team that also includes Todd Hazelwood (heading to Matt Stone Racing in 2022), Jack Smith and Macauley Jones. Erebus Motorsport fielded an all-rookie line-up this season with Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki being promoted from endurance co-driver roles to the full-time drives. Both youngsters have impressed with podiums in their rookie campaigns. Matt Stone Racing also entered two rookies this season with Jake Kostecki (cousin to Brodie and heading

to Tickford Racing in 2022) and Zane Goddard stepping up into full-time roles after sharing a drive last season. Team Sydney featured an all-new line-up of Fabian Coulthard and Garry Jacobson, while Tim Slade heads the Blanchard Racing Team in its first season as a standalone entry. Scan the QR code for the latest news and information on the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight.

The Beaurepaires Sydney Cup will be awarded to the driver with the most points across the four events at Sydney Motorsport Park.

P10

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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FEEL THE EDGE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE Grand Canyon, Blue Mountains

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP ENTRIES #

Driver

Team Sponsor Name

Car

2

Bryce Fullwood

Mobil 1™ Middy’s Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

3

Tim Slade

CoolDrive Racing

Ford Mustang

4

Jack Smith

SCT Logistics

Holden ZB Commodore

5

Jack Le Brocq

Truck Assist Racing

Ford Mustang

6

Cameron Waters

Monster Energy Racing

Ford Mustang

7

André Heimgartner

NED Whisky Racing

Ford Mustang

8

Nick Percat

R&J Batteries

Holden ZB Commodore

9

Will Brown

Erebus Motorsport

Holden ZB Commodore

11

Anton De Pasquale

Shell V-Power Racing Team

Ford Mustang

14

Todd Hazelwood

Brad Jones Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

17

Will Davison

Shell V-Power Racing Team

Ford Mustang

18

Mark Winterbottom

IRWIN Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

19

Fabian Coulthard

Local Legends

Holden ZB Commodore

20

Scott Pye

DEWALT Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

22

Garry Jacobson

PremiAir Hire

Holden ZB Commodore

25

Chaz Mostert

Mobil 1™ Appliances Online Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

26

M. Campbell/L. Youlden

Penrite Racing

Ford Mustang

34

Jake Kostecki

UNIT Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

35

Zane Goddard

Yellow Cover Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

44

James Courtney

Boost Mobile Racing

Ford Mustang

88

Jamie Whincup

Red Bull Ampol Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

96

Macauley Jones

Coca-Cola Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

97

Shane van Gisbergen

Red Bull Ampol Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

99

Brodie Kostecki

Erebus Boost Mobile Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

Entries correct at the time of printing. Visit Supercars.com for the latest news and entries. REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

P13 Entry List.indd 13

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P14 Dunlop.indd 14

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1/11/2021 3:14:30 PM


17

WILL DAVISON

ENTRY SHELL V-POWER RACING TEAM CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH August 30, 1982 FROM Melbourne, Victoria LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Wife, Riana CHILDREN None HEIGHT 180cm WEIGHT 76kg ENGINEER Richard Harris

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2004 Winton Motor Raceway

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 2nd (2009) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 24th

SUPERCARS TEAMS Team Dynamik (2004), Dick Johnson Racing (2005-08, 2021), Holden Racing Team (2009-10), Ford Performance Racing/Tickford Racing (2011-13, 2020), Erebus Motorsport (2014-15), Tekno Autosports (201617), 23 Red Racing (2018-20)

BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 1st (2009, ’16) 2020 BATHURST 1000 2nd

RETURN TO THE TEAM: Davison lost his full-time drive with the departure of 23 Red Racing in 2020. After an impressive stint as endurance co-driver with Tickford Racing, Davison is back on a full-time basis at Dick Johnson Racing. It’s a return to a team he drove for between 2005 and 2008, taking his first Supercars victory in 2008.

11

ANTON DE PASQUALE

ENTRY SHELL V-POWER RACING TEAM CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH September 14, 1995 FROM Melbourne, Victoria LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 178cm WEIGHT 74kg ENGINEER Ludo Lacroix

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 8th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 8th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2018 Adelaide Street Circuit SUPERCARS TEAMS Erebus Motorsport (2018-20), Dick Johnson Racing (2021)

BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 9th (2020) 2020 BATHURST 1000 9th

STEPPING UP: After three seasons with Erebus Motorsport, De Pasquale moved to the championship-winning team now known as Dick Johnson Racing in 2021. The rising star has the chance to show his full potential after improving results in recent seasons, with a first Supercars win in 2020 followed by victories for his new team in 2021.

88

JAMIE WHINCUP

ENTRY RED BULL AMPOL RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH February 6, 1983 FROM Melbourne, Victoria LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Partner CHILDREN None HEIGHT 178cm WEIGHT 75kg ENGINEER Wes McDougall

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 1st (2008, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’17) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 4th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 1st (2006, ’07, ’08, ’12) 2020 BATHURST 1000 DNF

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2002 Queensland Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Garry Rogers Motorsport (2002-03), Perkins Engineering (2004), Tasman Motorsport (2005), Triple Eight Race Engineering (2006-21)

THE LAST DANCE: The seven-time champion will retire from full-time driving to take on the role of team manager at Triple Eight Race Engineering at the end of 2021. It marks the end of the road of a record-breaking career, including seven drivers' championship wins and four Bathurst 1000 victories, with this his final solo Supercars event.

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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97

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN

ENTRY RED BULL AMPOL RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH May 9, 1989 FROM Auckland, New Zealand LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 188cm WEIGHT 95kg ENGINEER David Cauchi

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 1st (2016) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 3rd BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 1st (2020) 2020 BATHURST 1000 1st

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2007 Oran Park Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Team Kiwi Racing (2007), Stone Brothers Racing (2008-12), Tekno Autosports (2013-15), Triple Eight Race Engineering (2016-21)

THE DRIVER TO BEAT: Van Gisbergen added a Bathurst 1000 win to his impressive resume last season. He carried that form into 2021 and became the driver to beat with a string of consecutive wins, setting up his championship campaign. The New Zealander will defend his Bathurst 1000 title with Garth Tander once again his co-driver.

6

CAMERON WATERS

ENTRY MONSTER ENERGY RACING CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH August 3, 1994 FROM Mildura, Victoria LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Partner, Brooke CHILDREN None HEIGHT 180cm WEIGHT 77kg ENGINEER Nathaniel Osborne

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 2nd (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 2nd BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 2nd (2020) 2020 BATHURST 1000 2nd

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2011 Mount Panorama Circuit SUPERCARS TEAMS Kelly Racing (2011-12), Charlie Schwerkolt Racing/Team 18 (2014), Prodrive Racing Australia/Tickford Racing (2015-21)

TICKFORD LEADER: Waters was the form driver at the end of last season with a first solo Supercars win at The Bend Motorsport Park and a charging drive to pole position and second place in the race at Bathurst. He is now the undisputed team leader at Tickford Racing, in his sixth full-time season with the team, having recently signed a new multi-year deal.

44

JAMES COURTNEY

ENTRY BOOST MOBILE RACING CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH June 29, 1980 FROM Penrith, New South Wales LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Single CHILDREN Zara and Cadel HEIGHT 181cm WEIGHT 71kg ENGINEER Brad Wischusen

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 1st (2010) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 13th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 2nd (2007) 2020 BATHURST 1000 10th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2005 Sandown Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Racing/Walkinshaw Andretti United (2005, 2011-19), Stone Brothers Racing (2006-08), Dick Johnson Racing (2009-10), Team Sydney (2020), Tickford Racing (2020-21)

BACK FOR A FULL SEASON: Courtney joined Tickford Racing after leaving Team Sydney after one round in 2020. He hit the ground running with his new team, scoring a podium in his third round in the Ford Mustang, and will be looking to build on those results in 2021. Courtney is the most experienced driver in the team and signed a new multi-year deal to remain there.

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REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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5

JACK LE BROCQ

ENTRY TRUCK ASSIST RACING CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH July 7, 1992 FROM Melbourne, Victoria LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Partner, Mackenzie CHILDREN None HEIGHT 186cm WEIGHT 85kg ENGINEER Sam Scaffidi

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 15th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 15th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 4th (2016) 2020 BATHURST 1000 14th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2015 Sandown Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Erebus Motorsport (2015), Prodrive Racing Australia/Tickford Racing (2016, 2020-21), MW Motorsport (2017), Nissan Motorsport (2017), Tekno Autosports (2018-19)

BUILDING ON FIRST WIN: Le Brocq broke through for his first Supercars win at Sydney Motorsport Park last season, in his first full-time season with Tickford Racing. This season he has the chance to build on that win and break into the top 10 on a more regular basis, before a move to Matt Stone Racing in 2022.

3

TIM SLADE

ENTRY COOLDRIVE RACING CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH August 3, 1985 FROM Hornsby, New South Wales LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Partner, Dani CHILDREN Jordan HEIGHT 172cm WEIGHT 65kg ENGINEER Mirko De Rosa

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 5th (2012) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 30th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 5th (2020) 2020 BATHURST 1000 5th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2009 Adelaide Street Circuit SUPERCARS TEAMS Paul Morris Motorsport (2009), Stone Brothers Racing/Erebus Motorsport (2010-13), Walkinshaw Racing (2014-15), Brad Jones Racing (201619), DJR Team Penske (2020), Blanchard Racing Team (2021)

SOLO ENTRANT: Slade returned to a full-time drive to lead the new Blanchard Racing Team in 2021. He made an immediate impression with a front-row start at Bathurst, only to crash out heavily in the late stages of the race. Slade claimed his two wins in Supercars for Brad Jones Racing in 2016, looking to return to the season-opening Bathurst form with a recent run of top 10s.

9

WILL BROWN

ENTRY EREBUS MOTORSPORT CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH June 5, 1998 FROM Toowoomba, Queensland LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 171cm WEIGHT 64kg ENGINEER Tom Moore

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 40th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 40th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 15th (2020) 2020 BATHURST 1000 15th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2018 Sandown Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Erebus Motorsport (2018-21)

FULL-TIME PROMOTION: After three seasons as an endurance co-driver, Brown got a full-time drive with Erebus Motorsport in 2021. He stepped into the #9 entry he drove alongside David Reynolds at Bathurst last season. Brown has impressed in his rookie season, getting onto the podium and making it into the top 10 on a consistent basis in recent events. REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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99

BRODIE KOSTECKI

ENTRY EREBUS BOOST MOBILE RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH November 1, 1997 FROM Perth, Western Australia LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 189cm WEIGHT 96kg ENGINEER George Commins

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 34th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 34th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 9th (2020) 2020 BATHURST 1000 9th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2019 Mount Panorama Circuit SUPERCARS TEAMS Kostecki Brothers Racing (2019), Erebus Motorsport (2020-21)

ONE TO WATCH: Kostecki impressed many with his attacking drive in the 2020 Bathurst 1000 and followed teammate Will Brown into a full-time position with Erebus Motorsport this season. He continued to make a name for himself with another strong outing at Bathurst, where he qualified for a top-10 Shootout, and a storming drive in the rain at Sandown that netted a second place.

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MARK WINTERBOTTOM

ENTRY IRWIN RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH May 20, 1981 FROM Sydney, New South Wales LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Wife, Renee CHILDREN Oliver, Austin and Elliot HEIGHT 185cm WEIGHT 75kg ENGINEER Manuel Sanchez

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 1st (2015) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 10th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 1st (2013) 2020 BATHURST 1000 8th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2003 Sandown Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Stone Brothers Racing (2003), Larkham Motorsport (2004-05), Ford Performance Racing/Prodrive Racing Australia/Tickford Racing (2006-18), Team 18 (2019-21)

VETERAN LEADER: Team 18 took a big step forward in 2020 with its expansion to two cars, getting onto the podium and with both drivers in the top 10 in the championship standings. Winterbottom has been a key part of that improvement in his third year with the team, turning it into a regular in the top 10.

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SCOTT PYE

ENTRY DEWALT RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH January 8, 1990 FROM Adelaide, South Australia LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Partner, Shannen CHILDREN None HEIGHT 183cm WEIGHT 80kg ENGINEER Phil Keed

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 7th (2018) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 9th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 2nd (2017, ’18) 2020 BATHURST 1000 6th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2012 Sandown Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (201213), Dick Johnson Racing/DJR Team Penske (2014-16), Walkinshaw Racing/Walkinshaw Andretti United (2017-19), Team 18 (2020-21)

SETTLED IN AT TEAM 18: Pye joined his fourth team in Supercars in the second entry at Team 18 and scored three podiums in 2020. The continuity at Team 18 and strengthening of the engineering line-up makes this a team to watch going forward. Both drivers are looking to cement their place in the top 10 once again.

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REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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CHAZ MOSTERT

ENTRY MOBIL 1™ APPLIANCES ONLINE RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH April 10, 1992 FROM Melbourne, Victoria LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Partner, Riarne CHILDREN None HEIGHT 190cm WEIGHT 85kg ENGINEER Adam De Borre

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 5th (2017, ‘19, ‘20) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 5th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2013 Barbagallo Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Dick Johnson Racing (2013), Ford Performance Racing/Prodrive Racing Australia/Tickford Racing (201419), Walkinshaw Andretti United (2020-21)

BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 1st (2014) 2020 BATHURST 1000 3rd

UPWARD TRAJECTORY: Mostert hit the ground running in his first season with Walkinshaw Andretti United, scoring five podiums and fifth in the championship. With continuity in the team and the arrival of Grant McPherson, Mostert scored his first win in a Holden Commodore in Tasmania and emerged as a genuine championship challenger.

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BRYCE FULLWOOD

ENTRY MOBIL 1™ MIDDY’S RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH May 11, 1998 FROM Darwin, Northern Territory LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 182cm WEIGHT 70kg ENGINEER Terry Kerr

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2018 Sandown Raceway

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 18th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 18th

SUPERCARS TEAMS Matt Stone Racing (2018), Kelly Racing (2019), Walkinshaw Andretti United (2020-21)

BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 20th (2018) 2020 BATHURST 1000 DNF

SOPHOMORE SEASON: Fullwood scored a podium in his full-time rookie season with Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2020, getting closer to teammate Chaz Mostert as the season went on. The challenge for Fullwood is to challenge Mostert on a more regular basis in what’s been another learning campaign. He will move to Brad Jones Racing in 2022.

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NICK PERCAT

ENTRY R&J BATTERIES CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH September 14, 1988 FROM Adelaide, South Australia LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 189cm WEIGHT 72kg ENGINEER Andrew Edwards

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 7th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 7th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 1st (2011) 2020 BATHURST 1000 18th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2010 Phillip Island GP Circuit SUPERCARS TEAMS Walkinshaw Racing (2010), Holden Racing Team (2011-13), Walkinshaw Racing (2014), Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (2015-16), Brad Jones Racing (2017-21)

STRONG MOMENTUM: Percat scored two wins and a first pole position with Brad Jones Racing last season, confirming his position as the team leader with seventh in the championship. In his fifth season with the team before a move to Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2022, Percat will be aiming for further improvement with the hope of a more consistent campaign. REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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14

TODD HAZELWOOD

ENTRY BRAD JONES RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH September 25, 1995 FROM Adelaide, South Australia LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Partner, Alice CHILDREN None HEIGHT 173cm WEIGHT 72kg ENGINEER Tony Woodward

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 17th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 17th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 12th (2017) 2020 BATHURST 1000 DNF

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2017 Queensland Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Brad Jones Racing (2017, 2020-21), Matt Stone Racing (2017-19)

RETURNING TO HIS FORMER HOME: Hazelwood had his best season yet in his first year with Brad Jones Racing in 2020, scoring a first pole position and podium. After two seasons with Brad Jones Racing, Hazelwood will move back to the Matt Stone Racing team with which he made his full-time main-game debut with from next season.

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MACAULEY JONES

ENTRY COCA-COLA RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH October 8, 1994 FROM Albury, New South Wales LIVES Albury, New South Wales STATUS Partner CHILDREN None HEIGHT 175cm WEIGHT 70kg ENGINEER Tom Wettenhall

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 19th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 19th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 7th (2018) 2020 BATHURST 1000 13th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2015 Sandown Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Brad Jones Racing (2015-21)

SETTLING IN: Jones remains with the team owned by father Brad Jones despite the loss of the entry that underpinned his seat in recent seasons. With Tim Blanchard taking the entry to run a standalone team, Brad Jones Racing purchased a licence from Phil Munday (23 Red Racing) to retain a four-car presence with Jones aiming to match the pace of teammates Nick Percat and Todd Hazelwood.

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JACK SMITH

ENTRY SCT LOGISTICS CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH July 9, 1999 FROM Gold Coast, Queensland LIVES Yarrawonga, Victoria STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 185cm WEIGHT 70kg ENGINEER Paul Forgie

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 22nd (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 22nd BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT DNF 2020 BATHURST 1000 DNF

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2019 Symmons Plains Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Brad Jones Racing (2019-21), Matt Stone Racing (2019)

SECOND-SEASON GROWTH: Smith recovered from a challenging start to his rookie season to post some solid results. His second season will be about establishing himself within the championship with the benchmark of Nick Percat, Todd Hazelwood and Macauley Jones alongside. With one top-15 finish in 2020, he will be aiming to crack the top 10 and climb higher into the midfield.

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7

ANDRÉ HEIMGARTNER

ENTRY NED WHISKY RACING CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH June 8, 1995 FROM Auckland, New Zealand LIVES Melbourne, Victoria STATUS Partner CHILDREN None HEIGHT 185cm WEIGHT 80kg ENGINEER Dilan Talabani

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2014 Mount Panorama Circuit

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 14th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 14th

SUPERCARS TEAMS Super Black Racing (2014-15), Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (2016), Brad Jones Racing (2017), Nissan Motorsport/Kelly Racing/Kelly Grove Racing (2018-21)

BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 9th (2017) 2020 BATHURST 1000 11th

RECENT NEW WINNER: With Rick Kelly’s full-time retirement, Heimgartner assumed the role of the longest-serving driver of the team now known as Kelly Grove Racing. He broke through for a first win in Supercars at The Bend Motorsport Park, in the team’s second season running Ford Mustangs and with new investment from the Grove Group, before a move to Brad Jones Racing in 2022.

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M. CAMPBELL/L. YOULDEN

ENTRY PENRITE RACING CAR FORD MUSTANG DATE OF BIRTH February 17, 1995 FROM Warwick, Queensland LIVES Stuttgart, Germany STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 184cm WEIGHT 62kg ENGINEER Alistair McVean

DATE OF BIRTH January 28, 1978 FROM Melbourne, Victoria LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Partner, Stacey CHILDREN Tahlia, Angelina HEIGHT 182cm WEIGHT 78kg ENGINEER Alistair McVean

TO BE CONFIRMED: Kelly Grove Racing will field either Matt Campbell or Luke Youlden in the #26 entry. Campbell and Youlden are the endurance co-drivers for Kelly Grove Racing for the Repco Bathurst 1000, gaining some extra mileage in the Ford Mustang ahead of the Great Race at Mount Panorama. See Supercars.com for confirmation of the entry.

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FABIAN COULTHARD

ENTRY LOCAL LEGENDS CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH July 28, 1982 FROM Auckland, New Zealand LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Fiance, Becky CHILDREN Mackenzie and Carter HEIGHT 188cm WEIGHT 80kg ENGINEER Geoffrey Slater

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 3rd (2017) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 6th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 3rd (2017) 2020 BATHURST 1000 4th

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2004 Oran Park Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Tasman Motorsport (2004-05), Paul Morris Motorsports (2006-07), Paul Cruickshank Racing (2008-09), Walkinshaw Racing (2010-11), Brad Jones Racing (2012-15), DJR Team Penske (2016-20), Team Sydney (2021)

NEW TEAM LEADER ROLE: Coulthard moved to Team Sydney following a five-year stint at DJR Team Penske. The switch allowed Coulthard the chance to lead a team that has been bolstered by the appointment of Bathurst-winning engineer Geoffrey Slater as team manager. Coulthard’s experience will be an important asset to a team looking to get back up the grid. REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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22

GARRY JACOBSON

ENTRY PREMIAIR HIRE CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH February 28, 1992 FROM Shepparton, Victoria LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Fiance, Naomi CHILDREN None HEIGHT 185cm WEIGHT 67kg ENGINEER Tim Newton

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 21st (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 21st BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT 8th (2017) 2020 BATHURST 1000 DNF

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2017 Sandown Raceway SUPERCARS TEAMS Prodrive Racing Australia (2017), Nissan Motorsport/Kelly Racing (2018-19), Matt Stone Racing (2020), Team Sydney (2021)

NEW TEAM: Jacobson entered his third full-time season with a third different team in 2021. He switched from Matt Stone Racing to Team Sydney, having shown flashes of speed in his time in the main game. The opportunity to work alongside the experienced Fabian Coulthard could be a real asset to Jacobson, who despite his inexperience was team leader at Matt Stone Racing last season.

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JAKE KOSTECKI

ENTRY UNIT RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH January 24, 2000 FROM Perth, Western Australia LIVES Brisbane, Queensland STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 184cm WEIGHT 70kg ENGINEER Chris Stuckey

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 27th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 27th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT DNF 2020 BATHURST 1000 DNF

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2019 Mount Panorama Circuit SUPERCARS TEAMS Kostecki Brothers Racing (2019), Matt Stone Racing (2020-21)

FULL-TIME STEP UP: Kostecki got a full season with Matt Stone Racing after sharing driving duties in the #34 entry in 2020. Kostecki will line-up against cousin Brodie Kostecki, also in his first full-time season at Erebus Motorsport. He switches teams and cars next season and will race a Ford Mustang at Tickford Racing in 2022.

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ZANE GODDARD

ENTRY YELLOW COVER RACING CAR HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE DATE OF BIRTH October 13, 1999 FROM Gold Coast, Queensland LIVES Gold Coast, Queensland STATUS Single CHILDREN None HEIGHT 178cm WEIGHT 64kg ENGINEER Jack Bellotti

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP RESULT 25th (2020) 2020 CHAMPIONSHIP 25th BEST BATHURST 1000 RESULT DNF 2020 BATHURST 1000 DNF

SUPERCARS DEBUT 2020 Adelaide Street Circuit SUPERCARS TEAMS Matt Stone Racing (2020-21)

MOVING INTO HIS OWN CAR: Goddard moved across the Matt Stone Racing garage into his own entry this season, after making his Supercars debut in a shared entry with the team in 2020. He now has the chance to continue his rise with a direct comparison up against teammate Jake Kostecki this season, in what will be his final season with the team.

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REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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CIRCUIT GUIDE S

ydney Motorsport Park opened as Eastern Creek Raceway in 1990 and first hosted the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1992, going on to stage various night events and championship deciders. A significant redevelopment and name change took place over the course of 2011 and 2012, with the recent addition of permanent light towers and fittings making it the premier night-racing facility in Australia. The Repco Supercars Championship will race on the 3.93-kilometre Gardner GP Circuit configuration, named in honour of world motorcycle champion

and touring-car driver Wayne Gardner. The circuit has a mix of high and low-speed corners and one of the longest straights on the Supercars schedule. Turn 1 is one of the fastest and most challenging opening corners in Australia, with the quick left-hander leading into the best overtaking opportunity into the Turn 2 hairpin. Turn 3 is an uphill right-hander before the downhill descent into Turn 4. Turns 5 to 7 are technical left-handers which lead into the tight Turn 8, which is another overtaking opportunity. The lap ends with the fast kinks of Turns 9 and 10 on the approach to the final corner, Turn 11, where exit speed

is vital given the length of the pit straight. The anti-clockwise layout produces an average speed of 154km/h and a top speed of 265km/h. Scan the QR code to watch key moments from Supercars events at Sydney Motorsport Park.

TRACK: Sydney Motorsport Park (Sydney, New South Wales) LENGTH: 3.9km DIRECTION: Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 154km/h TOP SPEED: 265km/h

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SUPPORT CATEGORIES DUNLOP SUPER2 & SUPER3

The Dunlop Super2 and Super3 Series combined once again in 2021, creating a bumper field of young talent eager to impress and one day make their way into the main game. With 2020 race winners Thomas Randle, Brodie Kostecki and Will Brown turning their attention to their main-game programs, there’s the opportunity for a new generation of youngsters to fight for the title. The championship battle resumes at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, following three rounds held so far in 2021 at Bathurst and two in Townsville, and ahead of the season finale back at the Mount Panorama Circuit. Triple Eight Race Engineering fields Broc Feeney and Angelo Mouzouris in a pair of Holden VF Commodores, with Feeney leading the championship by 51 points. Feeney steps up into the main game in place of seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup in 2022, following his wildcard appearance for the team in the Repco Bathurst 1000. Tickford Racing enters a single Ford FG X Falcon for Zak Best, who received a late call-up to drive for the team in the Repco Bathurst 1000 and sits in second place in the Dunlop Super2 Series standings. MW Motorsport runs Nissan Altimas for Tyler Everingham, Josh Fife,

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Declan Fraser and Jayden Ojeda, after championship wins with the Altima with Bryce Fullwood and Randle in 2019 and 2020 respectively, with Ojeda within striking distance of the championship leader in third place in the standings. Eggleston Motorsport has been a regular in the

second-tier category running Holden VF Commodores, with Matt McLean its regular driver, joined in Sydney by Supercars team boss and co-driver Tim Blanchard. Other entries to watch include Matt Chahda in another Falcon FG X, Image Racing’s Jordan Boys and Jaylyn Robotham and

third-generation racer Aaron Seton in a Matt Stone Racing VF Commodore. The Ford FG Falcon is the leading car amongst the Super3 entries, with Nash Morris (son of Bathurst 1000 winner Paul Morris), Reef McCarthy, Michael Anderson and Jason Gomersall the leading contenders.

DUNLOP SUPER2/SUPER3 ENTRY LIST # 2 4 6 7 8 10 11 17 18 23 24 25 27 28 30 31 39 49 54 61 67 69 77 78 88 96 219 777 888 999

Driver Steven Page Tony Auddino Angelo Mouzouris Jim Pollicina Elly Morrow Matthew Payne Zane Morse Jason Foley Matt Chahda Ray Hislop David Murphy Paul Boschert Tyler Everingham Josh Fife Aaron Seton Jayden Ojeda Chris Smerdon Jordan Boys Matt McLean Reef McCarthy Nash Morris Jon McCorkindale Blake Fardell Zakkery Best Tim Blanchard Gary Collins James Masterton Declan Fraser Broc Feeney Jaylyn Robotham

Team Sponsor Name Pages Bros Jayco Crusher Parts International Triple Eight Race Engineering Mocomm Motorsports Communications Brad Jones Racing Grove Motorsport Brema Group Racing Resurrection Panel N Paint Falcon Spares & Repairs RHM North West Recycling Weldcraft Motorsport Blue Ribbon Legal / MWM Natural Gas & Water / MWM Matt Stone Racing Jayco / MWM Vectra Corp Joss Group / Image Racing Eggleston Motorsport Australia Image Racing Flash Bush Motorsport Dial Before You Dig MR HDT Race Cars Best Leisure Sheds Eggleston Motorsport Australia Collins Racing Masterton Motorsports Red Hot Couriers / MWM Triple Eight Race Engineering Rare Spares / Image Racing

Car Holden VE Commodore Ford BF Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VE Commodore Holden VE II Commodore Nissan Altima Holden VF Commodore Ford BF Falcon Ford FG X Falcon Ford FG Falcon Ford FG Falcon Holden VE Commodore Nissan Altima Nissan Altima Holden VF Commodore Nissan Altima Ford FG Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore Ford FG Falcon Ford FG Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VE II Commodore Ford FG X Falcon Holden VF Commodore Holden VE II Commodore Holden VF Commodore Nissan Altima Holden VF Commodore Holden VF Commodore

Class DS3 DS3 DS2 DS3 DS3 DS2 DS2 DS3 DS2 DS3 DS3 DS3 DS2 DS2 DS2 DS2 DS3 DS2 DS2 DS3 DS3 DS2 DS3 DS2 DS2 DS3 DS3 DS2 DS2 DS2

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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VHT S5000 TASMAN SERIES

The VHT S5000 category represents a new generation of Australian open-wheel racing, encompassing the Australian Drivers’ Championship and Motorsport Australia Gold Star. The category launched in 2019 with the goal of bringing high-powered open-wheelers back to the forefront of Australian motorsport. S5000 is the modern successor to the legendary Formula 5000 category, which captured the hearts and minds of Australian motor-racing fans throughout the 1970s.

The number ‘5000’ is a reference to the 5.2-litre (5200cc) Ford Coyote V8 engine, which produce 560bhp and speeds of up to 300km/h. The S5000 chassis is based on a FIA-compliant Formula 3 chassis, manufactured by French company Onroak-Ligier. Holinger supplies the six-speed gearbox and transaxle, while Borland Racing Developments supplies the suspension and wing package with Garry Rogers Motorsport responsible for the assembly and preparation. The S5000’s appearance at Sydney Motorsport

Park marks the start of the new-look S5000 Tasman Series, the rebirth of the iconic Tasman Series staged between 1964 and 1975 which saw the likes of Bruce McLaren, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart and Chris Amon compete at Australian and New Zealand circuits over the course of the southern hemisphere summer. The same Tasman Cup presented to those legends will be awarded to the winner of the 2021 series, with the full blessing of custodians Motorsport Australia and Motorsport New Zealand. The 2021 VHT S5000 season saw Joey Mawson

win the title with Supercars driver Thomas Randle, Tim Macrow, James Golding and Nathan Herne the other championship contenders. The grid features a mix of Supercars endurance co-drivers, open-wheel specialists and rising stars. Scan the QR code for the VHT S5000 Tasman Series entry list.

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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TOYOTA GAZOO RACING AUSTRALIA

a valuable addition to Australian motorsport. All competitors drive a Toyota 86 that has been modified with a high-performance yet affordable race package that can have them on track for approximately $75,000, including the cost of the original road car. Developed by Neal Bates Motorsport, the race package includes upgraded brakes, suspension, exhaust and engine components. Control Dunlop tyres are fitted along with a roll-cage

and race seat. The 2021 season started at the Mount Panorama Circuit in February with Cameron Crick dominating the event with three wins from the three races. Zach Bates, Kai Allen, Bradley Vaughan, James Holdsworth and Lachlan Gibbons are amongst Crick’s closest competitors, with third-generation racer Clay Richards (grandson of Jim Richards and son of Steven Richards) another driver to watch. These youngsters

can test themselves against guest drivers in the Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia entries, which change at each round. Scan the QR code for the Toyota Gazoo Australia 86 Series entry list.

NATIONAL TRANS AM SERIES

common chassis and components across all makes, the Trans Am formula offers big performance and close racing with a strong grid combining talented youngsters and amateur racers. Aaron Seton and Nathan Herne have led the way in 2021, with Seton winning the round at Bathurst in April, though he will now switch his focus to his Dunlop Super2 Series campaign. Other contenders

include Edan Thornburrow, Tim Brook and Hugh McAlister. Seton wasn't the only familiar surname in the Trans Am ranks. As the grandson of Barry Seton and son to Glenn Seton, he is also not the only third-generation racer. Jett Johnson, son of Steven Johnson and grandson to Dick Johnson, entered Trans Am events in 2021. Nash Morris, son of Paul Morris, is also a regular in

Trans Am, while Dalton Ellery, son of Steve Ellery, also made a recent debut in the category. Scan the QR code for the National Trans Am Series entry list.

The Toyota Gazoo Australia 86 Series is now well established in Australia, starting out in 2016. The series pits youngsters eager to establish themselves in motorsport alongside seasoned professionals, with its inaugural champion Will Brown now a full-time driver in Supercars. With the goal of helping youngsters transition from go-karts and Formula Fords into tin-tops, it has become

Trans Am racing is booming in popularity in Australia, returning to the track at Sydney Motorsport Park. Trans Am racing was pioneered in the USA back in the 1960s. The current evolution of the series caters for modern V8-powered, rear-wheel drive muscle cars such as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Using a cost-effective

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National Sporting Authority Promoter Organiser Organising Committee

Motorsport Australia Supercars Australia Pty Ltd Supercars Australia Pty Ltd Phil Shaw, Matt Gegg, Michael Hancock, Steve Preece, Hannah Holloway, Kimberly Hughes

SUPERCARS OFFICIALS VCS Stewards Matt Selley, Steve Lisk, John Leahy VCS Race Director Tim Schenken VCS Deputy Race Director James Taylor DS2 Race Director James Taylor Clerk of the Course Steve Preece Secretary of the Event Hannah Holloway Medical Delegate Dr Carl Le Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess DS2 Category Technical Manager Tony Bowker Starter Paul Martin Driving Standards Advisor Craig Baird Race Control Operations James Delzoppo Timing Co-ordinator Ian Leech Recovery Co-ordinator Alistair Walker Safety Car Driver Jason Routley Safety Car Communicator Jacqueline Devereaux Media Manager Paul Glover Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series Race Director David Stuart Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series Deputy Race Director Jessica Nicholson Toyota Gazoo Racing Australia 86 Series Technical Delegate Peter Kemp S5000 Tasman Series Race Director David Stuart S5000 Tasman Series Technical Delegate Frank Adamson National Trans Am Series Race Director Simon McMahon National Trans Am Series Technical Delegate Scott McGrath Deputy Secretary of the Event Kimberly Hughes Deputy Clerk of the Course Michael Hancock

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Assistant Clerk of the Course Support Category Stewards Emergency Coordinator Chief Communicator Communicator Chief Timekeeper Course Car Marshal Support Safety Car Driver Support Safety Car Observer Chief Starter Assistant Starter Chief Scrutineer Deputy Chief Scrutineer Chief Marshal Chief Flag Marshal Deputy Chief Flag Marshal Chief of Recovery Deputy Chief of Recovery Chief Fire Marshal Deputy Chief Fire Marshal Chief Pit Lane & Grid Marshal Chief Paddock Marshal Sector Marshals

Gary Peterson, Karin Ross, Evan Jones Trisha Davidson, Matt Halpin Kaye Callendar Peter Durkin Joanne Hodge, Phil Revill Alex Harkness Paul Howlett Peter Dane Jacqueline Devereaux Derek Taylor Matthew McNicol Robert Panetta Bob Hockley Mark Moore George Chrobak Andrew Beattie Brad Moras Greg Muller Nathan Clarke Judy Paroci Michelle Luke Kathy Cassidy Cheree Beattie James Cook Derek Fleming David Garland Jayson Jenkins Stephen King Keith S. Kelly Scott Long Ray Morris Stephen Navaratnam Damien Sheehan Rick Subotic Tony Thorne

REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP

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Shane Borg Terry Abbott Tony Agius Layla Akter Luke Amundsen Dave Anderson Carla Andrews Carol Armstrong John Arnold Kayleen Arnold Jobin Baby Ted Bajraszewski Graham Banks Jackie Barron Neil Barron Warren Bartlett Peter Bass Deanne Batger Allan Baxter Paul Beard Andrew Beattie Cheree Beattie Kevin Beilby Aaron Bennett Loren Bennett Ian Bigg Alan Bishop Craig Black Adrian Bond Jacob Boots John Boyd Jason Briggs Mitchell Brunton Daniel Buljubasic Lisa Bullock Ken Burrows Sharon Burrows Doreen Butchers Robert Butler Kaye Callander Johnene Camilleri Graeme Carden Terry Carter Kathy Cassidy Mal Cave Tara Champion Calan Chick George Chrobak Daniel Clark Michelle Clark

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Adrian Clarke Michelle Clewett Rodney Clissold Leanne Colclough Ewan Cole Garry Coleman Terry Collits Glenn Conley James Cook Dale Copson Amanda Cotton-Young Mark Creek Brette Creighton Garry Crofts Kevin Crompton Graeme Crowden Mackenzie Cruz Chloe Currinckx Guido Currinckx Sam Dandashli Peter Dane Trisha Davidson Bruce Davies Luca Delvecchio Jacqueline Devereaux Chris Diamantopoulos Steven Dixon Daniel Dohnt Margaret Dongas Adrian Donohoe David Douglas Carol Drake John Drew Trent Dunk Matthew Dunstan Maureen Durkin Peter Durkin Kevin Elgood Sandy Ellis Kate Ellison Glenn Emerton Craig Emme Jack Everitt Robin Farrall Helen Ferris Jay Field

Alan Firth Tayla Flannery Derek Fleming Ross Forbes Dwight Foreman Ian Frith Scott Fuller John Garaty Cassidy Garland David Garland Michael Garton Peter Gibbons Thomas Gosewinkel Graeme Gregory Mitchell Griffin Leah Groves Jason Hall Lindsay Hall Michael Hall Tara Hall Matthew Halpin Michael Hancock George Harb George Hardas Alex Harkness Michael Harper Christie Hartley Christopher Hartley Rick Harvey David Healy Naveen Henry Bob Hockley Joanne Hodge william Hodge Adam Hodson Greg Holden Hannah Holloway Paul Howlett Kimberly Hughes Robert Hunt David Hunter Chris Ireland Jai Irvine Sandra James Jayson Jenkins Matthew Jobson Stan Jodeikin Anton Johnson Matt Johnston

Darren Jolly David Jones Evan Jones Patricia Jones Stephen Jones William Jones Manuel Kalach David Kay Christine Kazub Keith Kelly Keith S. Kelly Peter Kelly Peter Kemp Matthew Kenny Michelle Kentwell Rory Keyes Janet King Stephen King Tracy King Victoria King Mark Kirby Danijel Kovac Aaryan Kulkarni Zeke Kusnik Geoff Lanham Linda Lawrence Xeyruz Lazarou John Leahy Brad Lee David Lee Nick Leijer Keynes Lengkong Anthony Lewis Neville Ling Scott Long Karen Lord Leon Lovett Adam Luczak Michelle Luke Brian Madigan Belinda Manewell Geoff Mansfield Micheal Mansfield Tammy Mansfield David Martin Dianne Mawer Vivienne Mayer Marty McDonald

Peter McKinnon Steve McLeod Simon McMahon Matthew McNicol Garry Milburn Bec Miranda Betty Moana MIchelle Monteleone Mark Moore Brad Moras Debra Morell Ray Morris Richard Morris Andrew Mottershead Amanda Mount Gregory Muller Thomas Mumford Trent Murray Matthew Muscat Stephen Navaratnam Grace Nicholson Jess Nicholson Kirsten Nicola Simon Nicola Jason Nightingale Elaine Nikiforoff Nicholas Nikiforoff Chris Norman Christopher Norman Aleks Novakovic Mary Novakovic Julie Nyholm Michael O'Connor Domenico Oliveri Ellie Orme Rachel Osborne Damian Ostendorf Stephen Page Dwayne Palmer Ryan Palmer Robert Panetta Rex Parker Megan Parsons

Michael Parsons Sharon Paterson Richard Pawlenko Martin Peebles Chamidu Perera Alan Perry Glenn Petersen Gary Peterson Glenn Pincott Kathy Pincott Contessa Pizanias Jason Pollard Troy Pollard Sergio Potenziani Steve Preece Peter Preller Craig Price Nick Price Bob Priest David Purcell Phillip Revill Peter Richardson Malcolm Robar Isobel Roberts Sharnie Roberts Shaun Robertson Kirsty Robinson Matthew Robinson Duriel Robson Greg Rose Karin Ross Michael Rovere Lindsay Russell Leon Rust Suellen Ryan Greg Saunders Tim Schenken Andrew Schlein Jackie Schlein Suzie Schwebel David Seabrook Damian Sheehan Billy Shelton Mark Simmons Adam Simpson Murray Slana Miro Slavuljica Jane Smith

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HOLDEN IN MEMORIAM

IMAGES Autopics.com.au, Holden Motorsport, Justin Deeley, Peter Norton

From saddlery manufacturing in Adelaide in 1856, Holden grew into an Australian automotive giant. The news of its demise wasn’t unexpected, given its dwindling sales in recent years, but it was still felt acutely not only within Supercars but across Australia. This is the story of Holden’s journey in Australian touring cars, from the formative years to the present. IN THE BEGINNING

The Australian Touring Car Championship was born at Gnoo Blas in New South Wales in 1960. The race, the first to be run under Appendix J regulations, featured 44 cars, 23 of which were Holdens, the majority the 48-215 (FX). It set the tone for the future of the championship, with Holden not only a constant presence but often having the most cars on the grid. Six decades on, Holden still contributed more than half of the cars on the grid with 16 of 24 entries in 2020.

THE FIRST BATHURST 

The Armstrong 500 moved from Phillip Island to Bathurst in 1963, marking the beginning of what became Australia’s ‘Great Race’. Holden was present on the grid in an unofficial capacity with six EH S4s and an older model FB. The EH S4 of Ralph Sach and Fred Morgan finished in second place, one lap behind the winning Ford Cortina Mk.I GT of Bob Jane and Harry Firth.

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STORIES FROM THE RACING HOLDEN

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THE FIRST BATHURST WIN 

Ford gained the ascendancy in the early years of the Bathurst 500, with Harry Firth leading the Blue Oval’s factory-backed team. Holden answered the challenge from 1968, with the privately entered HK Monaro GTS327 of Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland prevailing over its more fancied opponents. Holden’s first Bathurst win was part of a podium sweep for the Monaro.

ARRIVAL OF THE HOLDEN DEALER TEAM

Holden committed to Australian touring cars with the creation of the Holden Dealer Team. But with Generals Motors not allowing its manufacturers to race in an official capacity, Holden garnered the support of its dealer network to overcome that limitation. Harry Firth moved from Ford to spearhead the new Holden team, which won the 1969 Bathurst 500 with Colin Bond and Tony Roberts in a HT Monaro GTS350.

THE FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP WIN 

Ford ruled the Australian Touring Car Championship when it switched from Appendix J to Improved Production, with the Mustang winning five consecutive titles. That run came to an end in 1970 with Norm Beechey winning the championship in the HT Monaro GTS350, Holden’s response to not only the Mustang but also Ford’s success with the locally-derived Falcon. The Monaro became a cult classic for Holden, with the two-door coupe the fitting winner of Holden’s first championship and first Bathurst.

THE ARRIVAL OF PETER BROCK

Holden entrants switched from the Monaro to the Torana in the 1970s, coinciding with the rise of the Holden Dealer Team and the arrival of Peter Brock. Brock scored a podium in his Bathurst debut in 1969 and three years later won the event singlehandedly in a dominant display in wet conditions in 1972. By the time he added a championship win in 1974, Brock had emerged as Holden’s number one.

AS TOLD BY V 8 X / S U P E R C A R X T R A M A G A Z I N E

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HOLDEN VERSUS FORD

The 1970s was a period of extraordinary growth for Australian touring cars, with the introduction of the locally-derived Group C rules and Bathurst’s change to 1000kms in 1973. At the foundation of that was the battle between Holden and Ford, the Torana and Falcon and Peter Brock and Allan Moffat. Holden and Ford traded championship and Bathurst wins. And while Ford’s support wavered in this period, the support of Holden’s dealer network kept the Holden Dealer Team going. Even when Brock moved away from the team to privateer entries, he and Holden kept winning.

THE TORANA YEARS

The Torana won four championships and five Bathurst 500/1000s during the 1970s. There were various iterations of the mid-sized car, from the LJ Torana GTR XU-1 driven by Peter Brock to victory at Bathurst in 1972 to the LX Torana A9X SS that Brock and Jim Richards drove to a six-lap win at Bathurst in 1979. The Torana was discontinued in 1979, at the end of a decade in which it helped Holden cement its market strength in Australia.

THE BIRTH OF THE COMMODORE

The Commodore replaced the Torana as Holden’s racer in 1980. The four-door sedan would prove a more equivalent combatant for Ford’s Falcon, leading to a new chapter for the Holden and Ford rivalry. The two brands still shared the majority of the market share, though the arrival of new makes and cars from overseas would change the landscape. The Commodore made a winning debut with Peter Brock claiming the championship and Bathurst double in 1980.

THE COMMODORE YEARS

Peter Brock was instrumental in the success of the Commodore, just as he was with the Torana. Brock won four Bathursts from five attempts with the Commodore between 1980 and 1984. The 1984 win was the most memorable with the famed VK Commodore, giving Holden a winning end to the Group C era.

THE UNDERDOG YEARS

The international-based Group A rules that Australian touring cars ran from 1985 to 1992 didn’t suit Holden. The manufacturer struggled to compete against the international specials that dominated the era, such as the Ford Sierra RS500 and Nissan Skyline BNR32 GT-R, leaving Holden without a championship win under those rules. There were three underdog wins for Holden at Bathurst in 1986, 1987 and 1990. The 1987 victory came in the midst of an ugly split between Holden and Peter Brock that led to the demise of the Holden Dealer Team.

BIRTH OF THE HOLDEN RACING TEAM

Following the demise of the Holden Dealer Team, a new factory-backed team emerged in the shape of the Holden Racing Team, in a union between Tom Walkinshaw and Holden that also formed Holden Special Vehicles. After initially being run by Perkins Engineering, the Holden Racing Team then came under the leadership of Win Percy on Walkinshaw’s behalf. A surprise win at Bathurst in 1990 legitimised the team and set the foundations for the success that would come under more favourable regulations in the coming years.

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THE V8 ERA

THE TRIPLE EIGHT YEARS

The Australian Touring Car Championship and Bathurst 1000 moved away from the Group A rules at the end of 1992 and created a V8-only formula featuring Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons from 1993. The new category was built around the popularity of Holden and Ford in the marketplace, with the two manufacturers becoming instrumental to what became known as Supercars. Holden contributed the majority of cars on the grid in 1993, a numerical dominance that continued throughout the V8 era.

Triple Eight gained exclusive factory support from Holden in 2017, taking over the Holden Racing Team name. It was a reward for its dominant performances since making the switch to Holden in 2010, particularly in contrast to the decline of the team that once held the Holden Racing Team name. Triple Eight has won Holden’s last six drivers’ championship titles and five of its last eight Bathurst 1000 wins since 2010.

THE HOLDEN RACING TEAM YEARS

When Matt Stone Racing’s Todd Hazelwood drove his VF Commodore across the finish line in 21st place in the last race of the 2018 season in Newcastle, it marked the end of an era for the Commodore. Hazelwood was the last driver to race an Australian-designed Commodore in Supercars, with the VF phased out by the ZB into 2019. Keeping the Commodore nameplate on the imported model would prove to be a fateful decision that contributed to the demise of Holden. Due to poor sales figures, Holden announced that the Commodore would be discontinued in late 2019.

Holden mastered the team-manufacturer partnership with the Holden Racing Team in the 1990s and 2000s. Between 1996 and 2002, the Holden Racing Team won six drivers’ championships. Craig Lowndes won three titles between 1996 and 1999, emerging as Peter Brock’s protégé to become the new Holden hero. Lowndes moved to Ford in 2001, by which time Mark Skaife had become the leader of the Holden Racing Team. Skaife won three titles in a row between 2000 and 2002, also winning Bathurst in 2001 and 2002. When the Holden Racing Team stuttered under ownership wrangles, the HSV Dealer Team sister operation picked up the pieces with two Bathurst 1000 wins (as Kmart Racing) in 2003 and 2004 and two championship wins in 2006 and 2007.

THE LAST AUSTRALIAN COMMODORE

THE ARRIVAL OF TRIPLE EIGHT

Holden gained the ascendancy over Ford with Triple Eight Race Engineering’s switch in 2010, taking over the mantle of Holden’s leading team from the Holden Racing Team. The arrival of the then dominators of Supercars cemented Holden’s strength over Ford, leading to a successful relationship that led to the team becoming the sole factory team seven years later. Holden and Triple Eight celebrated their union with a one-two formation finish at Bathurst in 2010.

THE END

General Motors announced the retirement of the Holden brand just days before the start of the 2020 Supercars season. With its sales figures continuing to plummet and the Commodore already axed, the news was inevitable. But, in a cruel twist, it was announced in a week when the season was starting in Adelaide, South Australia, where Holden was not only born but housed. Fittingly, Triple Eight’s Jamie Whincup gave Holden a winning start to the season, just a couple of kilometres away from where James Alexander Holden first established the company that became known as Holden.

AS TOLD BY V 8 X / S U P E R C A R X T R A M A G A Z I N E

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ICONIC COMMODORES

IMAGES Autopics.com.au, Glenis Lindley, inetpics.com

From the VB to the VF, these are the Australian-made Commodores and their histories in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars and Bathurst 1000.

AS TOLD BY V 8 X / S U P E R C A R X T R A M A G A Z I N EXTRA SUPERCAR

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Holden’s all-new family sedan got its motorsport career off to a flying start when Peter Brock led home an emphatic one-two-three finish in the car-busting 20,000km 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial. Success continued the following year when it debuted in the ‘new look’ Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) in 1980. Gone were the A9X Toranas and XC Falcon hardtops, replaced by a new breed of VB Commodore and XD Falcon four-door V8 family sedans with sharp European styling. Gone, too, were the fire-breathing V8s of the 1970s muscle car era, replaced by detuned ‘anti-pollution’ versions in response to fuel economy and exhaust-emission concerns in a world gripped by its second oil crisis. With power cut from 400bhp in the A9X Torana to around 310bhp in the Commodore, it was a startling change, but it was one Brock and the Marlboro-Holden Dealer Team (HDT) embraced as they dominated the 1980 ATCC.

VB

HONOUR ROLL • 1980 ATCC champion (Peter Brock)

BIRTH OF A LEGEND

Watch the birth and development of the first Holden Commodore VB, narrated by Australian golfing legend Greg Norman.

VH COMMODORE: Peter Brock behind the wheel of the VH Commodore at Sandown in 1982.

VC COMMODORE: Privateers Gary Cooke and Warwick Brown in the VC Commodore.

VC

HDT cosmetically updated to the new VC model in the mid-1980 before winning the 1980 Sandown-Bathurst double. Brock was lobbying the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) hard for acceptance that year of more powerful big-valve L34-type cylinder heads being used in his new HDT Special Vehicles road cars, but the governing body disagreed due to insufficient numbers being produced for homologation. So in 1981 Brock had his work cut out against Dick

10

Johnson’s larger capacity 5.8-litre Falcon. The ATCC came down to a winner-takes-all grand finale at Lakeside in Queensland where Brock narrowly lost to Johnson in one of the series’ most thrilling races. Brock countered with another Sandown win and was looking fast and threatening in the opening laps of the 1981 Bathurst 1000 until a broken axle put him out of contention. HONOUR ROLL • 1980 Bathurst 1000 (Peter Brock/Jim Richards)

STORIES FROM THE RACING HOLDEN

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VH COMMODORE: #05 goes pop at Bathurst in 1983. Brock still won the race after transferring into the sister 25 car.

1984 may have been the last year of Group C touring cars, but Holden and HDT were determined to give the class a memorable curtain call. After Brock’s VH SS finished runner-up to Johnson’s XE Falcon in the ATCC, HDT stunned everyone when they rolled out two brandnew VK Commodores at the Sandown 500 resplendent in day-glo orange and white Marlboro colours. Brock and Perkins won at Sandown and again at Bathurst, leading home an HDT one-two formation finish. Brock also won the final round at Surfers Paradise in a car that had enjoyed a racing life of only a few months. Holden racers and fans got a rude shock when Australia adopted the FIA’s international Group A rules in 1985. The Commodore was now overweight and underpowered again. Holden’s solution was to slightly reduce the crankshaft stroke of its five-litre V8 from 308 cid to 304 cid, or 4.9litres. This dropped the VK into a lower weight division, but the near-standard LV2/V5H ‘police pursuit’ V8 was still short on grunt and marginal on reliability. Brock and HDT were outclassed by Johnson’s Mustang V8 and Jim Richards’ dominant BMW 635 CSi in the ATCC, finishing third behind the imports and suffering engine failure at Bathurst while running second. The answer to Commodore racers’ prayers came with the battle-worthy HDT VK SS Group A designed by HDT and Holden to literally take on the world. Powered by a much tougher A9L version of the 4.9-litre V8, the purposeful-looking VK was rugged, powerful and relatively light with improved aerodynamics. The new car proved reasonably competitive in the 1986 ATCC, with Brock winning one round to finish fifth overall behind the BMWs and increasingly potent turbocharged Nissans and Volvos. However, Brock had missed several rounds because HDT (and Roadways with Allan Grice) took their VK Group As overseas to see how they measured up against the best in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) with a view to contesting the first World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in 1987. The cash-strapped Grice in a Roadways VK prepared by Les Small clearly outgunned HDT, impressing the Europeans with genuine race-winning pace at several ETCC events. Grice, co-driver Graeme Bailey and Small put all of their overseas experience to good use at Bathurst that year, storming to a convincing victory in poultry farmer Bailey’s self-sponsored ‘Chickadee’ VK SS Group A.

VK

VH

In 1982 HDT’s endless lobbying of CAMS to use the big-valve heads finally paid off, although it came with a sting in the tail in the form of new minimum weight limits based on the HDT road cars, which amounted to a hefty 50kg increase. So for Commodore runners it was a choice of either that or the existing small-valve/lighter weight option. Neither proved satisfactory in toppling Johnson’s XD Falcon, which won its second ATCC title. With another Bathurst 1000 win being top priority, Brock’s answer to the Commodore’s long-standing problem was to homologate a lighter car based on Holden’s new VH SS base-model sedan weight with HDT’s bigvalve engine. Brock missed out on his traditional Sandown win due to gearbox problems but enjoyed a faultless run in the new VH SS on his way to victory with co-driver Larry Perkins at Bathurst. The VH SS continued to be a strong if not dominant performer in the close and exciting 1983 ATCC battle the following year, which showcased the formidable speed of Allan Moffat’s rotary-powered Mazda RX-7 and George Fury’s turbocharged Nissan Bluebird in finishing first and second respectively. Brock was the best of the Commodore brigade in third, but more changes for the VH were on the way for the endurance races after CAMS agreed to allow performance upgrades for the Commodores and other makes to create a more level playing field. Brock was out of luck at Sandown due to a wheel-hub failure and again at Bathurst, when after taking pole position he had to retire early in the race with a blown engine. However, under the race rules Brock and Perkins were allowed to jump into the HDT’s second VH and powered to another victory. HONOUR ROLL • 1982 Bathurst 1000 (Peter Brock/Larry Perkins) • 1983 Bathurst 1000 (Peter Brock/Larry Perkins/John Harvey)

ANOTHER BROCK VICTORY!

Watch Peter Brock and Larry Perkins win the 1982 Bathurst 1000 in the VH Commodore.

HONOUR ROLL • 1984 Bathurst 1000 (Peter Brock/Larry Perkins) • 1986 Bathurst 1000 (Allan Grice/Graeme Bailey)

BATHURST AGAIN!

Watch Peter Brock and Larry Perkins win the 1984 Bathurst 1000 in the VK Commodore.

AS TOLD BY V 8 X / S U P E R C A R X T R A M A G A Z I N E

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VN COMMODORE: Larry Perkins in the Holden

VN Commodore SS Group A SV in 1991.

VL

The HDT VL SS Group A, a mild evolution of its predecessor based on the latest VL, became a victim of the infamous split between Brock/HDT and GM-H that erupted in early 1987. The VL briefly appeared in the ATCC that year, and the initial HDT-built race car was sold and then competed in the opening round of the WTCC at Monza, driven by Moffat and John Harvey with backing from Rothmans. Moffat and Harvey were declared the surprise winners in Italy after the swarm of new BMW M3s that finished ahead of them were disqualified after the race for illegal bodywork. The Aussie squad also did superbly to finish fourth in the gruelling Spa 24 Hour race in Belgium. The VL Group A was the last Commodore jointly developed by Brock and Holden, with the UK-based Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) replacing HDT as Holden’s factory race team (Holden Racing Team) and high performance road car partner (Holden Special Vehicles). In 1988 HSV and Holden rolled out their first Group A homologation special – the VL Commodore SS Group A SV. Its wild fiberglass body kit was developed by TWR in a UK wind tunnel and was a departure from previous designs. Its V8 was also given a make-over with rugged four-bolt main bearing caps and fuel injection replacing carburettors for the first time. Despite its purposeful appearance, the ‘Walkinshaw’ VL was no match for the turbocharged Ford-Cosworth Sierras which ran rampant in 1988-89. However, it tasted the sweetest revenge at Bathurst in 1990, when HRT’s Win Percy and Allan Grice used the VL’s reliability and relentless pace to overcome the highly-strung turbo Ford challenge and score a popular victory. HONOUR ROLL • 1987 Bathurst 1000 (Peter Brock/Peter McLeod/David Parsons) • 1990 Bathurst 1000 (Win Percy/Allan Grice)

VN

The last Group A Commodore was based on the all-new VN model released in 1988, which was larger than the original VB-VL model line in almost every dimension. However, it wasn’t until August 1990 that the VN Commodore SS Group A road car was released. The VN Group A race car of 1991 was a visually more pleasing vehicle than the VL it replaced. Its more slipstreamed body shape and more powerful engine also resulted in higher top speeds, although this came with a noticeable loss of downforce. The new VN didn’t have a chance of winning against the all-wheel drive, twin-turbocharged might of Nissan’s new R32 GT-R coupe, which ran away with both the ATCC and Bathurst 1000 crowns that year. Even so, a fighting second place at Bathurst for Percy and Grice in HRT’s VN Group A was the best Holden could have hoped for against the GT-R.

BROCK’S VN

Watch Peter Brock in the 1991 Bathurst 1000 Shootout in his VN Commodore.

VL COMMODORE:Larry Perkins and Tomas Mezera shared a VL Commodore SS Group A SV at Bathurst in 1989.

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VP COMMODORE:Tomas Mezera and Win Percy shared a new VP Commodore at Bathurst in 1993.

VP VR VS

VT VX

Australian touring car racing changed dramatically in 1993, with the Group A turbo imports consigned to history. The outright contenders were now locally-made VP Commodores and EB Falcons equipped with fuel-injected five-litre V8 engines, six-speed Holinger race gearboxes, multi-link live rear axles, large front spoilers and towering rear wings. These technical basics remained unchanged to 2012. From that first VP model, the Commodore V8 Supercar evolved through VR and VS model changes from 19931998, which outwardly were just cosmetic upgrades of bodywork to keep pace with the latest showroom offerings. And in that time the Commodore enjoyed many successes and put Holden back on top after imported Ford Sierras, BMW M3s, Nissan Skylines etc dominated the Group A era, with Gibson Motorsport’s Mark Skaife ending a 14-year championship drought for Holden in 1994.

The all-new third-generation Commodore, the VT, was released in August 1997. It was longer, wider and stronger than the VN-VS series it replaced. However, it wasn’t until the final rounds of the 1998 championship that the V8 Supercar version finally hit the track. The VT and its cosmetic upgrade to the later VX model proved to be another formidable racing package from 1998-2002 against Ford’s unloved Falcon AU, winning all five V8 Supercars crowns in the hands of the Holden Racing Team’s Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife, and four of the five Bathurst 1000 events held during that time.

HONOUR ROLL • 1993 Bathurst 1000 (Larry Perkins/Gregg Hansford, VP) • 1994 ATCC champion (Mark Skaife, VP) • 1995 Bathurst 1000 (Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall, VR) • 1996 ATCC champion (Craig Lowndes, VR) • 1996 Bathurst 1000 (Craig Lowndes/Greg Murphy, VR) • 1997 Bathurst 1000 (Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall, VS) • 1998 V8 Supercars champion (Craig Lowndes, VS and VT) • 1999 V8 Supercars champion (Craig Lowndes, VS and VT)

HONOUR ROLL • 1998 V8 Supercars champion (Craig Lowndes, VT and VS) • 1999 V8 Supercars champion (Craig Lowndes, VT and VS) • 1999 Bathurst 1000 (Steven Richards/Greg Murphy, VT) • 2000 V8 Supercars champion (Mark Skaife, VT) • 2000 Bathurst 1000 (Garth Tander/Jason Bargwanna, VT) • 2001 V8 Supercars champion (Mark Skaife, VX) • 2001 Bathurst 1000 (Mark Skaife/Tony Longhurst, VX) • 2002 V8 Supercars champion (Mark Skaife, VX) • 2002 Bathurst 1000 (Mark Skaife/Jim Richards, VX)

AS TOLD BY V 8 X / S U P E R C A R X T R A M A G A Z I N E

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VY VZ

The last Commodores to be built on the third-generation V-car platform were the VY and final VZ models, which heralded a fundamental change in V8 Supercars that would finally address the performance parity issues between Ford and Holden that had plagued the category since its inception. Under ‘Project Blueprint’ the new BA Falcon and VY Commodore from 2003 shared the same design blueprint in critical performance areas, including twin-wishbone front suspension (which replaced Holden’s MacPherson strut), revised suspension pick-up points front and rear, a common front axle weight and common front spoiler undertrays and rear wing chords. Engine inequality was also dealt with, mandating cylinder blocks with the same deck heights and common cylinder head port configurations/valve angles/inlet manifolds. As a result, the spoils were evenly shared between Ford and Holden from 2003-2006, with Ford winning three V8 Supercars titles to Holden’s single win, and Holden winning three Bathurst 1000s to Ford’s single Mountain win. HONOUR ROLL • 2003 Bathurst 1000 (Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly, VY) • 2004 Bathurst 1000 (Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly, VY) • 2005 Bathurst 1000 (Mark Skaife/Todd Kelly, VZ) • 2006 V8 Supercars champion (Rick Kelly, VZ)

VE

In August 2006, Holden released its fourth-generation Commodore, the VE. It was longer, wider and higher than the VZ with a longer wheelbase, built on GM’s new Zeta global rear-wheel drive platform shared with the Chevrolet Camaro. The ‘big’ VE presented quite a challenge for V8 Supercar rule makers and required considerable goodwill from Ford to make it comply with Project Blueprint’s maximum length and height dimensions. Ultimately it had to

be shortened by 93mm and the body mounted lower on its floorpan to comply. From 2007 to 2012 the ‘cut and shut’ VE continued Commodore’s winning ways, claiming three V8 Supercars titles and four Bathurst 1000 victories and becoming the first model to reach 100 V8 Supercar race wins. HONOUR ROLL • 2007 V8 Supercars champion (Garth Tander) • 2009 Bathurst 1000 (Garth Tander/Will Davison) • 2010 Bathurst 1000 (Craig Lowndes/Mark Skaife) • 2011 V8 Supercars champion (Jamie Whincup) • 2011 Bathurst 1000 (Garth Tander/Nick Percat) • 2012 V8 Supercars champion (Jamie Whincup) • 2012 Bathurst 1000 (Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell)

VF

The last locally designed and built Holden Commodore, due to a drastic decline in large sedan car sales over recent years and a stubbornly strong Australian dollar that is choking the life out of local manufacturing. The VF was also the first Commodore to comply with V8 Supercars’ Car of the Future regulations in 2013. As a result it has the least GM/Holden ‘DNA’ of any Commodore that has raced before it, because apart from its external body panels and GM-sourced engine, the chassis and drivetrain are virtually identical to its Ford, Nissan and Mercedes Benz rivals. The VF V8 Supercar is a far cry from the original VB Group C car, reflecting the Commodore’s amazing evolution through more than three decades of unrivalled success in Australian touring cars. HONOUR ROLL • 2013 Supercars champion (Jamie Whincup) • 2014 Supercars champion (Jamie Whincup) • 2015 Bathurst 1000 (Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards) • 2016 Bathurst 1000 (Will Davison/Jonathon Webb) • 2016 Supercars champion (Shane van Gisbergen) • 2017 Bathurst 1000 (David Reynolds/Luke Youlden) • 2017 Supercars champion (Jamie Whincup) VF COMMODORE: James Courtney

in the 2013 VF Commodore.

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HOLDEN HOLDEN IN IN MEMORIAM MEMORIAM IMAGES Autopics.com.au, IMAGES Holden Motorsport, Justin Deeley, Peter Norton

From saddleryFrom manufacturing saddlery manufacturing in Adelaide inin 1856, Adelaide Holden ingrew 1856,into Holden an Australian grew into an Australian automotive giant. automotive The news giant. of itsThe demise newswasn’t of its demise unexpected, wasn’tgiven unexpected, its dwindling given its dwindling sales in recentsales years, inbut recent it was years, stillbut feltitacutely was still notfelt only acutely withinnot Supercars only within but Supercars but across Australia. across ThisAustralia. is the story This of Holden’s is the story journey of Holden’s in Australian journey touring in Australian cars, touring cars, from the formative from years the formative to the present. years to the present. IN THE BEGINNING IN THE BEGINNING

The Australian Touring Car Championship was born at Gnoo Blas in New South Wales in 1960. The race, the first to be run under Appendix J regulations, featured 44 cars, 23 of which were Holdens, the majority the 48-215 (FX). It set the tone for the future of the championship, with Holden not only a constant presence but often having the most cars on the grid. Six decades on, Holden still contributed more than half of the cars on the grid with 16 of 24 entries in 2020.

OF THE HOLDEN ARRIVAL OF THEARRIVAL HOLDEN DEALER TEAM DEALER TEAM 

Holden committed to Australian touring cars with the creation of the Holden Dealer Team. But with Generals Motors not allowing its manufacturers to race in an official capacity, Holden garnered the support of its dealer network to overcome that limitation. Harry Firth moved from Ford to spearhead the new Holden team, which won the 1969 Bathurst 500 with Colin Bond and Tony Roberts in a HT Monaro GTS350.

THE FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP WIN  THE FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP WIN  Ford ruled the Australian Touring Car Championship when it switched from Appendix J to Improved Production, with the Mustang winning five consecutive titles. That run came to an end in 1970 with Norm Beechey winning the championship in the HT Monaro GTS350, Holden’s response to not only the Mustang but also Ford’s success with the locally-derived Falcon. The Monaro became a cult classic for Holden, with the two-door coupe the fitting winner of Holden’s first championship and first Bathurst.

ARRIVAL THE ARRIVAL OFTHE PETER BROCKOF PETER BROCK

Holden entrants switched from the Monaro to the Torana in the 1970s, coinciding with the rise of the Holden Dealer Team and the arrival of Peter Brock. Brock scored a podium in his Bathurst debut in 1969 and three years later won the event singlehandedly in a dominant display in wet conditions in 1972. By the time he added a championship win in 1974, Brock had emerged as Holden’s number one.

THE FIRST BATHURST  BATHURST  THE FIRST

The Armstrong 500 moved from Phillip Island to Bathurst in 1963, marking the beginning of what became Australia’s ‘Great Race’. Holden was present on the grid in an unofficial capacity with six EH S4s and an older model FB. The EH S4 of Ralph Sach and Fred Morgan finished in second place, one lap behind the winning Ford Cortina Mk.I GT of Bob Jane and Harry Firth.

8

THE FIRST BATHURST THE FIRST WINBATHURST  WIN 

Ford gained the ascendancy in the early years of the Bathurst 500, with Harry Firth leading the Blue Oval’s factory-backed team. Holden answered the challenge from 1968, with the privately entered HK Monaro GTS327 of Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland prevailing over its more fancied opponents. Holden’s first Bathurst win was part of a podium sweep for the Monaro.

STORIES FROM8 THE RACING STORIESHOLDENS FROM THE RACING HOLDENS

AS TOLD BY V8X / SUPERCAR AS TOLD XTRA BY MAGAZINE V8X / SUPERCAR9XTRA MAGAZINE

ICONIC ICONIC COMMODORES COMMODORES

IMAGES Autopics.com.au, IMAGES Glenis Lindley, inetpics.com

From the VB to From the VF, the these VB to are the the VF, Australian-made these are the Australian-made Commodores and Commodores their and their histories in the histories Australian in the Touring Australian Car Championship/Supercars Touring Car Championship/Supercars and Bathurst and Bathurst 1000. 1000.

Holden’s all-new family sedan got its motorsport career off to a flying start when Peter Brock led home an emphatic one-two-three finish in the car-busting 20,000km 1979 Repco Round Australia Trial. Success continued the following year when it debuted in the ‘new look’ Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) in 1980. Gone were the A9X Toranas and XC Falcon hardtops, replaced by a new breed of VB Commodore and XD Falcon fourdoor V8 family sedans with sharp European styling. Gone, too, were the fire-breathing V8s of the 1970s muscle car era, replaced by detuned ‘anti-pollution’ versions in response to fuel economy and exhaust-emission concerns in a world gripped by its second oil crisis. With power cut from 400bhp in the A9X Torana to around 310bhp in the Commodore, it was a startling change, but it was one Brock and the Marlboro-Holden Dealer Team (HDT) embraced as they dominated the 1980 ATCC.

VB VB

HONOUR ROLL • 1980 ATCC champion (Peter Brock)

BIRTH OF A LEGEND

BIRTH OF A LEGEND

VH COMMODORE: Peter Brock behind the wheel of the VH Commodore at Sandown in 1982.

Watch the birth and development of the first Holden Commodore VB, narrated by Australian golfing legend Greg Norman.

VC COMMODORE:

Privateers Gary Cooke and Warwick Brown in the VC Commodore.

HDT cosmetically updated to the new VC model in the mid-1980 before winning the 1980 Sandown-Bathurst double. Brock was lobbying the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) hard for acceptance that year of more powerful big-valve L34-type cylinder heads being used in his new HDT Special Vehicles road cars, but the governing body disagreed due to insufficient numbers being produced for homologation. So in 1981 Brock had his work cut out against Dick

VC

12

STORIES FROM THE RACING HOLDENS

VC

VC COMMODORE:

Privateers Gary Cooke and Warwick Brown in the VC Commodore.

Johnson’s larger capacity 5.8-litre Falcon. The ATCC came down to a winner-takes-all grand finale at Lakeside in Queensland where Brock narrowly lost to Johnson in one of the series’ most thrilling races. Brock countered with another Sandown win and was looking fast and threatening in the opening laps of the 1981 Bathurst 1000 until a broken axle put him out of contention.

HONOUR ROLL • 1980 Bathurst 1000 (Peter Brock/Jim Richards) AS TOLD BY V8X / SUPERCAR XTRA MAGAZINE

Full Name

13

2021 Holden Special TOTAL (AUD$)

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Street Address

Mastercard

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9

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Email Address

Signature

Expiry date

CCV Number

MAIL MAIL TO RAAMEN TO P/L, PO BOX 225, KEILOR VIC 3036 P16 P17 sect2 Holden Special Edition.indd 17

1/11/2021 3:30:54 PM


Year 1968 1969 1972 1975 1976 1978 1979 1980 1982 1983 1984 1986 1987 1990 1993 1995 1996 1997 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2009 2010 2011 2012 2015 2016 2017 2018 2020

Drivers Bruce McPhee/Barry Mulholland Colin Bond/Tony Roberts Peter Brock Peter Brock/Brian Sampson Bob Morris/John Fitzpatrick Peter Brock/Jim Richards Peter Brock/Jim Richards Peter Brock/Jim Richards Peter Brock/Larry Perkins Peter Brock/Larry Perkins/John Harvey Peter Brock/Larry Perkins Allan Grice/Graeme Bailey Peter Brock/Peter McLeod/David Parsons Win Percy/Allan Grice Larry Perkins/Gregg Hansford Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall Craig Lowndes/Greg Murphy Larry Perkins/Russell Ingall Steven Richards/Greg Murphy Garth Tander/Jason Bargwanna Mark Skaife/Tony Longhurst Mark Skaife/Jim Richards Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly Greg Murphy/Rick Kelly Mark Skaife/Todd Kelly Garth Tander/Will Davison Craig Lowndes/Mark Skaife Garth Tander/Nick Percat Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards Will Davison/Jonathon Webb David Reynolds/Luke Youlden Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander

Team Wyong Motors Pty Ltd Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Gown - Hindhaugh Ron Hodgson Motors Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Roadways Racing Holden Dealer Team Holden Racing Team Perkins Engineering Perkins Engineering Holden Racing Team Perkins Engineering Gibson Motorsport Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Kmart Racing Kmart Racing Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Racing Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Tekno Autosports Erebus Motorsport Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering

Car HK Monaro GTS327 HT Monaro GTS350 LJ Torana GTR XU-1 LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 LX Torana A9X SS LX Torana A9X SS VC Commodore VH Commodore SS VH Commodore SS VK Commodore VK Commodore SS Group A VL Commodore SS Group A VL Commodore SS Group A SV VP Commodore VR Commodore VR Commodore VS Commodore VT Commodore VT Commodore VX Commodore VX Commodore VY Commodore VY Commodore VZ Commodore VE Commodore VE Commodore VE Commodore VE Commodore VF Commodore VF Commodore VF Commodore ZB Commodore ZB Commodore

HOLDEN’S AUSTRALIAN TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP/ SUPERCARS CHAMPIONS

Year 1970 1974 1975 1978 1979 1980 1994 1996 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2006 2007 2011 2012 2013 2014 2016 2017

18

18

STORIES Driver FROM THE RACING HOLDEN

Norm Beechey Peter Brock Colin Bond Peter Brock Bob Morris Peter Brock Mark Skaife Craig Lowndes Craig Lowndes Craig Lowndes Mark Skaife Mark Skaife Mark Skaife Rick Kelly Garth Tander Jamie Whincup Jamie Whincup Jamie Whincup Jamie Whincup Shane van Gisbergen Jamie Whincup

Team Norm Beechey Shell Racing Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Holden Dealer Team Ron Hodgson Channel 7 Racing Holden Dealer Team Gibson Motorsport Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team Holden Racing Team HSV Dealer Team HSV Dealer Team Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering Triple Eight Race Engineering

Car HT Monaro GTS350 LJ Torana GTR XU-1/LH Torana SL/R 5000 LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 LX Torana SS A9X LX Torana SS A9X VB Commodore VP Commodore VR Commodore VS/VT Commodore VS/VT Commodore VT Commodore VX Commodore VX Commodore VZ Commodore VE Commodore VE Commodore VE Commodore VF Commodore VF Commodore VF Commodore VF Commodore

STORIES FROM THE RACING HOLDEN

SECT2 P18 Holden in Memoriam Results.indd 18

3/11/2021 12:06:09 PM


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1/18 1966 Pony Mustang – Wimbledon White with Red Interior

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1/18 Holden VS Commodore – 1997 Bathurst 1000 - Lowndes / Murphy

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CHAZ MOSTERT & WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED

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CHAZZLE DAZZLE

WORDS Jordan Mulach IMAGES Walkinshaw Andretti United, Supercars, Peter Norton

The Chaz Mostert-Walkinshaw Andretti United combination is starting to live up to its potential, with both parties stepping up to become genuine championship contenders in their second season together. This is the story of their rise.

T

he start of the 2018 season was a big occasion for the team formerly known as the Holden Racing Team (HRT). With the glory days of Holden factory backing well and truly behind them, Walkinshaw Racing had to find a new way forward. Enter two of motorsport’s biggest outfits: Andretti Autosport, headed by former IndyCar champion Michael Andretti, and United Autosports, run by the man whose day job is being McLaren’s Formula 1 team boss, Zak Brown. In October 2017, Ryan Walkinshaw declared war on the powerhouse teams by announcing Andretti and Brown had joined the iconic team, which was then rebranded as Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU). The two WAU drivers would remain the same as James Courtney kept his seat after joining HRT as defending champion in 2011, driving alongside the team’s new recruit Scott Pye, who managed a valiant second at Bathurst in the days following the announcement. Despite United Autosports only taking a 25 percent stake in the team compared to the 37.5 percent which Andretti Autosport invested, it was Brown who had made first contact after purchasing a former HRT race-winning car. In 2017, Brown bought the 2011 Bathurst 1000-winning car of Garth Tander and Nick Percat (chassis WR 014) and subsequently got in touch with Walkinshaw through former Holden Dealer Team manager and Courtney’s agent, Alan Gow. From there the wheels were put in motion, culminating in the announcement in October around the investment and then the cars turning a wheel for the first time at the start of 2018 with the debut of the Holden ZB Commodore. Walkinshaw Andretti United only took five races to get their first Supercars victory with Pye in 2018, breaking through in wet conditions at Albert Park to claim the first major piece of

silverware for the freshly rebranded super-team. But no one could have predicted it would take another 1121 days for the team to stand atop the podium again. From the first win to the second, WAU went through seismic changes which were aimed at delivering championships, not just race wins. Trying to follow in the steps of the other international super-team DJR Team Penske, the squad which once had the backing of the almighty General Motors kept climbing up the pecking order, finally leading to Chaz Mostert taking the chequered flag first in Race 8 of 2021 at Symmons Plains. “When I came to the team, there was a little dry spell for the team to get results,” says Mostert. “Now there’s obviously a direction there; the cars can be fast and you can win races, and it’s proven. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself from last year into this year, trying to get this elusive race win for our team. “To guys like Ryan, Zak and Michael, to have faith in me to lead this team and get a race win again, it’s so rewarding to give back to our guys and our sponsors.” Mostert’s move to WAU at the beginning of 2020 was heralded as one of the best things to happen to the Clayton-based team in the recent past, having only managed 11th and 12th in the drivers’ standings the year before with drivers Courtney and Pye respectively, coming off the back of the 2018 season where Pye shot to seventh. A key ingredient of Mostert’s move to WAU was the acquisition of his long-time engineer Adam De Borre from Tickford Racing. All of Mostert’s Supercars victories thus far have been with De Borre as his race engineer, meaning keeping the two together was always going to be invaluable for WAU. It didn’t take long for the partnership to find success, securing a second place in the second race of the season-opening Adelaide 500 ahead of Mostert’s SUPERCAR XTRA

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CHAZ MOSTERT & WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED

Mostert returned to the top step of the podium for the first time in more than two years in 2021.

24

former Tickford teammate Cameron Waters and behind the all-conquering Scott McLaughlin. Although podiums remained elusive over the next 12 races, four finishes in the top five and nine in the top 10 over the same time period showed the relationship was starting to gel. The second half of 2020 netted four podiums for Mostert, including his first trip to the Bathurst podium since his win in 2014. He was alongside the team’s regular co-driver Warren Luff, who has proved to be WAU’s most valuable asset at the Mount Panorama Circuit and is now equal first on the list of drivers with the most Bathurst podiums yet to win. Things weren’t just improving on the #25 side of the garage either. Reigning Dunlop Super2 Series champion Bryce Fullwood was having his debut season in the team’s #2 car and amidst a mixed bag of results secured a maiden podium in Race 25 at The Bend Motorsport Park to achieve 18th in the championship. Despite going winless for the first time since 2016, Mostert was able to take home fifth at the end of the season, being classified as a finisher in each race. Frustratingly for WAU, some retirements from Fullwood meant they could only manage seventh in the teams’ standings, just 150 points adrift of the fourth-placed Tickford Racing combination of car #5 and #23/#44. Though the off-season driver market heading into 2021 proved to be one of the busiest silly seasons yet, WAU retained the services of Mostert and Fullwood but triggered a change behind the scenes with two-time Bathurst 1000 and championship-winning engineer Grant McPherson being poached from Triple Eight Race Engineering. While McPherson was placed on gardening leave

to start the 2021 season with the understanding he won’t start in his new role as head of performance until mid-year, the expectation that he will be a major factor in the team’s resurgence heading into Gen3 shows the confidence WAU has in their current package. The intersection of Mostert and WAU’s relationship has come at a crucial time for both of them, with each needing to get back to the top of their game to silence the critics. Mostert exploded onto the scene in 2013 when he raced for Dick Johnson Racing, on loan from Ford Performance Racing (FPR), taking a shock victory at Queensland Raceway. His move to the main FPR squad in 2014 netted a win at Barbagallo Raceway and was followed by arguably the best finish to a Bathurst 1000 of all time, winning the Great Race with veteran Paul Morris despite starting at the back of the grid. His strong form in 2014 led straight into 2015 when the FG X Falcon was introduced, with the renamed Prodrive Racing Australia team dominating the year. Mark Winterbottom and Mostert sat first and second respectively in the championship heading into Bathurst. Just when his stocks were at their highest, it was almost all thrown away on the first flying lap of qualifying at Mount Panorama. When the #6 car ricocheted down the mountain on approach to Forrest’s Elbow, no one knew just how much it would harm Mostert’s momentum over the coming years. A broken femur and wrist left Mostert out for the rest of the year. Though he conquered his Bathurst demons by winning the 2016 Bathurst 6 Hour with good friend Nathan Morcom and a pole position at the season-opening Adelaide 500, a winless year in

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Supercars showed there was still work to be done to get back with the cream of the crop in the series. 2017 proved itself to be a great comeback season for Mostert and the Prodrive team who had struggled the year prior. Three wins, including one in tricky conditions at the Gold Coast 600, put Mostert in the title hunt heading into the final round, though he had to settle for fifth overall at the conclusion of the year. With three podium appearances and a race victory at the Gold Coast in 2018, Mostert was the best of the now-Tickford Racing cars but still could only manage sixth in the standings. As the Ford teams upgraded from the aging Falcon to the new Mustang for 2019, many started to ask whether Mostert could actually get the job done. Victory from seventh on the grid in the fifth race of the year at Albert Park plus a round win showed he had the pace to fight at the front again, though this proved to be a false dawn with Mostert failing to record another victory for the rest of the season as rumours began to circulate about his imminent departure from the team. The situation within Tickford wasn’t helped by a series of late-season mistakes, chief among which was Mostert running into the team’s #6 car piloted by Waters for yet another time at the Bathurst 1000, taking them both out of a race they could have been in contention to win. By now, the writing was on the wall, and it was finally sealed when the #55 Mustang was written off in the first Shootout session of the Gold Coast 600 weekend, meaning two-time defending event

winner Mostert would have to sit on the sidelines. In keeping with what has recently become a tradition within the paddock, Mostert’s departure to WAU was handled by the Tickford team as they wrapped him to a moving trolley after the final race of the year in Newcastle, wheeling their long-time partner down the pitlane and into the WAU garage. Despite the move being the worst-kept secret of the 2019 season, it still was being treated as a secret up until two days after the Tickford stunt when WAU finally announced they would have Mostert as a part of the team on a multi-year deal, replacing Pye and Courtney alongside Fullwood. The departure of Courtney and Pye saw the first revamp of a Walkinshaw line-up since 1998, the year which saw Craig Lowndes return to the team after a European stint and Mark Skaife take on his first of 11 seasons with HRT. The need for a reshuffle seemed obvious heading into 2020; the team going without a championship win in 18 seasons, despite having drivers such as Garth Tander, Will Davison and Courtney on their books. When Holden announced in 2016 that the factory HRT status would go across to Triple Eight from Walkinshaw, fans were up in arms, but the statistics made it hard to argue against. It took Triple Eight from the start of 2010 when they joined Holden until Race 16 of the 2016 championship to secure 100 wins under the red banner. In the same time period, HRT only won 15 races. It was somehow ironic then that Tander and co-driver Luff would win the 2016 Sandown 500 only a few weeks after the announcement was made

Mostert has been key in accelerating the development of Walkinshaw Andretti United.

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CHAZ MOSTERT & WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED

Mostert and Walkinshaw Andretti United scored their first win together in Tasmania in 2021.

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that HRT would lose the Holden money, made even more ironic by the fact they beat the Triple Eight car of Shane van Gisbergen and Alexandre Prémat. The Sandown victory would end up being the team’s last while officially flying the flag for Holden, having to wait until the aforementioned Melbourne 400 at Albert Park for their next win, while Triple Eight managed eleven victories from when they adopted the HRT moniker until Pye broke through for WAU. As of 2021, Walkinshaw has failed to record a drivers’ championship with its main team since Skaife’s third in a row way back in 2002, as the fallout of Tom Walkinshaw’s empire collapsing made its way to Australia. Mostert’s fifth position in last year’s championship was a solid effort despite not winning a race, though he ended up trailing the series champion, Scott McLaughlin, by 618 points. “When you get yourself in a good starting position and you’ve been on a drought for race wins for a long time and you start on the front row so many times, it’s gone the other way and you’ve gone backwards,” says Mostert on the winless run. “I think we rolled out a bit better this year, but we’re still trying to find our feet a bit. “The podiums across the last 12 months have been great, but to get the win and know that you

got the biggest trophy at the end of the day is really confidence-inspiring. It gives us self-belief in what we can do.” Will McPherson have a major impact on the team towards the end of the current season? Will his departure from Triple Eight hinder the current Holden front-runners heading into the Gen3 regulations? Or can Mostert finally break his duck and prove himself to be a solid contender for titles, not just races? With Mostert and De Borre finally getting their heads around the WAU ZB Commodore, it seems inevitable that they will be able to take the challenge to the front of the pack and perhaps bring success to a team which has been starved of it for so long. With a new multi-year deal signed between Mostert and WAU, the combination will continue to get stronger in the following years. “It’s been pretty incredible to see what we’ve been able to achieve together in a short amount of time, under some pretty challenging circumstances, so I’m excited for the future, and have no doubt that will continue,” says Mostert on the new deal. “It was a no-brainer for me to re-sign, that’s for sure. This team is incredible, full of amazing people, and it is very family orientated. Why would I leave my family?”

SUPERCAR XTRA SUPERCAR XTRA

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JAMIE WHINCUP

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WORDS Adrian Musolino IMAGES Supercars, Justin Deeley, Paul Nathan

Jamie Whincup will retire from full-time driving to take on the role of team principal at Triple Eight Race Engineering at the end of 2021. It’ll mark the end of an era in Supercars, with Whincup the undisputed greatest driver in the current era of the category and, as we consider, arguably the greatest of all time.

F

ifteen years ago, 23-year-old Jamie Whincup joined Triple Eight Race Engineering for the 2006 Supercars season. No one could’ve predicted the success that followed. Whincup was hired by Triple Eight for the role of number two and co-driver to Craig Lowndes. While Lowndes had already won three championships and come close to another in 2005, Whincup had bounced back from a disappointing rookie season that had seen him fired by Garry Rogers Motorsport at the end of 2003, a solid endurance campaign with Perkins Engineering in 2004 and a career-changing season with Tasman Motorsport in 2005. In his first year with Triple Eight, Whincup won the season-opening event in Adelaide and teamed with Lowndes to claim victory at Bathurst. Whincup’s 10th in the championship standings wasn’t a true indication of his season, having missed two races as a result of accident damage in Tasmania. But by 2007, he gained the ascendancy within the team and began a championship-contending charge that would see him rewrite the record books. After sixteen seasons with Triple Eight, Whincup will end his full-time career with the following records:

- The most Australian Touring Car Championship/ Supercars drivers’ titles. - The equal most consecutive Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars drivers’ titles. - The most Australian Touring Car Championship/ Supercars race wins. - The most Australian Touring Car Championship/ Supercars pole positions. - The most Australian Touring Car Championship/ Supercars podiums. - The most Bathurst 1000 wins for a current fulltime driver. - The most Bathurst 1000 podiums for a current full-time driver. - The equal most consecutive Bathurst 500/1000 wins. Whincup took his first championship win in 2008 and backed it up in 2009. After a narrow defeat in 2010, he fought back with four in a row between 2011 and 2014. Then, just as it seemed a new generation had taken over at the top, he won a seventh title in 2017. He also scored five Sandown 500 wins, four Bathurst 1000 wins and two Enduro Cup wins. Between 2007 and 2021, he has finished inside the top five in the championship in each season and only outside the top three on two occasions. SUPERCAR XTRA

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JAMIE WHINCUP

Whincup’s championshipwinning run started in 2008, the first of his seven titles with Triple Eight Race Engineering.

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He has won races in each of his 16 seasons with Triple Eight and podiums in the last 17 seasons. While he did all his winning with Triple Eight, his championship run has spanned two manufacturers (Ford and Holden) and four models (BF Falcon, FG Falcon, VE Commodore and VF Commodore), from the Project Blueprint cars into Car of the Future and Gen2. Between 2008 and 2014, Whincup won over 30 percent of the races in each of those seasons and over 40 percent in 2008, 2009 and 2012. In his non-championship winning seasons between 2008 and 2017, he won 34.6 percent of the races in 2010, 22.2 percent in 2015 and 24.1 percent in 2016. What’s remarkable about Whincup’s run is how close he came to eight consecutive championships between 2007 and 2014, with only a 67-point swing across two seasons needed to add to his tally. In 2007, his first season as a championship contender, he missed the title by two points to the HSV Dealer Team’s Garth Tander. Whincup lost a third place following a disqualification at Eastern Creek midway through the season, with those lost points ultimately costing him the championship. The team had incorrectly used a previous-spec rear brake, which was in the spares box

to use at a post-event ride day. In 2010, the season in which Triple Eight switched from Ford Falcons to Holden Commodores, Whincup lost the title to Dick Johnson Racing’s James Courtney by 65 points. Whincup won nine races compared to Courtney’s five, but unreliability in the change of manufacturers proved the decisive factor with engine troubles at Queensland Raceway and Phillip Island. It meant his championship-winning run would only have ended in 2015, a season in which the new FG X Falcon outpaced the VF Commodore and a puncture at Sandown and a penalty at Bathurst took Whincup out of the title race. Just when it seemed his run of championships had come to an end, with new teammate Shane van Gisbergen winning the title in 2016, Whincup prevailed in a tight championship race in 2017. Despite only four wins over the course of the season, his lowest since 2006, consistency was again the key to his success with 15 podiums despite only two pole positions – one of 14 consecutive seasons with more than 12 podiums. His seventh title demonstrated his ability to compete against a new generation, particularly van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin; only adding to his greatest of all-time case.

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J AMIE WH IN C U P ’ S TR I P LE E I G H T C H A MP I O N S H I P TR E ND- LINE 1st

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10th

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15th

2006

2007

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 Ford BA Falcon  Ford BF Falcon  Ford FG Falcon  Holden VE Commodore  Holden VF Commodore  Holden ZB Commodore The main argument against Whincup is the fact he did all his winning with Triple Eight, having joined the team just as it had grown into a genuine contender. But while Lowndes came close to the titles in 2005 and 2006, it was Whincup who scored Triple Eight’s breakthrough championship win in 2008 and established it as the team to beat. The best drivers inevitably find themselves in the best teams and do the majority of their winning in the best cars. A look through the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars highlights this. Ian Geoghegan and Bob Jane became the dominant forces with the strength of their imported cars in the Improved Production era; Allan Moffat and Peter Brock’s fortunes were often dependant

on the level of manufacturer support their teams received in Group C; Jim Richards and Dick Johnson had car advantages for most of their titles in Group A; and Mark Skaife, Lowndes and Whincup headed the field in dominant runs for their teams. Rarely have multiple championship-winning drivers won their titles with different teams. Geoghegan, Johnson, Jane, Moffat, Brock, Lowndes, McLaughlin, Norm Beechey, Glenn Seton and Marcos Ambrose all won their titles with the same team, with Richards and Skaife the only drivers to have won titles with two teams. Therefore, the best gauge of a driver is against his teammate. And, within Triple Eight, Whincup has always had formidable competition with Lowndes and van Gisbergen his only two

A familiar sight over the last decade and a half: Whincup celebrating on the podium with the #1 on his car.

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JAMIE WHINCUP

Whincup’s win in Tasmania in 2021 made it 16 consecutive seasons that he’s won a race in Supercars.

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teammates over the last 16 years; two of the most naturally talented drivers of the modern era and amongst the greats themselves. Whincup prevailed over Lowndes in each season between 2007 and 2014, only coming second best in their spell as teammates in 2015. While van Gisbergen has had the edge over Whincup in recent seasons, with the latter approaching his retirement decision, Whincup still got the better of van Gisbergen in the 2017 championship. Also, Whincup’s 2005 season is a telling non-Triple Eight gauge of his talent. After an endurance co-driving stint with Perkins Engineering, Whincup joined Tasman Motorsport as teammate to the highly-touted Jason Richards. Despite Richards having competed in three more seasons than Whincup, including the season before with Tasman Motorsport, Whincup finished a place ahead of Richards in the championship standings. Whincup also finished ahead of Richards in 15 of the 28 single-driver races, despite Richards holding sway in qualifying, with the teammates joining forces for the endurance events at Sandown and Bathurst and finishing in third and second respectively. The round at the Shanghai International Circuit, Supercars’ only visit to China, proved indicative of

Whincup’s ability. At a new circuit for all drivers, Whincup outpaced the qualifying specialist Richards, while also setting a faster time than reigning champion Ambrose. Whincup claimed top 10 finishes across the three races, climbing to fourth place in the final race of the event. His performances across the season led to Triple Eight signing Whincup for 2006. While some will argue Whincup’s Bathurst 1000 record counts against him, without a win in the Great Race since 2012 and not on the podium since 2013 as a result of costly infringements and mistakes, he has been a regular contender at the Mount Panorama Circuit and is still the most successful active full-time driver in the history of the event. Whincup has notched up record-breaking numbers in one of the most competitive eras of Australian touring cars, depriving a generation of drivers more success. He raised the level for what’s expected of a driver, with his hard work, dedication and application. McLaughlin, who followed his path to win consecutive championships, freely admits that Whincup made him a better driver. Whether Whincup’s records will ever be beaten remains to be seen. If they stand the test of time, then his case for the greatest of all time will be further solidified.

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JESSICA DANE

THE NEXT GENERATION DANE WORDS Andrew Clarke IMAGES Peter Norton

Jessica Dane now has a 30 percent stake in Triple Eight Race Engineering, second only to new investor Tony Quinn. The secondgeneration Dane and Jamie Whincup face the challenge of filling the shoes of Roland Dane, not only to keep the team at the frontend of Supercars but also to expand into other areas.

J

essica Dane acknowledges she is lucky in some ways, but she tells you luck is only part of the story. The other part is one where she carries the skills to take over the commercial operations of Australia’s most successful motorsport team, both on and off the track. One where she has extra knowledge via study and the endorsement of a father who doesn’t follow the path of nepotism. Born 30 years ago, Jess has travelled an interesting path to being part of the leadership structure at Triple Eight Race Engineering. She started life in the media, which took her on a journey through horse magazines and television shows to the Olympics before settling in at Triple Eight, her father Roland Dane’s business. This is where the luck comes into it. But if you know Roland, you know Jess would not be where she is if she couldn’t do the job. He has made her work for it, learn the sport and the team from the ground up before being handed the keys. She calls him Roland or RD; she’s never called him dad just as his father was never granddad or grandpa, he was just Dave. In the last issue of SupercarXtra Magazine, we spoke with Roland and Tony Quinn about the future of the team now that Quinn has taken a significant stake in the operation and Roland has signalled his intent to step away. Quinn stated in that interview that he is investing in Jamie Whincup and Jess as the two operational heads of Triple Eight. So, who is Jessica Dane? And what does she do? “My every day at the moment is changing dramatically, and I think that’s why I’m enjoying it so much,” she says. 34

“I can’t really give you a typical day. I am in the office working in the commercial team, but doing more and more outside of it, working more with management from all departments as we’re transitioning from Roland to Jamie and me taking more of a leading role. “I’m getting far more involved in things like dealing with the governance and other teams. Jamie and I are learning far more about behind the scenes and the political side of it than we ever have. “I am getting far more exposed to team life than I was before as well. On top of all that, I’m doing far more legal work because I’m almost finished my law degree and doing the media side of things while still working on TV with the FIA and Motorsport Australia.” She has worked with Whincup for years, but she has never worked with him like this. Nor has she worked at Triple Eight without Roland. While there is plenty of change, there is also much that is unknown. “We’re still working it all out, to be honest; Jamie and I are still working out how that will all work,” she explains. “Triple Eight is expanding into other categories as we have been over the years with GT. Jamie is very much Supercars focused; it’s what he knows and it’s why he’s going to be undoubtedly one of the best people in pitlane as a team leader. “I’m very keen, as Jamie is as well, on the talent development side of it. Seeing what Triple Eight could be doing in terms of developing future talent, both in the car and out – mechanics and engineers as well as drivers. “Jamie is the person at the front of the ship

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JESSICA DANE

steering it and I’m the person coordinating the crew behind the scenes to make all the magic happen. “I’m so excited about the future; there’s so much opportunity. We’ve got a new workshop further down the road that most people are aware of now. We call them 40 and 73 because that’s the number on the same road. “We are still in 40. That’s going to be a dedicated race shop. We’re still bouncing around ideas about what that’s going to look like when people walk in there, whether it’s a potential customer or a sponsor or whoever, and just be blown away by what we can do as a race team. And then the manufacturing will be further down the road in 73 and is going to be expanding the growth within motorsport and outside of motorsport with what we’re doing. “We have really exciting times ahead and we’re very lucky to have Quinny on board. I think that’s a really nice mix of still retaining that kind of traditional leadership. “RD and Quinny both lead in similar ways, while Jamie and I work well together, so there’s a balance of young and old and new and traditional that I think will work really well.” Since her father first appeared in Supercars nearly 20 years ago, he has been an imposing figure and has built the sport’s most successful team. The wins are there, but it is also a business that makes money. His are big shoes to fill. “I don’t tend to get nervous about things that I can control; this is why I’m terrible at Bathurst. I’ve done everything I can within my power until the cars head out to the grid, then it is out of my control and that’s when I get nervous,” says Jess. “I can’t control how other people feel or what they think, but if I can do my part to bring positivity, then that is good. It’s up to me to do the learning and it’s up to me to absorb as much as I can and put myself in the best position to be able to lead alongside Jamie.” Part of her learning has been the law degree she enrolled in a few years ago. She didn’t know why she did at the time – she never had any intention of practicing as a lawyer – but now she does. “It was back in 2018 and there was a potential for my role to change quite a lot when we were trying to continue the third car with Simona [De Silvestro], which is no secret now,” she explains. “Most people know about that, but my role would have changed significantly with it. When it fell through at the last minute, I knew that I couldn’t go back to just doing what I’d been doing before. “One of my biggest fears in life is feeling stagnant and being in my comfort zone. I think law is always something that has suited my personality and suited my abilities because it’s a close analysis of language and I love the way language works. So, contracts, that kind of stuff, decoding legislation, I really enjoy it, which sounds so mundane, but it helps with things like applying for government grants and that kind of thing. 36

Jamie Whincup will move from the driver’s seat into the role of team principal in 2022.

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“It’s all part and parcel of growing as a person and being able to bring more to the table at Triple Eight. Understanding contracts and dispute resolution is massive.” Which brings us back to her father. His leadership at Triple Eight has played a large part in getting the team to where it is. There is a focus on fixing problems rather than affixing blame. He is a fierce advocate for the things he believes in, and he debates as well as anyone we’ve seen in pitlane before. Rather than try to clone him, Jess will do it in her own way while also recognising his contribution to the team and her life. “I am so lucky to be in the position that I’m in and I don’t take that for granted at all, but you don’t get anywhere with RD without having earnt it, and I would not be where I am without having earnt it,” she says. “Anybody who knows him and knows the way he operates and sees us in a working environment knows that too. I got it harder than most people, to be honest. There was definitely an element when I was younger of feeling like I needed to prove myself, hence why I went off and did other things. “I did six months in TV production back in 2015 because I had lost sight of why I moved back to Australia, which was to work in motorsports. When I went off and did something else, I remembered that I really loved motorsport and that’s why I came back. “There are plenty of people who can sit there and say, ‘Oh, you’re only where you are because of your surname,’ but at the end of the day, do those people really matter? “I’m very fortunate to be able to learn as much as I can of the good stuff from RD, and I know how he leads is not how I will lead. There are things that I’ll take from him and things that I’ll leave, but that’s like anything; you don’t model yourself exactly on one person. “You need to take a little bit of lots of different people and put those elements together to ultimately create the best package for that situation.” It is hard to see Roland going cold turkey, but the rumours about how he will fill his time have already started to make the press. The other factor that will drive it is the opening of the international borders, as he plans to head back to England to spend time with his other daughter. Jess says the work to ease out of the sport started four years ago. “It’s going to be a gradual process, but I don’t think people realise how good he’s been over the last four or so years at stepping away from the Supercars assignments and letting Dutto [Mark Dutton] run the Red Bull side of the garage,” she says. “He’s actually been very good over the last few years of removing himself and letting people grow in their roles. I can’t remember the last time he went into the debrief; he just lets everyone get on with it. It’s not going to be the massive hole being left as people on the outside seem to think. SUPERCAR XTRA

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JESSICA DANE

Roland Dane will step down as team principal in 2022.

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“Jeromy Moore, JJ, is the one who gets most of the calls from him, and the rest of us know if he’s happy. He’ll send whichever driver a text with a thumbs up. If not, then we won’t hear from him.” Another focal point for Jess will be the addition of another woman into a team ownership role in Supercars. “I certainly think from a female perspective it matters; I’ve always seen it as I’m so fortunate to have got into this industry through family. But there are many girls in the world who might never have the opportunity to discover that this is, in fact, their passion,” she says. “If I can do my part in exposing them to that and being a face in pitlane, then that is good. If they can see that, then maybe they’ll see they can do it too. I think the industry will only get better from that. “We’ve got so much potential now, especially in the wake of COVID. There’s so much emphasis on bringing things back on shore, manufacturing locally, engineering locally, but if we don’t grow the base of people who are actually engaged in those areas, then we’re not going to keep innovating and we won’t be able to do it. “We have this amazing opportunity to put Australia at the forefront of technological innovation around the world. Fifty percent of the population is female, and yet females represent anywhere from four percent to 20 percent depending on which specific industry you’re talking about.

“We’ve never really been able to gauge the numbers in motorsport because it is so broad. So, with the work that I’ve done with Motorsport Australia over the years, we know that we can track the number of female license holders, whether that’s a license to drive or whether it’s an officiating license, but you can’t easily track the number of women in motorsport because of the number of roles and the number of categories. “What you see in pitlane isn’t representative of everyone the teams have back at the workshop. And equally, what you see in Supercars is not representative of the grassroots levels because there’s even more women who are working in other categories. “Being exposed to other categories of motorsport has really opened my eyes to how many more women there are working in motorsport and doing it because they love it. “I’ve really loved the opportunity for them to be able to follow that career if they want to.” Jess has six months or so working with her father before Triple Eight is hers and Whincup’s to run, along with Quinn. Just what that team will look like is still uncertain. We know it will remain in Supercars as one of the premier teams; we know it will look at other categories and other opportunities in motorsport. You get the feeling when you talk with Jess that she is not just up for the challenge, but she is embracing it and the changes in her life.

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WILL BROWN

THE WILL TO WIN

WORDS John Bannon IMAGES Supercars, Peter Norton, Jack Martin

On Erebus Motorsport’s books since 2018, Supercars rookie Will Brown signed a long-term deal with the Holden team in 2019 on the promise of a full-time main-game seat in 2021. With three major national championships under his belt in a variety of machinery, it’s no surprise that the Queenslander has been on the pace in his rookie Repco Supercars Championship season. 40 40

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ehind Will Brown’s laid-back exterior is a strong will to win, if you’ll excuse the pun. The 23-yearold has tasted plenty of success in his young career, with Toyota 86 Racing Series and Formula 4 championship wins in the same year and the inaugural TCR Australia title in 2019. On paper, that’s plenty to boast about, but tellingly, when we ask Brown what he’s most proud of, he instead focuses on the one that got away. “I think the most disappointed I have been was not winning the Formula Ford championship [in 2016]. I know that much,” he says. “Most proud? I’m not too sure. I don’t really get too caught

up in it. I think winning the Toyota 86 Series in its first year was great. But I always wanted to win Formula Ford.” While it’s remarkable that the current Erebus Motorsport driver won both the Toyota 86 and Australian Formula 4 championships in 2016, he very nearly won three major national titles that season. “Well, actually, a lot of people don’t know the reason I lost the Formula Ford championship was because Formula 4 and Formula Ford were on the same weekend for their first round,” he says. “So I had to miss Formula Ford and I was 58 points down after the first round. We didn’t lose it by many points. SUPERCAR XTRA

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WILL BROWN “Formula Ford was the one I really wanted to win that year. If you look at the pedigree of drivers that have won it, and it went down to the final race after missing a round. I worked hard to try and get back, and we won several races in a row in that championship. “I believe we still had an awesome year in Formula Ford; it’s just we missed the first round.” Brown progressed to the Dunlop Super2 Series with Eggleston Motorsport in 2017 and finished ninth in the championship, even after a mechanical failure denied him a maiden win in Newcastle. It was the sort of luck that seemed to cruel his Super2 campaigns. “In my second year I came sixth in the championship; we were going great,” he recalls. “I was thinking of one more year of Super2 and then hopefully I was going to get a drive in the main game. But with the third year things didn’t go to plan at Eggleston. We just didn’t have the year we wanted between all of the cars. I fell back to 12th in that year.” Despite the championship success in other categories, Brown’s struggles to make inroads in Super2, prior to his runner-up finish with Erebus Motorsport-affiliated Image Racing in 2020, was clearly a frustration.

“I don’t know how to say it really. Each year the enduros saved me pretty much,” he says. “At the end of every year, when I jumped in the Erebus car, in a really good car, I was able to be one of the top co-drivers and do standout drives like Gold Coast and Sandown, which sort of saved my career. “At the end of 2018, Erebus signed me straight at the end of Gold Coast. We literally had a five-minute chat, me and Barry [Ryan], and he signed me. And, then at the end of 2019 it was the same. Betty Klimenko and Barry sat me down. We pretty much did that deal for me to be a 2021 driver for them… and that plan has gone ahead. “Betty and Barry have placed a lot of faith in me. That deal doesn’t happen very often in Supercars and you don’t see it happen often at all, a guaranteed seat in a year’s time. So it was pretty cool to do that deal. “Hopefully as a driver they see someone who is quick and able to do the job. Really, there are many aspects to being a driver these days, with how hard it is to get sponsorship. You have to be marketable and also quick; that’s one of the big things.” Brown is often credited as being the whole package, as comfortable chatting to media, sponsors and fans as he is driving a race car fast.

“THE BIGGEST THING I’VE ALWAYS SAID WITH MOTORSPORT IS I DON’T DO THIS FOR THE FAME OR THE MONEY OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. I STARTED RACING GO-KARTS FOR FUN, AND THAT’S WHY I’M RACING SUPERCARS. IT’S PURELY TO ENJOY MYSELF, AND I ENJOY DOING WHAT I’M DOING.” – WILL BROWN

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In part, Brown credits his day job as a car salesman for some of those skills but, equally, it’s reflected in his humble reason for being a driver. “Nah, I’ve never had any training in media; I’m just a used car salesman as well, so maybe there’s a bit of training over the years doing that,” he says. “I’ve always been an easygoing person. I love go-karting and doing everything. The biggest thing I’ve always said with motorsport is I don’t do this for the fame or the money or anything like that. I started racing go-karts for fun, and that’s why I’m racing Supercars. It’s purely to enjoy myself, and I enjoy doing what I’m doing.” Even though Brown has stepped up to a full-time Supercars drive, he is still working for the family business. His brother, who is a commercial pilot normally, is now taking on more of Brown’s role. “We’re got the car yards in Toowoomba, so I’m currently at the car yards,” he says. “I pretty much helped to run them full-time with my Dad up until the end of last year. I’m still doing that. Obviously, Supercars is a little more demanding this year, but I’m trying to get back as much as possible because it’s probably grown to a stage where it’s very hard for Dad to run by himself. “He is getting to an age that he struggles to do that. So it’s great for us that I’m able to come back and help him out. When I signed the deal, my brother was flying full-time. He decided he’d come back. We’ve obviously got planes; he’d fly our plane and work in the family business. He has sort of taken my role.” Brown took no time getting up to speed when he hit the track for the first event at Bathurst this year,

sitting an impressive third on the timesheets before a heavy crash at the Dipper in practice curtailed his strong start. Brown insists he didn’t let it get him down. “To be honest, it probably took until the next morning to get over it. I pretty much went out there and had another crack. I think we might have qualified 17th and the car definitely wasn’t back up to a really high standard. We just rebuilt it for the weekend to try and get some points.” The Queenslander also praises his team for the way they handled the less than ideal situation. “I think the best thing about Erebus is they didn’t call me an idiot or anything like that,” he says. “It was just a silly little mistake that anyone could make throughout the year. So they just said get on with it, we’ll rebuild it. And they didn’t really put me down for being a rookie that has made a mistake. “With that crash, when I was going back in the medical car I thought, I’m not going to let this affect me. I remember thinking that. I wasn’t sure how the team would react to it at that stage. They were all pumped. The cars are fast, you were running third at that stage. So they were like, let’s rebuild and go again.” Overall, Brown has been happy with the start to his rookie season and the opportunity to build on relationships he’s developed after four years at Erebus Motorsport. “Yeah, it’s been a fantastic start to the season and we’re really happy with where we are at,” he reflects. “There’s been a few things that I could’ve done better. But I’m really happy with the results and the pace we’re showing. Me and Tom [Moore, engineer]

Brown spent four seasons in the Dunlop Super2 Series with a championship best of second in 2020.

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WILL BROWN

Brown overcame an accident in practice for the season opener at Bathurst to log some impressive results in his full-time rookie campaign.

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have already had a relationship from all the years I’ve done with Erebus co-driving. I knew Tom very well. So obviously that’s developed this year and will develop even more. He’s been really easy to get along with and is doing a great job for his first year as an engineer.” Brown is one half of a young dynamic driving pairing alongside Brodie Kostecki. They’ve been turning heads up and down pitlane for the strong start to their rookie campaigns. “With Brodie [Kostecki], we’re getting along great,” he says. “I think that’s one of the main reasons why we’re doing so well as teammates; we get along awesome. We don’t hide anything from each other or try and hinder the other one. We’re out to work together, and I think we saw that at Tasmania when I got past Brodie and was trying to fight further ahead. So we’re working well as teammates and we’re not just working for ourselves.” Brown says that the results swinging back and forth between himself and Kostecki help both cars stay in the top half of the field. “I think the great thing for us is that there is no one dominating the other one,” he says. “Obviously, if you are getting flogged by your teammate every weekend, you’d be a little disappointed. There’s one weekend we joked because I said the ‘lead driver’ when I meant the lead car out at Tasmania. “So we joked at Tailem Bend that he might have been the lead driver. You always want to beat your teammate and everyone knows that. And that’s something that you push to do.

“We’re so close to each other and so competitive that it sort of swings back and forth. One qualifying he beats me and the next one I just beat him. You’re not seeing one car fifth and the other one 19th; you’re seeing us both maximising the car and being 10th or 11th or something like that.” Brown has been particularly encouraged by his form in Tasmania and Tailem Bend, after Kostecki made the slightly faster start to the season, recording the team’s first podium for the year at Sandown. “For three Tasmania qualifying [sessions] and that first qualifying [at Tailem Bend], I don’t think we qualified out of the top 10,” beams Brown. “So it’s fantastic to have that sort of pace, and hopefully we can replicate it throughout the year and just build on it. I used to think that my qualifying required more work, but obviously qualifying seems to be really good this year. The car seems to be handling that [qualifying] well. Definitely with our race pace, there has been some understeer creeping into the cars, and that’s something we’ve been working on and I think it’s getting better.” It’s that sort of start to his rookie season that Brown should be happy with. And, after some thought, the affable Queenslander did come up with some proud achievements to date. “I think it has really been co-driving that has been my most memorable memories,” he says. “Probably Sandown 2019, I came second in the co-driver race and passed Garth [Tander]. That for me was probably a standout drive.” And it’s a safe assumption that won’t be the last standout performance from this young rising star going forward.

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3/11/2021 12:10:20 PM


JAKE KOSTECKI & ZANE GODDARD

WORDS James Crocker IMAGES Supercars, Peter Norton

After sharing the same entry last season, Jake Kostecki and Zane Goddard moved into their own cars at Matt Stone Racing this season. And their progress is accelerating as a result.

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n 2020, Matt Stone Racing (MSR) raised eyebrows with their unique ‘SuperLite’ concept, which gave two of the Dunlop Super2 Series’ brightest young talents a shot at Supercars’ main game through a shared-car program in the one entry. In 2021, MSR has shown faith in those rookies, signing the two drivers for full-time roles and in the process forming the youngest teammate pairing on this season’s grid. Zane Goddard and Jake Kostecki have come a long way from racing each other in karting on the Gold Coast, now fronting the bright, young MSR operation that has quietly made promising ground throughout the first half of 2021. That the two 21-year-olds were able to make a seamless transition into full-time roles in the main game this season shows that the program has been a success, an idea shared by one of the main supporters behind the program, UNIT Clothing’s Toby Lynch. “It’s a credit to both drivers that, despite being the youngest in the field, they were able to approach the challenges thrown at them with determination and maturity and deliver a series of solid race results,” he says. “As a result, they find themselves graduates of the program and in their own cars for 2021, which is the ultimate outcome. This is now a chance for them to continue to build on their solid results and further refine their race craft against the series’ best.” Team owner Matt Stone’s young team has also been boosted by some key engineering recruits, which have seen the young pairing grab some promising qualifying and race results, as MSR celebrates the 10th anniversary of its foundation. 46

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It has been an interesting journey to Supercars for Goddard, with his career starting in open wheelers with a ninth place in the short-lived Australian Formula 4 championship in 2015, which led to a stint overseas in British Formula 4 and Formula Renault, winning races before returning to Australia in 2018 to compete in the Dunlop Super2 Series with Brad Jones Racing. Goddard’s first season in tin-tops was a steep learning curve, with the then 18-year-old finishing 14th, but a move to Matt White Racing in 2019 lit a fuse on the promising youngster’s Supercars career, finishing on the podium four times in his first four races on his way to fourth in the championship standings. The strong start to the season alerted Stone to his talents, and he became a part of the inaugural ‘SuperLite’ program in 2020. Initially scheduled for Adelaide, Symmons Plains, Pukekohe, Winton and Sydney Motorsport Park, Goddard made his debut on the streets of Adelaide, finishing inside the top 20, before a COVID-19-sized curveball hit, forcing major schedule changes that saw Goddard take on the second Sydney and Darwin rounds, Townsville as well as The Bend Motorsport Park before partnering Kostecki at Bathurst. Goddard raised eyebrows in Sydney, finishing 10th in the third race of the weekend, his best finish in a solid first season. When Goddard progessed to the full-time program for 2021, he took over the #35 Yellow Cover Commodore piloted by Garry Jacobson last year. There have been several new elements to Goddard’s program aside from a full-time schedule, with young engineer Jack Belotti taking charge of the #35 this season. The new partnership has blossomed immediately, with Goddard topping the pre-season test in Queensland before a strong opening round at Bathurst, where he placed 12th in the opening race of the season. A tough Sandown followed before a breakout performance in Tasmania, where he qualified fourth for the final race of the weekend before grabbing a career-best finish of seventh in the race. Despite the strong runs, Goddard is still learning and observing his rivals as he makes his way up in the Supercars world. SUPERCAR XTRA

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JAKE KOSTECKI & ZANE GODDARD

Kostecki stayed in the #34 entry in 2021.

Goddard moved into the #35 entry in 2021.

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“Obviously, they’re the best in the business; they’ve been doing it for a long time, especially last year when I was new to it all, it’s hard not to get starstruck,” he says about his rivals. “At the end of the day, they’re your competition and one day you want to be out there beating them. At this point, I’m still climbing the ladder and you’ve got to learn from the best. “Having your own car and being able to focus on your own program makes it a lot easier, and I think we’ve got a good structure now with Jack, who’s doing a great job. He’s taken over the engineering role at the factory and is working super hard. “The boys are really determined and have got a good rapport, and everyone just enjoys racing at the moment. I think when that happens, that’s when the good stuff happens.” On the other side of the garage is Kostecki, who has been a mainstay in the Supercars scene for the past six years with the Kostecki name becoming synonymous with the Dunlop Super2 Series and now in the main game. Brother Kurt Kostecki returned to the Supercars grid at The Bend Motorsport Park in a Walkinshaw Andretti United wildcard entry, and cousin Brodie Kostecki has starred in the early stages of his fulltime career with Erebus Motorsport. The trio completed the rare feat of having three family members competing on the main-game grid at The Bend Motorsport Park, having done the same in the Dunlop Super2 Series. Jake Kostecki made waves as a 15-year-old, making his debut in the then named V8 Touring Car Series (now Super3), finishing in ninth place in the 2015 season, despite missing a round. He soon graduated with his family team to the Dunlop Super2 Series in 2016 alongside Kurt, finishing 18th in his debut season. Following a tough 2017, in which he placed 22nd in the championship, Kostecki would improve in 2018, grabbing multiple top 10s on his way to 18th in what would be his final full-time Dunlop Super2 Series campaign. A promising 2019 campaign was cut short by Kostecki Brothers Racing’s decision to focus on their wildcard entry in that year’s main-game endurance events. The wildcard program marked Jake’s main-game debut, and whilst an accident at Bathurst ended their day early, strong runs on the Gold Coast and Sandown helped give Jake and Brodie the momentum to get into the main-game frame. The 2020 season saw Kostecki become the other half of the ‘SuperLite’ program, with the pandemic

“HAVING YOUR OWN CAR AND BEING ABLE TO FOCUS ON YOUR OWN PROGRAM MAKES IT A LOT EASIER, AND I THINK WE’VE GOT A GOOD STRUCTURE.” – ZANE GODDARD SUPERCAR XTRA

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JAKE KOSTECKI & ZANE GODDARD

Direct comparisons between the two drivers will now be possible following their move into their own entries.

pushing his debut back to Sydney in late June, having initially been scheduled to debut at the cancelled Australian Grand Prix event in March. The pandemic also saw him compete in four solo rounds rather than the initial five he was scheduled for, before partnering with Goddard at Bathurst. In a tough opening campaign, Kostecki’s best result was a 14th place in Darwin before the duo failed to finish at Bathurst due to a late accident with Goddard at the wheel. For 2021, Kostecki has taken full-time control of the #34 UNIT Commodore that he and Goddard shared last season, initially retaining engineer Tim Newton before he was replaced by experienced engineer Chris Stuckey following the opening round. Kostecki started the season with a few top-15 finishes, though without the standout performance that Goddard produced in Tasmania and cousin Brodie achieved at Sandown. Trying to gel with his engineer after the behindthe-scenes changes, Kostecki has stayed out of trouble and gained valuable experience. Kostecki hails his relationship with boss Stone as a key driver of the program’s progress, with the youngster marvelling at his skills.

“Matt’s hands-on, whether that’s being a mechanic or being on the sidelines, even being a tyre guy. He can do anything, and when he’s in good spirits he keeps us motivated, and he also believes we’re all on the right track,” says Kostecki. “In Supercars, you have to have a good environment around you to go well, and everyone must be heading in the same direction. “We all understand that it takes time; we are a new team relative to the others. This isn’t a game where you can wake up, get to the track and win races. It’s a process.” Team owner Stone is also full of praise for the youngsters’ start to the season, with the team on track to better their last-place finish in the teams’ standings from last season. “Being in that midfield is definitely a good feeling and definitely a great start to the year; the start we were looking for. We feel that our race pace is pretty solid and that’s definitely a strength of ours this season,” he says. With their own entries, Goddard and Kostecki have the chance to accelerate their development and show the merits of the ‘SuperLite’ program in giving youngsters the opportunity to break into the main game of Supercars.

“WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT IT TAKES TIME; WE ARE A NEW TEAM RELATIVE TO THE OTHERS. THIS ISN’T A GAME WHERE YOU CAN WAKE UP, GET TO THE TRACK AND WIN RACES. IT’S A PROCESS.” – JAKE KOSTECKI 50

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P.O.Box 3186, The Pines, VIC, AUS 3109

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INDYCARS & SUPERCARS

WORDS Adrian Musolino IMAGES Team Penske, ZUMA Press/Alamy Stock Photo, Autopics.com.au

Scott McLaughlin’s ascent from Supercars champion to IndyCar contender has helped raise the profile of the Australian category in North America. But he’s not the first Australian touring-car driver to try his hand at IndyCar racing, or vice versa. 52

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INDYCARS & SUPERCARS

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he Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars and the Bathurst 1000 are very different racing disciplines to the IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, yet there’s been a number of drivers who have crossed over between the tin-top and open-wheeler categories over the decades. In what now seems like the bygone era of drivers racing in a variety of disciplines and categories across continents, three-time Australian Formula 1 world champion Jack Brabham introduced the first rear-engined car in the Indianapolis 500 in 1961. Brabham and fellow Australian Formula 1 driver Vern Schuppan made a number of starts in the Indianapolis 500 and Bathurst 1000 with mixed success across the 1960s and into the 1980s. Schuppan was awarded the Indy ‘Rookie of the Year’ in 1976, the same year he teamed with Allan Moffat in the Bathurst 1000. He finished in third place at Indianapolis in 1981, followed by his final Bathurst start alongside John Harvey later in the year. Australian touring-car regular and Bathurst 1000 winner Kevin Bartlett made three starts in the 1970 IndyCars championship, though failed to qualify for that year’s Indianapolis 500. In the other direction, three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherford and Janet Guthrie, the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, combined to drive a Ron Hodgson Motors Holden Torana at Bathurst in 1977. Second-generation racer Geoff Brabham had already made three starts in the Bathurst 1000 (including alongside father Jack Brabham in 1977) by the time he became a regular in IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, finishing in the top 10 in the championship standings three times in addition to 10 starts at Indianapolis with a best result of fourth in 1983. Brabham returned to Australia to win the Super Touring Bathurst 1000 in 1997 in addition to several starts in V8 Supercars. IndyCars headed to Australia to race on the streets of Surfers Paradise for the first time in 1991, with the Gold Coast hosting an IndyCars Series category at the peak of its popularity. This opened the door for more Australians to become involved in IndyCars, with the North American category also exposed to Australian touring cars as the latter became one of the main support acts on the Gold Coast. Gary Brabham, brother of Geoff Brabham, became the first Australian to compete in the Gold Coast IndyCar race with outings in 1993 and 1994, having already made three starts in the Bathurst 1000. IndyCars split in two in 1996 with the creation of the Indy Racing League, an all-oval North American-based category in opposition to CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams, soon to become Champ Car), which continued to race on the Gold Coast. While the split had a devastating impact on North American open-wheel racing, it presented more opportunities for new drivers across the competing

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categories, particularly international drivers in CART/ Champ Car. Jason Bright, after winning the Bathurst 1000 in 1998, raced in the Indy Lights series in 2000 and made a one-off appearance in the CART race on the Gold Coast for Della Penna Motorsports in the same year. Supercars race winner David Besnard also made a one-off start on the Gold Coast with Walker Racing in 2004. Besnard raced in various North American categories before returning to Australia to compete in Supercars, with the Gold Coast opportunity coming about through his Supercars team boss, Craig Gore. Gore entered Supercars with WPS Racing in 2004 and became the naming-rights partner of Walker Racing in Champ Car from 2005, with the team rebranded as Team Australia. Bathurst 1000 starter Marcus Marshall raced for Team Australia in Champ Car in 2005, joined by fellow Australian Will Power on the Gold Coast that season. Power replaced Marshall in the entry in 2006. Power, who had raced at Bathurst alongside Mark Larkham in 2002, scored two wins for Team Australia in what would be the final Champ Car season in 2007. IndyCar racing unified in 2008 with Power continuing to impress with another win, with the Team Australia branding moving across to KV Racing Technology. Also winning races was fellow Australian Ryan Briscoe, by then a Bathurst starter with the Holden Racing Team, driving for the powerhouse outfit Team Penske. Briscoe won the non-championship round on the Gold Coast in 2008, the final IndyCar race on the street circuit with the category opting to focus on North American rounds on the amalgamated calendar. Supercars took over as the headline act on the streets of the Gold Coast from 2009 with an international co-driver component added from 2010, paving the way for IndyCar drivers to return to Surfers Paradise. The likes of Marco Andretti, Sébastien Bourdais, Hélio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, James Hinchcliffe, Simon Pagenaud, Max Papis, Scott Pruett, Graham Rahal, Jacques Villeneuve and Justin Wilson were amongst the active or former IndyCar drivers who competed at the event between 2010 and 2012. IndyCar series champion and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon was due to compete in the event in 2011 but tragically lost his life in an accident in Las Vegas the week before the Gold Coast event. The trophy for the best-placed international on the Gold Coast was named in his honour. While the format was done away with in 2012, IndyCar and Formula 1 champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Villeneuve made a solo cameo in Supercars as an injury replacement for Greg Murphy at Kelly Racing in that same season, while multiple Champ Car champion Bourdais returned for an impressive endurance campaign with Team 18 in 2015. Max Wilson and Simona De Silvestro moved into

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Ryan Briscoe won the last IndyCar race on the Gold Coast in 2008.

Will Power became the first Australian to win the Indianapolis 500 in 2018.

full-time roles in Supercars from IndyCars. Wilson raced in CART in 2001 before a move to Supercars in 2002, spending six seasons racing in Australia. De Silvestro spent four seasons racing in IndyCars, before a three-year stint in Supercars off the back of two wildcard starts at Bathurst. Team Penske arrived in Supercars as the majority owner of Dick Johnson Racing (rebranded to DJR Team Penske) from 2015. The partnership netted three drivers’ championships and a Bathurst 1000 win before Team Penske split with the team at the end of 2020, with Roger Penske taking ownership of the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. IndyCar rivals Andretti Autosport followed suit and joined forces with Walkinshaw Racing in 2018, rebranding to Walkinshaw Andretti United. IndyCar great Michael Andretti’s association with the team paved the way for Hinchcliffe and Alexander Rossi to race in the Bathurst 1000 in a wildcard entry in 2019. They joined the likes of Sam Posey, David Hobbs, Denny Hulme, John Andretti, Scott Pruett, Jan Magnussen, Nicolas Minassian and Alex Tagliani to have raced in IndyCars/CART/Champ Cars and in the Bathurst 1000. Team Penske’s time in Supercars was headlined by Scott McLaughlin’s run of three championship wins. Penske gave McLaughlin the opportunity to test an IndyCar, which paved the way for a one-off outing at the end of 2020 and a full-time drive in 2021. McLaughlin’s teammate Power is well established in IndyCar, becoming the first Australian to win the IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 titles in 2014 and 2018 respectively. McLaughlin is the most successful and high-profile Supercars regular to move into IndyCars; a pioneer in the same way that fellow championship winner Marcos Ambrose was with his move to North America into the NASCAR system in 2006. “Marcos, he gave us some belief when he went to NASCAR and, for sure, he gave me as a young kid some inspiration to do it,” said McLaughlin. “I just hope that it’s the same for myself with some young kids and knowing that you can make it happen if you work hard enough. “Even if you are a Supercar racer right now and have thought about going somewhere, don’t be jealous that I’m here; be excited because if I go well I’m opening the doors for a lot of Supercar drivers in the future. “I really take on that role of being a Supercar ambassador as much as I can. “I’m the current champion and I really want to be a great role model for that, the sport, myself, my country and my family.” With the might of Team Penske behind him and still only 28 years of age, McLaughlin is well positioned to make his mark in IndyCar and potentially pave the way for more Supercars drivers to follow in his footsteps.

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FLASHBACK

THE ROOKIE SENSATION

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WORDS Andrew Clarke IMAGES Justin Deeley, Autopics.com.au

Marcos Ambrose stormed onto the scene with Stone Brothers Racing in 2001. Twenty-years on, we reflect on the gamechanging arrival of the ‘Devil Racer’ into Supercars.

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wenty years ago, the Holden Racing Team was dominant. Mark Skaife was in the middle of a three-peat in the championship, while Ford seemed to be on its knees. The AU Falcon was hard work relative to the speedier VX Commodore, but there was a changing of the guard in the Ford ranks that was going to prove a game-changer. Dick Johnson Racing and Glenn Seton Racing were fading from their former glory, while Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) was emerging. Enter a young Marcos Ambrose for the #4 PIRTEK Falcon, with an equally young David Besnard in the #9 Caltex Falcon. Ambrose was talented, ambitious and committed to success. He fitted into the team like a hand fits into its favourite glove. It was, in essence, the perfect combination to unseat the best. He signalled his intent with pole position for his first-ever race at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix. Four race meetings into the season he had his first round win at Hidden Valley Raceway. He went on to finish on the podium eight times and started from pole position three times, including for his first Bathurst 1000. For SBR, Ambrose was a key part of the plan to win championships. He brought the talent and focus it needed to take the next step. It was a risk, but it was calculated. “It did work well and people said it was a gamble,” says Ross Stone on the recruitment of the two young drivers. “Jimmy and I both thought that if you could drive a Formula Ford, well, you could drive a V8 Supercar. “Marcos didn’t drive us any harder than we were already going, although he knew how to get people around him, but any good driver does that. “We had what we thought was a reasonable car and good engineering. But he was perfect; he was just what we were looking for.” There was a new edge to SBR, and they continued building on a path to the top of the tree. “The timing was right; we had been going for a while and starting to get a bit established with everything we needed, and it was time to get the job done,” adds Stone. “Marcos obviously had a lot of talent, but the second thing is he was a smart operator. He knew what was needed to get the job done, and he just focused on that and whatever it took. He was away in no time.” SUPERCAR XTRA

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FLASHBACK

Ambrose scored pole position for his first Bathurst 1000 in 2001.

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After Ambrose left Australia to race in open-wheel junior categories in Europe between 1998 and 2000, he stayed in constant contact with the Stones, which kept him on their radar. Honda had a young-guns invitational race on the Gold Coast in 2000, for which he was a late addition having just returned from Europe. “We watched how seriously he took that project; he was all eyes and ears and in there doing everything that needed to be done, so I guess that’s what started it all off,” says Stone. Ambrose was solely focused on what he needed to do to win races. He didn’t suffer fools outside the team and that gave him a reputation. Most people never got to see the real Ambrose because he was so focused on what he needed to do to win. He built a great understanding with a young Paul Forgie, who had been promoted at SBR to engineer the #4 car, and together they set about winning and building the sort of driver-engineer relationship that makes all the difference. “He had such a good feel for the car even though he hadn’t driven a V8 Supercar before, but coming from the hard racing he’d done in Europe in Formula 3 and Formula Ford he’d learnt a lot,” says Forgie. “He was pretty determined and had a great skill level. Even that first race meeting he ended up getting pole position there straight away. “The AU, to be fair, wasn’t really competitive with the aero-balance that was more rearward, and we lacked in the front compared to the Holden at the time, so we were on the back foot to start with. “We managed to chip away at the car from what he could notice and feel from racing around the other

guys near the front. His feedback was good, and we knew what we had to do. “He was also good at feeling small changes, stuff that sometimes is hard to pick up on a data-trace. He was able to pinpoint understeer, half a tyre width wider than he wanted to be at a corner when we couldn’t see it. “We had some pole positions, even pole at Bathurst that year, so his outright speed was there. But the speed for the whole race, there was some stuff to work on. Sometimes his starts weren’t the best in the field, as they’re hard cars to get off the line, and he worked on that until he had it mastered. “The following year with the AU, the last round of the year at Sandown was a big turning point. You don’t do it very often, but he was quickest in every session for the weekend and won the races. We knew we were competitive at that stage and the following year the new BA was a definite upgrade for us, and the work we’d done on the AU helped us to get on top of that quickly. “It’s a whole package to win races. You’ve got to have the car, the engine, the driver, and the team in the pits.” Only Craig Lowndes in 1996 had made such an immediate impression. With round and race wins with the AU Falcon in 2001 and 2002, including the dominant weekend in the 2002 season finale at Sandown, Ambrose was ready to capitalise on the arrival of the new BA Falcon in 2003. “I came back at the right time, fell into a fantastic team with fantastic people and the timing was perfect for my run into the sport… and for Ross and Jim too with their team,” says Ambrose.

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“They were up and coming as well and still fairly new as a team, and they were transitioning from older and more established drivers to a couple of young guys. “I didn’t view the Falcon as being inferior; I was paid to race cars and just drove it as fast as I could and tried to help the team set it up as good as they could. I had Paul Forgie and Ben Croke and a whole bunch of young guys with some older guys with amazing talent and so much depth in the team.” The pole positions at the Australian Grand Prix and Bathurst 1000 as a rookie set the tone for the Ambrose-SBR combination, sending a clear message to the rest of the field. “I was brand new in the car and I was an ambassador for the Grand Prix, so they had me running around in the week of the race sort of doing all sorts of things,” reflects Ambrose. “I was sort of pushed and pulled all over the place, and I’d never really driven a V8 around a street track. I’d never even driven on new tyres and I didn’t know what I was doing. I bobbled around there for the first three or four laps, and I just didn’t do a good lap. I had about three or four minutes to go out at the end of the session and do a time. I thought, ‘Right, well, this is going to be the lap right here’ and I made it stick and the rest is history. “I got the pole and Mark [Skaife] came in the window and looked at me with those big eyes and said, ‘Oh, you cut the track! You must’ve cut the track! You cut the track, didn’t you?’ I’m like, ‘Nah, I didn’t cut the track, mate.’ And that’s where it started, the whole thing kicked off. “It was going to be a battle for the next five years between Ford and Holden, and me and Mark and [Greg] Murphy. “It was a shock to me too, to be honest. I started the race the next day and we’d completely missed on the tyre pressures and I went from pole to eighth and I was wobbling around and I couldn’t keep the car on the track. “In many ways, I was out of my league but somehow managed to survive. And that’s what my first year was. I didn’t really understand the dynamics of a big, heavy race car or who I was racing against. Even the politics in the sport. I just jumped in the car and drove, and it’s a sink or swim situation.” The rest is history. Ambrose won two consecutive championships with the BA Falcon in 2003 and 2004 and was in contention for a third in 2005, which was won by teammate Russell Ingall. At the start of the 2005 season he announced he was leaving at season’s end to race NASCAR, where he made history as one of only a few non-American drivers to win a NASCAR Cup race. Ambrose started his first Supercars race from pole in 2001 and left with a pair of race wins in 2005. His time in Supercars may have been limited, including his ill-fated comeback in 2014 and 2015, but his impact on the sport cannot be understated. SUPERCAR XTRA

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FLASHBACK

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WORDS Andrew Clarke IMAGES Autopics.com.au

ARRIVAL OF ‘THE KID’

Craig Lowndes entered the 1996 Australian Touring Car Championship as a rookie that had rocked the establishment at Bathurst two years earlier. He went on to sweep the 1996 season and usher in a generation change. Twenty-five years on, we reflect back on that perfect storm.

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n 1996 it was seen as a bit of a risk to throw a young bloke, ‘The Kid’, into the Australian Touring Car Championship as the teammate to Peter Brock in the factory Holden team. It was fraught with danger on the evidence of the day, but it turned out to be a stroke of genius. Craig Lowndes was ‘The Kid’, and he went on to win the championship with a rookie thumping that had all the hallmarks of a perfect storm, upsetting the accepted order of things. No longer did you have to be in the twilight of your career to be a contender. Times were changing. Lowndes jumped out of the blocks with two round wins, had a couple of ‘learning’ hiccups and then stormed home with a series of race wins and pole positions to claim the title and set up a career which saw him become one of the all-time greats. Off the track, he was learning from an ageing master, and the fan-friendly Lowndes was born as the successor to Brock. There were a number of factors of significance back then to help the 22-year-old into the driver’s seat of the #15 Holden Racing Team (HRT) VR Commodore. While in today’s language 22 sounds old to be kicking a career into top gear, back then it was rare. Lowndes rated it as “a bit of an old blokes club.” He wasn’t too far off the mark with drivers like Brock, Dick Johnson, John Bowe and Larry Perkins in the main drives. Young was Mark Skaife in his late twenties or Glenn Seton, Russell Ingall and Mark Larkham in their thirties. Steven Richards was the only other driver anywhere near his age, two years older and in his first season with Garry Rogers Motorsport. So 22 was young back then, and it was seen by many as a gamble. Lowndes had won pretty much every championship he had entered. He came from good stock; his father Frank was a gun engineer and the chief scrutineer for CAMS and no doubt he had spent many long days and nights chatting race cars with his son. Lowndes had been testing with HRT a lot because there were no test-day restrictions back then and there was a tyre war,

which meant you needed to test regularly. He had two starts at Bathurst under his belt, and he could have had a rookie win there, too. His overtaking move late in the 1994 race around the outside of Bowe at Griffin’s Bend is legendary, but we also know the experience of Bowe in traffic got him back into the lead of the race, which he won with Lowndes placed second with co-driver Brad Jones. When HRT team manager Jeff Grech suggested Lowndes to replace Tomas Mezera for the 1996 season, he had a mighty job convincing bosses John Crennan and Tom Walkinshaw. They needed to trust this kid to take them into the next generation. “Certainly it wasn’t easy and it was a bit of a sudden thing,” explains Grech. “It surprised a lot when the subject got brought up; ‘They are running someone young.’ For the corporate world, including our sponsors and from the team point of view, it was a bit of a hard sell, but you look at where Craig is today and it was clearly worth it. There were a few bruises getting it happening and a few bumps along the way, but I was confident.” He said Crennan took a bit of convincing and Walkinshaw even more, but he got it across the line and they charged into the 1996 season with a near-perfect first round. “It was a big time for us; we had shifted from Notting Hill to Clayton and we had a brand-new car, which was very innovative with things like the Petty Bar, which raised a lot of eyebrows,” says Grech. “Then we threw Craig into it all; if it had backfired, we probably would have looked like gooses and that was always a worry, but in the back of my mind I had confidence in what we were doing. “That first round for us was pretty exciting. Craig got the bit between his teeth and we were off and running. Before you knew he was leading the championship.” He finished second in his first championship race at Eastern Creek and then won the next two races to win his maiden round in the Australian Touring Car Championship.

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FLASHBACK

Craig Lowndes won 16 of the 30 races in the 1996 Australian Touring Car Championship.

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His grip on the crown from there slipped a couple of times with rookie errors, but his talent took him back to the top each time and he sealed the crown early. “There was big conjecture about putting me in the car in ’96,” says Lowndes. “The sponsors, from what I understood, weren’t keen on this young kid operating a half-a-million-dollar race car with their logos on the side of it, so HRT took a big gamble at that time. “What a lot of people don’t appreciate today is that at the end of 1995 we went testing… we had something like 13 days of testing through October and November straight after Bathurst at different venues. “I remember being at Eastern Creek and I think we also did Oran Park, Calder, Mallala and Phillip Island. There was a tyre war at the time and no restriction, and by the time I finished the testing program at the end of ’95, I was well prepared for the start of ’96. We started at Eastern Creek with the short circuit and a twilight race meeting and we managed to win that round. I think it shocked everyone at that point.” All up, Lowndes won 16 of the 30 races and took home six round wins. It wasn’t all plain sailing; there were mistakes before he steadied at the halfway point. Eastern Creek and Sandown were round wins to open the season, and then he crashed with Wayne Gardner at the Bathurst round to give the

championship lead to John Bowe. “I hit Gardner at Bathurst and the team urged me to go and apologise to Wayne because it was my mistake,” reflects Lowndes. “I remember going to apologise and he basically tore me a new one. Although later he did say that I’m the only driver that’s ever come up and apologised for something like that, which I think got me back a little respect. “At Phillip Island I ended up shortening the Commodore into a little Barina, going off through the Hayshed with John Bowe. We were leading the race and I think it was the opening lap of that race and we hit a patch of water or something that was on the track and we went off quite quickly and unexpectedly. And I ended up going straight into the tyre fence and he ended up rolling his Falcon.” Lowndes credits his background and growing up around motorsport for the speed of his learning curve. He was always good at finding the limit without overstepping too much. It is the fine steps he makes that have stamped his driving career, as well as his mechanical sympathy and the ability to avoid trouble. “I was quite lucky to have a fairly solid upbringing, and even through Formula Ford, Dad was very instrumental in making sure that I worked on the car and I understood the effects of having a crash, for

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instance,” says Lowndes. “I suppose my upbringing was a little bit of a reason why I was, I wouldn’t say cautious, but I probably just knew where the limit was and I was able to then stay on it and not cross over it too much. But I did make mistakes, there’s no doubt about it. “Jeff was a great person to have around me and PB was a really good sounding board through that year. I remember driving back from Bathurst to Sydney after the Gardner incident. At that point we’d lost the lead of the championship; I thought my world was going to collapse. “PB was really good at being positive about it, learning from your mistakes but not necessarily letting them get you down. Learn from it and move on; just make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.” Off the track, HRT was mindful of growing Lowndes. He did media training and had all that time with the master of the crowd, Brock, during the season. They did a lot of functions together and the spongelike brain inside Lowndes’ head soaked it all in. “The way Peter would recall things and tell stories and interact with the crowd, his way of reading the crowd to change the way he was talking was an eye opener for me,” he says. “He’d recall things from 1972, driving the XU-1 around Bathurst and I’d look at him in awe. I wasn’t even born at that point, yet he could remember so much detail. “I’d stand behind him and just become part of the audience, in the sense of listening to his stories. “So for me it was learning about that side of motor racing and how important it is, but not only for your longevity but also for the sponsors and the fans.” After a couple of hiccups, Lowndes strung together

eight race wins in a row to take control of the championship. At the penultimate round of the season at Mallala, Lowndes had the championship sewn up already. “We went to Oran Park having already won the championship at Mallala when Alan Jones turned me around and I hit Bowe,” says Lowndes. “That altercation with JB allowed me to have enough points to secure the championship. “It was really special to be able to go to Oran Park knowing we were already the champion and just enjoy and soak up the atmosphere. But then to go on to partner with Greg Murphy, who was a young up and comer too at both Sandown and Bathurst and to win both of those as well and have the trifecta, it was an unbelievable feeling!” The 1996 season set Lowndes on track for superstardom, bringing the first of three championships and also the first of seven Bathurst wins. No rookie had ever won the Australian Touring Car Championship since the very first title in 1960 and it is unlikely anyone will repeat that effort. He entered the 1996 season knowing HRT was on the verge of a special era, and for him it was meant to be a learning year and a springboard to a career, which meant it could have been his only season in the series if things had worked out in Europe. “It was a year that for me got me to where I ultimately wanted to go, which was back into open-wheelers and in Europe,” says Lowndes on his move into Formula 3000 in 1997. “Throughout that season it was no secret that I wanted to race in Europe and I got that opportunity, but, of course, that’s another story all in itself…”

Lowndes teamed with Greg Murphy to win the 1996 Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000, completing the Australian touring-car version of the triple crown.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

THE REVERSE GRID EXPERIMENT

Between 2000 and 2006, Supercars introduced a reverse grid-format at select rounds to mix up the field. It led to the inevitable crash damage and unexpected winners, but the format soon fell out of favour.

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he early 2000s saw a boom in popularity for what was then known as V8 Supercars. In a bid to help grow the sport and appeal to a wider audience, a number of new formats were implemented, including reverse-grid races. The controversial format came into place at the first round on the streets of Canberra in 2000, ironically at arguably the least suitable circuit. With round rather than race results the focal point of a weekend, the change added a big variable to the event. The narrow confines of the street circuit made passing nearly impossible, with the field reversed for the second of three races. The predicted carnage didn’t eventuate, though it did

produce a surprise winner in the Holden Young Lions driver Todd Kelly. Partial reverse-grid races followed in the second half of 2000. With Mark Skaife and the Holden Racing Team at the start of their dominant run, such formats would help try and spice up the action. Reverse grids were limited to the Canberra 400 in 2001 and 2002, in a bid to differentiate the event and increase the amount of overtaking. A qualifying session set the grid for the first race with the results from that race reversed to form the grid for the second race. The grid for the third race was set by the combined points total of the previous two races. Steven Richards and Russell Ingall were triumphant in the reverse-grid races in 2001 and 2002 respectively, with the damage bill from those races a frustration for teams.

The demise of the Canberra 400 in 2002 saw reverse grids benched for the time being, only to resurface four years later. They were reintroduced in 2006, a season in which the points system was tweaked to reward consistency. The format was used for the first time that season at the second round at Pukekohe, with a multi-car pile-up setting the tone for the troubles it would cause. The format did achieve the desired result of mixing up the field and giving midfield teams the opportunity to challenge for race wins, with breakthrough victories for Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Dean Canto and Tasman Motorsport’s Jason Richards at Barbagallo and Winton respectively. Other times, though, either the cream rose to the top or leading contenders who had troubled runs in the opening

races prevailed, such as the HSV Dealer Team’s Garth Tander, Ford Performance Racing’s Jason Bright and Skaife across the Pukekohe, Hidden Valley, Queensland Raceway and Oran Park rounds. Oran Park hosted the final reverse-grid race with the format dumped for the final four sprint rounds of the season. Drivers, teams and even fans were increasingly against the format, arguing it had done more harm than good. “While the board felt the reverse-grid format had met many of the intended objectives, it did recognise that it wasn’t suited to all circuits,” said V8 Supercars CEO Wayne Cattach. “What it did do was stimulate a lot of interest and provide some great scenarios each time it was contested.”

The start of the final reverse-grid race at Oran Park Raceway in 2006.

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