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2021 SEASON PREVIEW WHAT’S NEW, TEAM PROFILES, CIRCUIT GUIDES SUPERCAR XTRA ISSUE 120

ISSUE 120

SUPERCARXTRA.COM.AU

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ISSUE 120 AUS $10.95 ISSN 1442-9926

SPECIAL HOLDEN’S HISTORY AND LEGACY FEATURE DICK JOHNSON RACING’S RETURN ANALYSIS THE LATEST ON THE NEW SEASON

COLUMNS WINTERBOTTOM AND LOWNDES FLASHBACK LOOKING THROUGH THE DECADES OBITUARY REMEMBERING JOHN HARVEY

PULLOUT POSTERS CLASS OF 2021 & THE HOLDEN COMMODORE 5.2 mm

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ISSUE 120 SUPERCARXTRA.COM.AU 6 ANALYSIS: THE DARK HORSE The prospects for David Reynolds and Kelly Grove Racing. 8 ANALYSIS: GETTING BACK ON TRACK How the 2021 Supercars calendar is shaping up. 9 ANALYSIS: THE LAST DANCE The end of an era at Triple Eight Race Engineering. 10 ANALYSIS: COOL RUNNERS Introducing Blanchard Racing Team. 12 ANALYSIS: BETTING ON THE YOUNG The all-rookie line-ups this season. 14 ANALYSIS: BATHURST FIELD TAKES SHAPE The state of play in the endurance co-driver market.

16 WINTERBOTTOM COLUMN Mark Winterbottom on Team 18’s 2021 goals. 18 LOWNDES COLUMN Craig Lowndes previews the new season. 24 FEATURE: WHAT’S NEW FOR 2021 The ins and outs for the Supercars season. 26 FEATURE: THE ENTRY LIST The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship field. 28 FEATURE: THE ENTRANTS Team-by-team profile of this season’s entrants. 36 FEATURE: THE CIRCUITS Profile of the circuits on the 2021 calendar.

44 FEATURE: A NEW DAWN Dick Johnson Racing’s reset on and off track. 52 FEATURE: ROLLING BACK THE DECADES A look back at the decade anniversaries marked in 2021. 56 FEATURE: THE HEART OF THE LION The origins of the Commodore in Australian touring cars. 62 FEATURE: REMEMBERING JOHN HARVEY Commemorating the life of John Harvey. 66 FROM THE ARCHIVES The last time the reigning champion didn’t defend the title.

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/SupercarXtra @SupercarXtra @SupercarXtra

ALL SET FOR 2021

T

he likelihood of a more normal schedule of events, the possibility of a wideopen championship race and the build-up to the introduction of the Camaro alongside the Mustang next year will make for an exciting 2021. This edition of SupercarXtra Magazine is your must-have guide to the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship, and will also be included in the program for the season-opening Repco Mount Panorama 500. We look at what’s new for this season, the complete entry list, team-by-team profiles, circuit guides and more. With reigning champion Scott McLaughlin and Team Penske departing the renamed Dick Johnson Racing, the championship battle appears more even. Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale step into Dick Johnson Racing and could contend for the title. We speak to the duo and examine the changes at the team in a feature story in this edition.

Other contenders include Triple Eight Race Engineering duo Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup, Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert. Get to know the 2021 entrants from page 23. The 2021 championship looks set to include more variety in terms of circuits compared to the disrupted 2020 campaign. Starting at Bathurst in February and scheduled to end on the Gold Coast in December, the dates will remain in a state of flux with COVID-19 still an ongoing threat. While we profile the circuits set to feature on the 2021 calendar, we are also mindful that the dates of the events could change, and we will keep you posted on our website and social media channels (see below right). We also look back at the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/ Supercars over the decades, celebrate the history of the Holden Commodore ahead of its final season and pay tribute

to the recently-departed John Harvey. The ‘Analysis’ section looks at the state of play entering 2021, from the arrival of David Reynolds at the newlook Kelly Grove Racing to the changes at Triple Eight Race Engineering. Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom share their thoughts in their columns, previewing the season ahead from a teams/drivers and schedule point of view and with a look ahead to Gen3 in 2022. We also remember the last time the reigning champion didn’t defend his title (Lowndes in 1997) in our ‘From the Archives’ section. Visit us at SupercarXtra. com.au for the latest news and to shop at our online store, or keep in touch with us on our social media channels on Twitter and Instagram (both @SupercarXtra) and on Facebook (Facebook. com/ SupercarXtra). Enjoy! – Adrian

INCORPORATING V8X MAGAZINE PUBLISHER Allan Edwards Raamen Pty Ltd trading as V8X PO Box 225, Keilor, VIC 3036 publisher@supercarxtra.com.au EDITOR Adrian Musolino editor@supercarxtra.com.au SUB EDITORS Krystal Boots, Amanda Salmon DESIGNER Thao Trinh CONTRIBUTING JOURNALISTS John Bannon, Andrew Clarke, James Crocker, Craig Lowndes, Mark Winterbottom PHOTOGRAPHERS Peter Norton, Autopics.com.au, Glenis Lindley, James Baker, Ben Auld, Justin Deeley, Mark Horsburgh, P1 Images, Paul Nathan, Scott Wensley, Danny Bourke, Matthew Norton ADVERTISING Fran Mitchell Phone: 0427 664 888 advertising@supercarxtra.com.au EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES Phone: (03) 9372 9125 Fax: (03) 8080 6473 office@supercarxtra.com.au ACCOUNTS Bookkeeper: Mark Frauenfelder accounts@supercarxtra.com.au MERCHANDISE & SUBSCRIPTIONS Phone: (03) 9372 9125 office@supercarxtra.com.au Published by Raamen Pty Ltd trading as V8X. Material in Supercar Xtra is protected by copyright laws and may not be reproduced in full or in part in any format. Supercar Xtra will consider unsolicited articles and pictures; however, no responsibility will be taken for their return. While all efforts are taken to verify information in Supercar Xtra is factual, no responsibility will be taken for any material which is later found to be false or misleading. The opinions of the contributors are not always those of the publishers.

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THE DARK HORSE

There’s a new name, investor, driver, engineer and sponsor for the team now known as Kelly Grove Racing, which has signed David Reynolds in its second season running Ford Mustangs. While the main talking point of 2021 will be how Dick Johnson Racing fares without Team Penske and Scott McLaughlin, the drama surrounding Reynolds’ move makes the #26 Penrite-backed Mustang the most intriguing entry to watch this season.

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decade since splitting with Kelly Racing in acrimonious circumstances, David Reynolds returns to the team having walked away from a long-term deal with Erebus Motorsport. The 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner will drive the #26

Penrite-backed Ford Mustang for Kelly Grove Racing, with investment in the team formerly known as Kelly Racing from the Grove Group/Grove Racing. “It’s obviously a very exciting time for the team with the recent investment from the Grove Group, and I believe the team has the resources

and firepower to achieve great things this year and continue building on some of the success we saw last year,” says Reynolds. Kelly Grove Racing will field two Mustangs for Reynolds and André Heimgartner in 2021, marking the first time there won’t be a member of the Kelly family driving

full-time for the team following the retirement of Rick Kelly. “I think we’re on the cusp of something really awesome at Kelly Grove Racing; the infrastructure and culture that’s in place has already really impressed me, and I’m excited for the 2021 season,” adds Reynolds.

David Reynolds joins Kelly Grove Racing in 2021.

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high standard through having a great team, a supportive partner network and through a lot of hard work and dedicaNovember 2017 - Order Form No.1 tion,” explains Todd Kelly. “But it’s been evident for a Customer___Pole Position P/L Debtor ID___________________________ long time now that there are Order No.__________________________ Rep Name__________________________ contribute to Order Date___December 02, two 2017 factors that Delivery Date________________________ consistent on-track success; one, streamlining the team Item Classic Carlectables Description No. from four cars to two, and2 the Qtr 18644 750 149.00 259.00 2018 second is being able to find a 2 Qtr 18654 1,000 149.00 259.00 2 2018 way to compete with the top teams that have the firepower Orders can be made by: of multiple shareholders both Mail: Southern Model Supplies 08 8277 6252 locally andFax: international. PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au “To put ourselves on a level playing field it was extremely “I’m also looking forward important to have a partner that saw him win Bathurst was founded in 2011 and has to working with André as his into the team thwho is and challenge for victories claimed Bathurst 12 Hour These special livery model cars have just been announced andBecome are available November 2017 Orders Must Received By as 30passionate teammate; we’ll definitely like-minded and on a regular basis at Erebus class victories, Porsche Mobil now to pre-order. great to add your and collection! push each other and hopefully about racing as we are, and Motorsport. ItIt’s also a marks the model 1 Supercup classto podiums get the two Mustangs up the fortunately we’ve been able to first time Reynolds will drive three Porsche Carrera Cup ∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. pointy end.” a Ford since he scored third in Australia class championships. find that partner in Stephen Phone orders will no longer be accepted. Reynolds left Kelly Racing the championship in 2015. Grove.” It’s a boost for the team at the end of 2011 to move “I believe that with the Meanwhile, the exodus at that switched from Nissan to Rod Nash Racing/Ford direction the team is heading Erebus Motorsport includes Altimas to Ford Mustangs November DELIVERIES Performance Racing, leading in and our ambitions for Penrite, drivers Reynolds and downsized from four to The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23 November 2017 to a contract dispute with the future, Dave will be an and Anton De Pasquale and two entries in 2020, with the the Kellys. His five-year stint extremely strong asset who added challenge of developing engineers McVean and Mirko 18612 1/18 Holden VS Commodore – 1997 Bathurst 1000 - Lowndes / Murphy 750 Sold Out with Erebus Motorsport also will have the ability to achieve and racing its18636 DePhase Rosa, with an all-rookie 1000 new 1/18 cars Retrowhile Ford XY Falcon GT-HO III Sold Out D O N ended with contractual issues, strong results immediately on the road away from its driver line-up of Will’T Brown MKostecki ISS Ofor having signed a 10-year deal and also complement André Melbourne-based factory for and Brodie UT2021 in 2019. The relationship and help him to continue his more than 100 days due to (see P page 12). R -OR between the driver and team development path,” says team Victoria’s COVID-19 lock“All thisE means forD usE asR a disintegrated throughout co-owner Todd Kelly. down. Nevertheless, Heimcompany is that we look for 2020, with Reynolds going The family-run Grove gartner scored two podiums new sponsors, do what we do without a podium over the Group becomes a major in his continued improvement best, have faith in our team course of the season. shareholder of the team in with the team. and our drivers, and go out With engineer Alistair partnership with Rick and “I believe we’ve been there and race and end up on McVean and sponsor Penrite Todd Kelly, with Stephen extremely effective over the the podium,” says team owner also moving to Kelly Grove and Brenton Grove set to years to be able to design and Betty Klimenko. Racing, Reynolds could very have an active role in Kelly manufacture all of our own See pages 24 and 25 for the NEW well rediscover the form Grove Racing. Grove Racing equipment to an extremely other changes in 2021.

NEW 2019 SUPERCAR MODEL

RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM 2019

Scheduled Production

W/S $

Due

RRP $

Order Qty

nd

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

nd

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

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ITEM NO.

CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

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AVAILABILITY

NOW

WHINCUP

VAN GISBERGEN

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GOLDEN AGE OF MOTOR SPORT DVD VOLUME TWO, THREE AND 3 SIZES FOUR

November 2017 - Order Form No.1

3 SIZES SCALE 1:18 $179 +p&h SCALE 1:43 $39.99 +p&h SCALE 1:64 $19.95 +p&h Customer___Pole Position P/L

JAMIE WHINCUP’S 2019 RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM #88 HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE RESIN

Order No.__________________________ Order Date___December 02, 2017

Item No.

November 2017 - Order Form No.1

Debtor ID___________________________

Customer___Pole Position P/L

Debtor ID___________________________

Rep Name__________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name__________________________

SHANE VAN GISBERGEN’S 2019 RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM $12 each including #97 HOLDEN ZBP+H COMMODORE RESIN

Delivery Date________________________

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Scheduled Production

Due

750

2 Qtr 2018

1,000

2 Qtr 2018

nd

nd

W/S $

RRP $

149.00

259.00

149.00

259.00

Order Qty

2

SCALE 1:18 $179 +p&h SCALE 1:43 $39.99 +p&h SCALE 1:64 $19.95 +p&h Order Date___December 02, 2017

Item No.

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Orders can be made by: Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

Due

750

2 Qtr 2018

1,000

2 Qtr 2018

nd

nd

W/S $

RRP $

149.00

259.00

149.00

259.00

Order Qty

2

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

03 9370 6755 Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017 ∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

November DELIVERIES

VISIT STORE: Shop 2 / 30 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY November DELIVERIES

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017

www.podium-gear.myshopify.com CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

Scheduled Production

Orders can be made by:

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017

ITEM NO.

Delivery Date________________________

Classic Carlectables Description

LE

AVAILABILITY

18612

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

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

1000

Sold Out

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017

ITEM NO.

LE

AVAILABILITY

18612

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

CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

1000

Sold Out

AUSTRALIA-WIDE DELIVERY SUPERCAR XTRA

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Sandown returns to the Supercars schedule in 2021.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK

Hopes of an uninterrupted 2021 Repco Supercars Championship calendar of events were dealt an early blow with the postponement of the Australian Grand Prix. However, Supercars is in a strong position to deliver a more varied schedule of events than last season.

I

f all goes to plan, the Mount Panorama Circuit will be the only track to host two rounds in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship. The 2021 season gets underway at Bathurst, for the first season opener at the circuit in the history of the multi-round championship, before a return to Mount Panorama for the Repco Bathurst 1000 in October. Sydney, Darwin, Townsville and Tailem Bend hosted two rounds each in the heavily disrupted 2020 season and remain on the schedule in

8

2021, while Sandown, Tasmania, Winton, Perth, Auckland and the Gold Coast are set to return. Sandown slots in as the second round following the Bathurst season opener, filling in for the postponed Australian Grand Prix. Sandown wasn’t on the original 2021 calendar but was added in on the grand prix’s original date in March. “We are delighted to confirm we will return to Sandown in 2021,” says Supercars CEO Sean Seamer. “Few circuits demonstrate our history better than Sandown. We’d like to extend

our thanks to the Melbourne Racing Club for their support and flexibility.” If there are no further COVID-19 spikes in Australia, then the question marks around the calendar of events will centre around the Australian Grand Prix and the round in Auckland, New Zealand. Supercars is still assessing the opportunity to race at the Australian Grand Prix in November, though with the inclusion of Sandown racing at the grand prix will require the addition of an event to the current 12-round schedule. “With regards to the grand prix, we will assess the

opportunity closer to the time,” says Seamer. “Right now our focus is on the pre-season and first few rounds of the upcoming 2021 Supercars season.” The trip across the Tasman to Auckland, also currently scheduled in November, will depend on the travel arrangements between Australia and New Zealand and if there’s any changes to slot in the Australian Grand Prix. Stay tuned to SupercarXtra. com.au for the latest news on the calendar and visit Supercars.com/Calendar/ for the event dates. Circuit guides from page 36.

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THE LAST DANCE

Triple Eight Race Engineering will see a changing of the guard in 2021 and 2022, with Tony Quinn buying into the team and Jamie Whincup set to retire from full-time driving to take over team management from Roland Dane.

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oland Dane’s succession plan at Triple Eight Race Engineering is in place, marking the end of an era. Triple Eight’s new ownership structure sees Tony Quinn, a big investor in motorsport as a driver, sponsor, category owner and circuit owner, purchasing a 40 per cent share of the team. Quinn will own the most shares with Jamie Whincup, who bought into the business in 2018, increasing his stake from 15 per cent to 19 per cent and Jessica Dane, who became a shareholder in 2015, increasing her share from 27 per cent to 30 per cent with Roland Dane retaining 11 per cent. Paul Dumbrell and Tim Miles sold their shares in the team to Quinn, though they

will have positions on the team’s board of directors. Whincup will retire from full-time driving at the end of 2021 to take over the role of managing director and team principal from Roland Dane in 2022. The latter will remain involved with the team in an advisory role, as chairman of the board of directors and as a shareholder, while Whincup will evaluate the option of codriving from 2022. “Since Jamie expressed an interest some years ago in continuing his career in motorsport with Triple Eight after he retires from full-time driving, the plan has always been for him to take the reins,” says Roland Dane. “He has proved himself to be an integral part of the Triple Eight family during his 15 years here and has

absolutely nothing to prove on track. I have every confidence that he will approach his new role with exactly the same motivation, diligence and competitive spirit that he brings to the track. “Tony is an excellent fit for Triple Eight – he shares our passion for racing and innovation. We were flattered that someone of Tony’s pedigree was interested in buying into our business and his approach has helped us to cement our business succession. He’ll certainly be an asset to the team and we’re delighted to welcome him on board.” Triple Eight Race Engineering took over from Briggs Motor Sport in 2003 and has won nine teams’ championships, eight drivers’ championships and eight Bathurst 1000s since 2006. Whincup

has won seven of those drivers’ titles and four Bathurst 1000 wins since joining the team in 2006. “I’ve always said that after I retire from full-time driving, I want to keep going racing and in 2018 I made the commitment for that to be with Triple Eight by becoming a shareholder,” says Whincup. “I’m honoured that Roland trusts me to lead the family that he’s built here in Australia. I’ll certainly maximise every opportunity this year and beyond to learn from him and I’m grateful that he will still be dedicating a portion of his time in 2022 to ensuring the team and I have the best opportunity for success.” Look out for more on Whincup and Triple Eight in the next issue of SupercarXtra Magazine.

Jamie Whincup will become team manager of Triple Eight in 2022, with Roland and Jessica Dane both shareholders in the team. SUPERCAR XTRA

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COOL RUNNERS T The newest Supercars team, Blanchard Racing Team, has a familiar name and sponsor, but it’s a bold new direction for the family running it. he Blanchard family and its CoolDrive Auto Parts business goes its own way this season, running a standalone entry under the Blanchard Racing Team name in 2021. The new team will field a Tickford Racing-built Ford Mustang for Tim Slade, with the #3 entry in the familiar blue and white colours of CoolDrive. The team will be based out of CoolDrive’s head office in Box Hill, Melbourne, and share a garage and technical partnership with Tickford Racing.

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The Blanchard family purchased a Racing Entitlements Contract from Super Black Racing at the end of 2016, with Brad Jones Racing running the entry from 2017 for Tim Blanchard and Macauley Jones. The move means the Blanchards will run the entry as a standalone operation in addition to fielding a Ford for the first time, after the four seasons with Holden Commodore VFs and ZBs at Brad Jones Racing. “For CoolDrive Auto Parts and the entire Blanchard family, this announcement is the result of a long-term commitment to Supercars racing,

and is very exciting for all involved,” said Blanchard. “We joined with Brad Jones Racing in 2016 in a customer relationship. It was a good run over those years, we learned a lot, but now it is time for us to stand on our own two feet. “Our long-term vision by investing in a Racing Entitlements Contract was to one day control our own destiny, with Supercars still providing the perfect platform to promote our core automotive business. “We’re investing strongly in this project with high-quality equipment, a top-line facility, and very skilled people. “We also thought it fitting to rename the outfit to

Blanchard Racing Team to appropriately reflect the entire Blanchard family’s involvement in the team, and passion and commitment to the sport. Motorsport is who we are; it’s in our family’s DNA.” The Blanchards have leased two Mustang Supercars from Phil Munday, who owned the 23 Red Racing entry that was run within Tickford Racing. The Blanchard Racing Team livery features the text ‘car owner, Phil Munday’ on the roof. While Munday’s Mustangs went to the Blanchards, his Racing Entitlements Contract was sold to Brad Jones Racing to fill the void left

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by the departing CoolDrive entry. This resulted in Tickford Racing having one less entry for 2021. Former Tickford Racing engineer Brendan Hogan will be team manager of the Blanchard Racing Team; Mirko De Rosa will engineer the car after moving to the team from Erebus Motorsport; and James Rosenberg continues his support of Slade’s career with backing for the entry.

very long time and have a lot Melbourne is really cool and of respect for his ability.” gives the staff something Slade added: “I’m super that no other sponsor of the happy to be joining the Blansport currently provides. chard Racing Team. November“Tim has -done a really great No.1 2017 Order Form “The fit is perfect for me job of putting it all together, Position P/L Debtor ID___________________________ and I’m genuinelyCustomer___Pole excited and and I can honestly say we Order No.__________________________ Rep Name__________________________ proud to not onlyOrder represent have all of the right ingrediDate___December 02, 2017 Delivery Date________________________ Blanchard Racing Team but ents to achieve some good also the Blanchard family and things.” Item Classic Carlectables Description the CoolDriveNo.business. Get to know the 2021 2 Qtr 18644 750 149.00 259.00 2018 “To have the race team Repco Supercars Champion2 Qtr 18654 1,000 2018 workshop inside of the ship teams, drivers and more149.00 259.00 2 CoolDrive headquarters in from page 28.

Slade missed out on a fulltime drive in 2020, instead teaming with Scott McLaughlin at DJR Team Penske for the Bathurst 1000 before reuniting with his former Brad Jones Racing teammate in 2021. “Tim is a great asset for the team; he brings a lot of experience and speed, which is important for a single-car outfit,” said Blanchard. “I have known him for a

NEW 2019 SUPERCAR MODEL

RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM 2019

Scheduled Production

Due

W/S $

RRP $

Order Qty

nd

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

nd

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Orders can be made by:

Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

These special livery model cars have just been announced andBeare available Orders Must Received By 30th November 2017 now to pre-order. It’s a great model to add to your collection! ∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

November DELIVERIES The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017 ITEM NO.

LE

AVAILABILITY

18612

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

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

1000

Sold Out

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FRENCH’S AND MORRIS’S

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WHINCUP JAMIE WHINCUP’S 2019 RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM #88 HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE RESIN

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DON’T MIS November 2017 - Order Form No.1 S OUT

3 SIZES SCALE 1:18 $179 +p&h SCALE 1:43 $39.99 +p&h SCALE 1:64 $19.95 +p&h Item No.

Debtor ID___________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name__________________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date________________________

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Scheduled Production

Due

750

2 Qtr 2018

1,000

2 Qtr 2018

nd

nd

SCALE 1:18

ORDER SHANE VAN GISBERGEN’S

Customer___Pole Position P/L

W/S $

149.00 149.00

NOW2019 RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM RRP $

Order Qty

259.00 259.00

2

#97 HOLDEN ZB COMMODORE RESIN

$299 + P&H

November 2017 - Order Form No.1

3 SIZES SCALE 1:18 $179 +p&h SCALE 1:43 $39.99 +p&h SCALE 1:64 $19.95 +p&h Item No.

Customer___Pole Position P/L

Debtor ID___________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name__________________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date________________________

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Orders can be made by: Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

2 Qtr 2018 2 Qtr 2018

nd

nd

W/S $

RRP $

149.00

259.00

149.00

259.00

Order Qty

2

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

03 9370 6755 Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017 ∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

November DELIVERIES

VISIT STORE: Shop 2 / 30 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY November DELIVERIES

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017

www.podium-gear.myshopify.com CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

Due

750

1,000

Orders can be made by:

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017

ITEM NO.

Scheduled Production

LE

AVAILABILITY

18612

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

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

1000

Sold Out

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017

ITEM NO.

LE

AVAILABILITY

18612

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

CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

1000

Sold Out

AUSTRALIA-WIDE DELIVERY SUPERCAR XTRA

SCX120 p10-11 Analysis Cooldrive.indd 11

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BETTING ON THE YOUNG

Erebus Motorsport and Matt Stone Racing may be at different stages in their Supercars existence, yet they’ve both employed all-rookie, young line-ups for 2021.

T

wo sets of teammates will do battle in their first full seasons as Supercars driv-

ers in 2021. Erebus Motorsport has promoted its 2020 endurance co-drivers Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki into the fulltime drives, while Zane Goddard and Jake Kostecki step up from a shared drive to solo full-time roles in 2021. Erebus Motorsport signed Brown and Brodie Kostecki following the departure of David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale. Reynolds walked away from a long-term deal with the team to move to Kelly Grove Racing, while De Pasquale switches to Dick Johnson Racing.

Brown will drive the #9 Commodore, previously used by Reynolds, while Brodie Kostecki will race the #99 formerly occupied by De Pasquale. It means they remain in the same entries they raced in at Bathurst in 2020. “Brodie is a hard-arse racer and exactly what we need in our team,” said Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan. “Brodie is more than ready and both he and Will are far beyond where we expect any young driver to be. “We are really excited to have two young but familiar faces pushing each other, and if we can give them the car then they can certainly deliver the results.” There’s also an all-new engineering line-up at Erebus

Motorsport with Alistair McVean and Mirko De Rosa departing and being replaced by Tom Moore and George Commins. At Matt Stone Racing, Goddard and Jake Kostecki (cousin of Brodie) get full-time roles after sharing the #34 Commodore as part of the team’s SuperLite program, in addition to co-driving together at Bathurst, in 2020. While Jake Kostecki will remain in the #34 entry, Goddard moves into the #35 previously occupied by Garry Jacobson. “It is great to be renewing with Zane and Jake and being able to take that next step in their journey into the main game by putting them up into a full-time drive with our

team,” said team owner Matt Stone. “It is something we have worked very hard on and are very passionate about, so it is good to see it come to fruition.” The youth movement follows the full-time departures of veterans Rick Kelly and Lee Holdsworth, off the back of the likes of Garth Tander and Craig Lowndes retiring from full-time drives. Six of the drivers on the 2021 grid are under 23 years of age, including the Erebus Motorsport and Matt Stone Racing drivers, Jack Smith at Brad Jones Racing and Bryce Fullwood at Walkinshaw Andretti United. The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship entry list is on page 26. Jake Kostecki and Zane Goddard step up into full-time drives with Matt Stone Racing in 2021.

12

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Michael Caruso moves to Team 18 in 2021.

BATHURST FIELD TAKES SHAPE

A mix of old and new combinations will feature at the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000, the only endurance event on the Supercars schedule this season, in what could be one of the best-credentialed fields for the Great Race.

W

ith frontrunning 2020 co-drivers such as Will Davison, Tim Slade, Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki moving into full-time drives in 2021, the co-driver market is in a state of flux as the season gets underway. While the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 is the only endurance event of the season, the race to secure the best co-drivers remains as intense as ever. All eyes will be on three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin and his potential return to the series following his move into the IndyCar Series with Team Penske. While McLaughlin has signed on to co-drive with Dick Johnson Racing, likely alongside Will Davison in his former 14

#17 entry, his availability will depend on the IndyCar Series calendar with the postponement of events potentially derailing his plans to return for Bathurst. Triple Eight Race Engineering will feature an unchanged line-up with 2020 Bathurst 1000 winners Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander defending their title and Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes suiting up for their seventh Great Race as co-drivers. Tickford Racing welcomes back reigning Dunlop Super2 Series champion Thomas Randle, who raced for Brad Jones Racing after battling testicular cancer in 2020. The highly-rated youngster has signed a multi-year deal with the Ford team and is well placed to step up into a fulltime role with the team should

it expand back to four cars in 2022. “It doesn’t take much to realise Tom’s one of the best up and coming drivers of his generation,” said Tickford Racing CEO and team principal Tim Edwards “He’s overcome some extraordinary challenges in 2020, which we’ve all followed closely, and when the opportunity to work together in 2021 arose, we were all delighted to make it happen.” Former Tickford Racing fulltimer Lee Holdsworth heads to Walkinshaw Andretti United to drive with Chaz Mostert, following a scramble for his services when it became apparent the multiple race winner had lost his place on the grid at the end of 2020. The shake-up at Tickford Racing has seen Holdsworth’s

2020 co-driver Michael Caruso switch to Team 18 in 2021. Caruso moves to the Holden team that has also re-signed youngster James Golding for the co-driving roles alongside Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye. “When you come here and see how the team operates and the progress being made behind the scenes, it was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” said Caruso. Luke Youlden returns to the field to drive with David Reynolds at the new-look Kelly Grove Racing. Reynolds and Youlden won Bathurst together with Erebus Motorsport in 2017, reuniting in the Penrite-backed Ford Mustang in 2021. Visit SupercarXtra.com.au for the latest news surrounding the co-driver market.

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EXPERT INSIGHT

BEYOND THE WHEEL Column by Mark Winterbottom

GEARING UP FOR 2021

I

t’s exciting to be heading into the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship with the promise of a more normal schedule. The disruption of last season, from the shutdown, living on the road, back-toback rounds at the same circuits and the threat of quarantining, made it the most difficult challenge for all involved in Supercars. Starting the 2021 season at Bathurst instead of Adelaide feels strange, but once we get going and return to some of the tracks we missed out on in 2020, it will feel more normal compared to last season. We are used to racing at Bathurst in endurance-specification in October. To start the season there for a singledriver event will be amazing in its own way, and a great challenge that most of us have never experienced before. It is bittersweet given the loss of the Adelaide 500, which was a benchmark for street-circuit events. Us drivers love the challenge presented by street circuits, so we can’t wait to return to Townsville and end the season at the Gold Coast. The latter is one of the toughest circuits on the schedule, so having the championship potentially on the line there will add to the excitement. Team 18 made good gains last season with the expansion to two cars, with our top-10 finishes in the championship a huge achievement considering Triple Eight Race 16

Engineering and DJR Team Penske (now Dick Johnson Racing) were the only other teams to achieve that feat. The addition of Richard Hollway as head of engineering, with his years of experience from the Holden Racing Team and Garry Rogers Motorsport, gives us extra firepower and strengthens the team we’ve built up in recent seasons. With the foundation of the top-10 championship

finishes from last season, we are now looking to be more consistently at the front-end of the field with podiums and victories the goal for 2021. While we are focused on this season, there’s also a lot of work going on in the background getting ready for the introduction of the Gen3 cars in 2022. The initial designs for the Gen3 Camaro and Mustang look fantastic, especially when we compare the current

Mustang and how different it looks to the road-going car. Our current two-year deal with Team 18 means we will be racing the new cars together next season. With more controlled parts and less aerodynamics, the driver should have more influence on the result. In the meantime, though, our attention is on 2021 and the goal of giving Team 18 its first victory in Supercars. – Frosty

“STARTING THE 2021 SEASON AT BATHURST INSTEAD OF ADELAIDE FEELS STRANGE, BUT ONCE WE GET GOING AND RETURN TO SOME OF THE TRACKS WE MISSED OUT ON IN 2020, IT WILL FEEL MORE NORMAL COMPARED TO LAST SEASON.”

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November 2017 - Order Form No

Customer___Pole Position P/L

Debtor ID________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name_______________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date_____________________

DON’T MISS O UT

Item No.

IN STOCK!

Scheduled Production

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

ORDER

Due nd

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November DELIVERIES

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Debtor ID___________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name__________________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date________________________

SCALE 1:18 Item No.

Scheduled Production

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Due nd

750

2 Qtr 2018

1,000

2 Qtr 2018

nd

W/S $

RRP $

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259.00

149.00

259.00

November 2017 - Order Form No.1

Order Qty

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$279 + P&H

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3 SIZES SCALE 1:18 $179 +p&h SCALE 1:43 $39.99 +p&h SCALE 1:64 $19.95 +p&h Item No.

Customer___Pole Position P/L

Debtor ID___________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name__________________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date________________________

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Orders can be made by: Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

November DELIVERIES

2 Qtr 2018

nd

nd

W/S $

RRP $

149.00

259.00

149.00

259.00

Order Qty

2

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

03 9370 6755 Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017

VISIT STORE: Shop 2 / 30 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY November DELIVERIES

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2 Qtr 2018

∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017 CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

Due

750

1,000

Orders can be made by:

Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017

ITEM NO.

Scheduled Production

LE

AVAILABILITY

18612

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

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

1000

Sold Out

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017

ITEM NO.

CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

LE

AVAILABILITY

AUSTRALIA-WIDE DELIVERY 18612

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

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

1000

Sold Out

3/2/21 3:31 pm


EXPERT INSIGHT

RIGHT ON TRACK

Column by Craig Lowndes

WIDE–OPEN TITLE RACE

S

cott McLaughlin’s absence from the Supercars grid will make for a wideopen championship race in 2021. Despite his and Team Penske’s departure, Dick Johnson Racing will continue to challenge with two top-line drivers and a strong engineering group. Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale should fit right in with the team, while the Ford Mustangs are proven race winners. Triple Eight Race Engineering will also be up there, despite the restructure of its engineering line-up. Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen’s experience with the team will ease that transition, while the team will be well equipped to balance this season’s campaign with the development of the Gen3 Camaro for next year. Elsewhere, it’s been one of the biggest shuffles of teams, drivers and engineers for some time, including the addition of a number of rookie drivers. Considering there’s been such a big shake-up, the drivers and teams with continuity from last season are in good shape. Tickford Racing and Cameron Waters enjoyed a strong end to last season and will continue their rise together, while Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert should take another step forward in his second season with the team with teammate Bryce Fullwood also one to watch. Perhaps the most intriguing team to watch is Kelly 18

Grove Racing with the arrival of David Reynolds and the ever-improving André Heimgartner. Reynolds’ arrival and the investment from the Groves will lift the team as a whole, especially with the season of experience the team now has with the Mustang. Reynolds’ motivation seemed to dip over the course of last season, and he clearly needed a move to spark his fire and rediscover his form. He must now believe that he’s in the right team with the right car, with the added benefit of reuniting with engineer Alistair McVean. It looks like a very good move in the right direction.

It’ll be bittersweet to watch the Commodore in its final season, which is still hard to comprehend after decades of watching its various models racing and winning. While the addition of the Camaro is a positive for Supercars, it’s important we celebrate the closing of the Commodore chapter this season. Personally, it’ll be good to do more racing this year ahead of the Bathurst 1000. As it’s a one-off appearance for the endurance co-drivers again this season, we will be doing our best to get out on track to put our best foot forward come October. And, hopefully, we can get back to a

multi-round endurance series from next season. Meanwhile, we will be keeping an eye on McLaughlin’s progress in IndyCar. As I experienced in Europe in 1997, McLaughlin goes from being a big fish in a little pond to a small fish in a big pond. There’s a lot of fundamental changes in the switch from touring cars to openwheelers, not to mention the level of competition and racing on new circuits, especially ovals. The team he is with is first-class, and if he applies himself like he did in Supercars, then he will do us all proud. – Craig

“IT’S BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST SHUFFLES OF TEAMS, DRIVERS AND ENGINEERS FOR SOME TIME... CONSIDERING THERE’S BEEN SUCH A BIG SHAKE-UP, THE DRIVERS AND TEAMS WITH CONTINUITY FROM LAST SEASON ARE IN GOOD SHAPE.”

SUPERCAR XTRA

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NEW 2019 SUPERCAR MODEL

ORDER YOUR MODEL TODAY

RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM 2019

November 2017 - Order Form No

Customer___Pole Position P/L

Debtor ID________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name_______________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date_____________________

Item No.

Scheduled Production

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Due nd

750

2 Qtr 2018

1,000

2 Qtr 2018

nd

W/S $

RR

149.00

25

149.00

25

Orders can be made by:

Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

IN special livery model cars have just been announced These andBeare available Orders Must Received By 30th November 20 STOCK! now to pre-order. It’s a great model to add to your collection! ∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

DON’T MISS O UT November DELIVERIES

ORDER

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 20

NOW

ITEM NO.

CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

LE

DON T MISS O’U T PRE-O RDER

18612

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

750

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

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Debtor ID___________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name__________________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date________________________

SCALE 1:43 Item No.

Scheduled Production

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Due nd

750

2 Qtr 2018

1,000

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nd

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149.00

259.00

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$219 + P&H

3 SIZES SCALE 1:18 $179 +p&h SCALE 1:43 $39.99 +p&h SCALE 1:64 $19.95 +p&h Item No.

Customer___Pole Position P/L

Debtor ID___________________________

Order No.__________________________

Rep Name__________________________

Order Date___December 02, 2017

Delivery Date________________________

Classic Carlectables Description

18644

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

18654

1/18 Holden VK Commodore – 1986 Wellington 500 Winner Brock / Moffat

Orders can be made by: Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

Mail: Southern Model Supplies PO Box 405 Melrose Park SA 5039

∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

November DELIVERIES

2 Qtr 2018

nd

nd

W/S $

RRP $

149.00

259.00

149.00

259.00

Order Qty

2

Fax: 08 8277 6252 E-mail: sales@southernmodels.com.au

03 9370 6755 Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017

VISIT STORE: Shop 2 / 30 Holmes Road, Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY November DELIVERIES

www.podium-gear.myshopify.com p22 Podium Gear Lowndes.indd 22

2 Qtr 2018

∗∗∗ IMPORTANT NOTE ∗∗∗ Please place your orders by return email, fax or post only. Phone orders will no longer be accepted.

The following will commence being dispatched on approximately 23rd November 2017 CLASSIC CARLECTABLES

Due

750

1,000

Orders can be made by:

Orders Must Be Received By 30th November 2017

ITEM NO.

Scheduled Production

LE

AVAILABILITY

18612

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

750

Sold Out

18636

1/18 Retro Ford XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III

1000

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

750

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18636

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1000

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WHAT’S NEW

WHAT’S NEW IN 2021 teamS DJR Team Penske reverts to Dick Johnson Racing with the departure of Team Penske. Kelly Racing becomes Kelly Grove Racing with investment from Grove Racing/Grove Group. Tony Quinn becomes a major shareholder in Triple Eight Race Engineering. Blanchard Racing Team moves from Brad Jones Racing to run as a standalone team, switching from a ZB Commodore to a Mustang. Brad Jones Racing retains four cars with the purchase of Phil Munday’s 23 Red Racing license. Tickford Racing downsizes to three entries with the loss of Phil Munday’s 23 Red Racing license.

DRIVERS

Scott McLaughlin departs for the IndyCar Series. Anton De Pasquale moves from Erebus Motorsport to Dick Johnson Racing. Will Davison moves from 23 Red Racing/Tickford Racing to Dick Johnson Racing.

Fabian Coulthard moves from DJR Team Penske to Team Sydney. Garry Jacobson moves from Matt Stone Racing to Team Sydney. Jake Kostecki and Zane Goddard step up into full-time drives at Matt Stone Racing. David Reynolds moves from Erebus Motorsport to Kelly Grove Racing. Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki move up from the Dunlop Super2 Series with Erebus Motorsport. Rick Kelly, Lee Holdsworth, Alex Davison and Chris Pither retire or miss out on full-time drives.

OTHER

Repco replaces Virgin Australia as title sponsor of the series. Seven Network replaces Network Ten as the free-to-air broadcaster. A new Dunlop Super Soft tyre, to be used alongside the regular Dunlop hard and soft compounds. Qualifying sessions at shorter circuits to be split into two groups (one entry per garage). Five bonus points to the driver who sets the fastest lap at sprint races.

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

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ENTRY LIST

2021 REPCO SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP #

Driver

Team

Car

11 17 88 97 5 6 44 3 9 99 18 20 2 25 8 14 4 96 7 26 19 22 34 35

Anton De Pasquale

Dick Johnson Racing

Ford Mustang

Will Davison

Dick Johnson Racing

Ford Mustang

Jamie Whincup

Triple Eight Race Engineering

Holden ZB Commodore

Shane van Gisbergen

Triple Eight Race Engineering

Holden ZB Commodore

Jack Le Brocq

Tickford Racing

Ford Mustang

Cameron Waters

Tickford Racing

Ford Mustang

James Courtney

Tickford Racing

Ford Mustang

Tim Slade

Blanchard Racing Team

Ford Mustang

Will Brown

Erebus Motorsport

Holden ZB Commodore

Brodie Kostecki

Erebus Motorsport

Holden ZB Commodore

Mark Winterbottom

Team 18

Holden ZB Commodore

Scott Pye

Team 18

Holden ZB Commodore

Bryce Fullwood

Walkinshaw Andretti United

Holden ZB Commodore

Chaz Mostert

Walkinshaw Andretti United

Holden ZB Commodore

Nick Percat

Brad Jones Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

Todd Hazelwood

Brad Jones Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

Jack Smith

Brad Jones Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

Macauley Jones

Brad Jones Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

André Heimgartner

Kelly Grove Racing

Ford Mustang

David Reynolds

Kelly Grove Racing

Ford Mustang

Fabian Coulthard

Team Sydney

Holden ZB Commodore

Garry Jacobson

Team Sydney

Holden ZB Commodore

Jake Kostecki

Matt Stone Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

Zane Goddard

Matt Stone Racing

Holden ZB Commodore

Entries correct at the time for printing. Visit Supercars.com for confirmation of the entry list. 26

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ENTRANTS

THE CONTENDERS

IMAGES Supercars, Peter Norton

Twenty-four entries from 11 teams will do battle in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship. These are those drivers and teams, made up of 16 Holden ZB Commodores and eight Ford Mustangs, and how they are shaping up for the season.

DICK JOHNSON RACING 

DRIVERS: Will Davison, Anton De Pasquale CARS: Ford Mustangs

With Scott McLaughlin and Team Penske leaving the team, the renamed Dick Johnson Racing defends its championships with an all-new driver line-up. Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison arrive to replace McLaughlin, who plans to co-drive with Davison at Bathurst if his IndyCar schedule permits, and the Team Sydney-bound Fabian Coulthard. The mix of youth and experience results in a well-balanced driver line-up with no clear number 28

one, making this one of the key teammate battles of the season. Despite the departure of Team Penske from the ownership structure, Dick Johnson Racing retains its strong technical staff with Ludo Lacroix and Richard Harris engineering the drivers and Ben Croke promoted into the team principal role with Ryan Story the team chairman, CEO and part-owner alongside Dick Johnson. There’s no doubting the speed of its Mustangs, but it remains to be seen if the team can sustain its level of success without the Penske influence and if De Pasquale and Davison can match the results of McLaughlin.

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TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING

DRIVERS: Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen CARS: Holden ZB Commodores

It’s the end of an era at Triple Eight Race Engineering. It enters the season with a new ownership structure ahead of major changes for 2022. Tony Quinn has become a major shareholder in the team. Quinn, who has been a regular supporter of Supercars with his V.I.P. Petfoods and Darrell Lea brands, now owns a 40 per cent stake of the team. Roland Dane will step back from his roles as managing director and team principal at the end of 2021, with Jamie Whincup set to retire from full-time driving at the end of the season to take over those positions. There’s also changes to the technical personnel with

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van Gisbergen’s former engineer Grant McPherson moving to Walkinshaw Andretti United. David Cauchi switches from working with Whincup to van Gisbergen this season. Whincup will instead work with new recruit Wes McDougall, formerly of Matt Stone Racing, with Jeromy Moore above them as technical director. The leading Holden team has now gone without a drivers’ title since 2017, with the departure of Scott McLaughlin and Team Penske from Dick Johnson Racing leaving the Red Bullbacked Triple Eight team in a strong position to capitalise from their absence. Despite the added complication of building the Gen3 Camaro for 2022, Triple Eight Race Engineering will aim to give the Commodore one more championship win in its final season. The question will be if all the changes have an impact on this season. Also, if Whincup can get the better of van Gisbergen in their final head-to-head duel as teammates.

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ENTRANTS TICKFORD RACING

DRIVERS: Jack Le Brocq, Cameron Waters, James Courtney CARS: Ford Mustangs

Tickford Racing was forced into downsizing from four to three entries in the off-season, with Phil Munday selling the license that underpinned the 23 Red Racing entry to Brad Jones Racing. It means Tickford Racing won’t be running four cars for the first time since 2012, though it has entered into a technical partnership with Blanchard Racing Team. The latter’s Ford Mustang also shares a garage with Tickford Racing’s third entry. The downsizing left Lee Holdsworth without a full-time drive, with Jack Le Brocq, Cameron Waters and James Courtney returning in 2021. Waters emerged as team leader in 2020, taking second in the championship following his first solo win and second at Bathurst, and shapes as a genuine title threat. Le Brocq will be out to build on the first win he scored last season, moving into the #5 Truck Assist entry, while Courtney will be gunning for a long-awaited return to the top step of the podium. Despite the absence of one car, Tickford Racing seems to be in a strong position to fight with all three entries this season.

30

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EREBUS MOTORSPORT 

DRIVERS: Will Brown, Brodie Kostecki CARS: Holden ZB Commodores

It’s all-change at Erebus Motorsport with the departure of David Reynolds and Anton De Pasquale, along with their race engineers and title sponsor Penrite. The upheaval results in the promotion of its 2020 endurance co-drivers Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki into full-time roles, with George Commins and Tom Moore slotting into the roles of race engineers. The all-rookie line-up is a big gamble for a team that has been a regular race winner in recent seasons, with the pressure on Erebus Motorsport to not slide too far down the grid with these changes. While Brown and Kostecki have experience with the team and remain in the same cars they raced at Bathurst last season, it’s a big step up with the added complication of the other changes around them. It will be a rebuilding season for the team and a learning season for its rookie drivers.

BLANCHARD RACING TEAM 

DRIVER: Tim Slade CAR: Ford Mustang

The newest team in Supercars is also the only single-car entry in the field in 2021. After four seasons running Holden Commodores with Brad Jones Racing, Blanchard Racing Team goes its own way with a Ford Mustang for Tim Slade. A technical partnership and shared garage with Tickford Racing, who also built the Mustang, will assist with the transition. Brendan Hogan arrives from Tickford Racing to manage the team with engineer Mirko De Rosa joining from Erebus Motorsport. Single-car teams have struggled to be contenders in the modern era, though the relationship with Tickford Racing, the proven speed of the Mustang and recruitment of good personnel should make for a competitive package. Slade will also have a point to prove after missing out on a full-time drive last season, and could spring a surprise result in 2021. SUPERCAR XTRA

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ENTRANTS

TEAM 18 

DRIVERS: Mark Winterbottom, Scott Pye CARS: Holden ZB Commodores

Team 18 was one of the best performers of 2020 with both drivers finishing inside the top 10 in the championship in the first season the team fielded two cars. Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye return for their second season as teammates, looking to build on the gains of last year with further podiums and a first win for the team. With the foundations of the two-car expansion set in 2020, the team has added experienced engineer Richard Hollway as the new head of engineering in a bid to take another step forward. Whether they can contend for the championship remains to be seen, but a first win and establishing themselves inside the top 10 will be the goals for 2021. 32

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WALKINSHAW ANDRETTI UNITED 

DRIVERS: Bryce Fullwood, Chaz Mostert CARS: Holden ZB Commodores

Walkinshaw Andretti United, like Team 18, retains the same drivers as last season with the addition of a well-credentialed engineer. Chaz Mostert and Bryce Fullwood reunite after an impressive first season as teammates in 2020. Mostert was a regular on the podium and will be determined to score his first win with the team, while Fullwood improved throughout his rookie season and also made the podium. Bathurst-winning engineer Grant McPherson joins the team from Triple Eight Race Engineering, taking up a new role within the engineering group. The foundations are there for the team to challenge for race wins, with Mostert well-placed to be a regular up the front and Fullwood expected to continue to climb up the grid in his sophomore season.

BRAD JONES RACING

DRIVERS: Nick Percat, Todd Hazelwood, Jack Smith, Macauley Jones CARS: Holden ZB Commodores

Brad Jones Racing retains a four-car presence in 2021, despite the departure of the CoolDrive-backed Blanchard entry. With the purchase of Phil Munday’s license previously based at Tickford Racing, Brad Jones Racing fields an unchanged driver lineup this season. Nick Percat scored two race wins last season and will again lead the charge, while Todd Hazelwood settled in well at the team and should build on his one podium finish in 2020. Jack Smith and Macauley Jones will need to improve on their results to match their teammates, after challenging periods last season. With Tickford Racing downsizing to three entries, Brad Jones Racing is left as the only four-car team in Supercars. Kim Jones steps back from the team into retirement, handing over his share of the family business to brother Brad Jones.KELLY

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ENTRANTS

KELLY GROVE RACING 

DRIVERS: André Heimgartner, David Reynolds CARS: Ford Mustangs

It’s a new era for Kelly Grove Racing, formerly Kelly Racing, with the Grove Group/Grove Racing buying into the team. Stephen and Brenton Grove will have active roles within the team, working alongside Todd and Rick Kelly to ensure the new investment allows it to compete at the front of the field. The team now has a season of experience with its Ford Mustangs,

following the challenge of the switch from Nissan Altimas and downsizing from four to two entries last season. With Rick Kelly retiring from full-time driving, the team signed David Reynolds to drive alongside André Heimgartner in 2021. Reynolds brings sponsor Penrite and reunites with engineer Alistair McVean, hoping to rediscover his winning form, while Heimgartner is gunning for a first win in Supercars. The ingredients are there for the team to take a big step forward this season, potentially increasing the number of Mustangs battling it out at the front of the field.

TEAM SYDNEY 

DRIVERS: Fabian Coulthard, Garry Jacobson CARS: Holden ZB Commodores

The team formerly known as Tekno Autosports completed its relocation from Queensland to New South Wales last year, as part of the rebrand to Team Sydney. But it made headlines for the wrong reasons after splitting with prized recruit James Courtney after just one round. Alex Davison stepped in to partner Chris Pither, but they cracked the top 10 just once. An all-new line-up of Fabian Coulthard and Garry Jacobson arrive from DJR Team Penske and Matt Stone Racing respectively. And, off-track, the return of engineering guru Geoff Slater is a massive boost. Slater was engineer with the team between 2011 and 2016 before moving to America to work in the IMSA SportsCar Championship. The experience of Coulthard, the potential of Jacobson, the return of Slater and the settling into its new home in Sydney could help Team Sydney get back on track and match some of the results it achieved as Tekno Autosports.

MATT STONE RACING 

DRIVERS: Jake Kostecki, Zane Goddard CARS: Holden ZB Commodores

Matt Stone Racing continues to bank on youth with the promotion of Jake Kostecki and Zane Goddard into full-time drives in 2021. The youngsters shared an entry as part of the team’s SuperLite program last season, with Goddard now moving across the garage to take the seat vacated by the Team Sydney-bound Garry Jacobson. There’s also been an engineering reshuffle with Wes McDougall leaving to join Triple Eight Race Engineering and Nathan Leech arriving in his place from Team Sydney. It will be another learning season for the drivers, with the added pressure of working on their own cars, with the team continuing to settle into the main game in what will be its fourth season and second running two cars. 34

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NO FOLDS! NO STAPLES! NO CREASES!

SUPERCAR XTRA MAGAZINE is now offering reproductions of our popular poster collection for sale – uncreased, unfolded, unstapled and on high-quality photographic stock! Delivered in protective mailing tube. Postage and handling included in total price. Available to order via the form below or online at SupercarXtra.com.au POSTAGE $55 EACH INCLUDING & HANDLING

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CIRCUITS

THE CIRCUITS

IMAGES Supercars, Peter Norton

While the calendar of events for the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship remains in a state of flux, it looks likely that there will be a return to more circuits without the level of disruption of 2020. These are the circuits set to feature in 2021.

S

upercars completed its 2020 season with 11 rounds held across seven circuits following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A more ambitious schedule has been planned for 2021, though the impact of 2020 remains and has forced a rejig for this season. Bathurst starts the season and, if all goes well, will be the only circuit to host two

36

rounds across the calendar. Tailem Bend, Darwin, Townsville and Sydney also return after hosting two rounds each last season, while Sandown, Tasmania, Winton, Perth, New Zealand and the Gold Coast return after missing out in 2020. Melbourne could also return should Supercars race at the postponed Australian Grand Prix, following the cancellation of the event in 2020. The majority of the events will feature the three-race

SuperSprint format introduced in 2020, while the Mt. Panorama 500, Townsville 500 and Gold Coast 500 are made up of two 250km races. The Bathurst 1000 is the only endurance event on the schedule. The most noticeable absentees from the schedule are the oldest and newest street circuits to the series, Adelaide and Newcastle. While the South Australian government called time on the Adelaide

500, ending an event that dated back to 1999, Newcastle will return as the season opener for 2022. Visit Supercars.com/Calendar/ or scan the QR code for the dates and for the latest schedule of events.

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✚ TRACK: Mount Panorama Circuit (Bathurst, New South Wales) LENGTH: 6.213km DIRECTION: Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 178km/h TOP SPEED: 300km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 2:03.4813 (2019) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 2:04.7602 (2019) – Chaz Mostert, Ford Mustang 18

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BATHURST

The Mount Panorama Circuit hosts the season opener for the first time in the multiround history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars. And when Supercars returns to the track for the Bathurst 1000 in October, it’ll be the first time the

track has hosted two rounds in the one championship season. The Mount Panorama 500, comprising two 250km races, is the first championship sprint round at the circuit since 1996, while the Bathurst 1000 will be the 61st running of ‘The Great Race’.

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SANDOWN

Sandown Motor Raceway missed out on a spot on the original 2021 Supercars calendar but slots in as the replacement round for the postponed Australian Grand Prix in March. It’ll be a longawaited return to Victoria for Supercars, a year since

TRACK: Sandown Motor Raceway (Melbourne, Victoria) LENGTH: 3.1km DIRECTION: Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 164km/h TOP SPEED: 270km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:07.5425 (2019) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 1:08.2440 (2019) – Shane van Gisbergen, Holden ZB Commodore

the grand prix was cancelled during the course of the event. Long associated with a two-driver endurance event, Sandown will host a sprint round as it was scheduled to do in 2020; the 51st championship round at the circuit, more than any other.

Melbourne

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CIRCUITS

LAUNCESTON

Supercars returns to Tasmania with a new qualifying format for the sprint round. The qualifying sessions will be split into two groups, featuring one car per garage, in order to ease track congestion

TRACK: Symmons Plains Raceway (Launceston, Tasmania) LENGTH: 2.4km DIRECTION: Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 167km/h TOP SPEED: 270km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 0:50.5084 (2019) – Jamie Whincup, Holden ZB Commodore RACE LAP RECORD: 0:51.2276 (2019) – Mark Winterbottom, Holden ZB Commodore

at the shortest circuit on the calendar. While originally slated for the tail-end of the year, the visit to Symmons Plains Raceway slots in to an earlier date in April for this season.

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TAILEM BEND

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With the demise of the Adelaide 500, The Bend Motorsport Park becomes the only South Australian host of a Supercars round in 2021. The circuit hosted two rounds on two different track configurations in 2020, after missing out on hosting the

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500km endurance event as planned. After hosting rounds in August and September over its first three years on the calendar, the 2021 event is scheduled for May, likely to be on the 4.95km ‘International Circuit’ layout.

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TRACK: The Bend Motorsport Park (Tailem Bend, South Australia) LENGTH: 4.95km DIRECTION: Clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 162km/h TOP SPEED: 270km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:47.4959 (2019) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 1:49.4042 (2019) – David Reynolds, Holden ZB Commodore 38

Tailem Bend

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WINTON

TRACK: Winton Motor Raceway (Benalla, Victoria) LENGTH: 3km DIRECTION: Clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 131km/h TOP SPEED: 225km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:18.5233 (2019) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 1:19.7092 (2016) – Fabian Coulthard, Ford FG X Falcon

Winton will be the first round to feature the new SuperSoft Dunlop tyre. While other rounds feature a mix of the previously used hard and soft compounds, the new tyre will be faster but wear quicker at

a circuit not known for its degradation. The unknowns of the new tyre, which has had limited testing, should result in a varied weekend of results across the three races in May.

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DARWIN

Darwin retains its unbroken run of 24 years on the Supercars calendar in 2021, after hosting two rounds last season. Darwin returns to its traditional June date after hosting its two 2020 rounds in August. The event will also

TRACK: Hidden Valley Raceway (Darwin, Northern Territory) LENGTH: 2.9km DIRECTION: Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 149km/h TOP SPEED: 271km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:05.4737 (2019) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 1:06.5590 (2018) – Nick Percat, Holden ZB Commodore

feature the new SuperSoft Dunlop tyre, off the back of its use at Winton, with the heat of the Northern Territory in contrast to the cold of regional Victoria a different variable for the new tyre.

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CIRCUITS

TOWNSVILLE

Townsville defied expectations by hosting two rounds on the temporary street circuit following the recommencement of the 2020 season. Like with Darwin, it’s a return to a more normal date in 2021 after later rounds last season. Townsville

TRACK: Townsville Street Circuit (Reid Park, Queensland) LENGTH: 2.86km DIRECTION: Clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 144km/h TOP SPEED: 260km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:11.9908 (2017) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford FG X Falcon RACE LAP RECORD: 1:12.9311 (2017) – Nick Percat, Holden VF Commodore

will comprise of two 250km races, meaning refuelling will feature for the first time since the season-opening Bathurst 500. It will be one of two temporary street circuits alongside the Gold Coast in 2021.

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SYDNEY Sydney hosted two rounds when the 2020 Supercars season restarted last June. The new August date marks the first of two consecutive SuperNight rounds, with the recent installation of 138 towers and over 860 light

fittings making the circuit the premier night-racing facility in Australia. The upgrades look to have secured the circuit’s place on the calendar longterm after being on and off the schedule in recent years.

Sydney TRACK: Sydney Motorsport Park (Sydney, New South Wales) LENGTH: 3.9km DIRECTION: Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 154km/h TOP SPEED: 265km/h QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:27.7428 (2020) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 1:29.8424 (2018) – Jamie Whincup, Holden ZB Commodore 40

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For all the latest news and features visit SUPERCARXTRA.COM.AU

PERTH

TRACK: Barbagallo Raceway (Perth, Western Australia) LENGTH: 2.42km DIRECTION: Clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 157km/h TOP SPEED: 252km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 0:52.8141 (2019) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 0:53.7293 (2019) – James Courtney, Holden ZB Commodore

Perth hosted a round under lights for the first time in 2019, and was set to do the same in 2020 before the cancellation of the event with the state implementing strict border restrictions. The night round returns in 2021, making

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it back-to-back events under the SuperNight name this season. Perth will also feature the split qualifying session alongside Tasmania, given the short Barbagallo Raceway layout.

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NEW ZEALAND

It’ll be over two years since Supercars raced across the Tasman in New Zealand should the trip to Pukekohe Park Raceway go ahead in November. The New Zealand event was scheduled to move to Hampton Downs Motorsport Park for a one-off

appearance in 2020, though it is set to revert back to Pukekohe for 2021. The return to New Zealand coincides with the 20th anniversary of the first championship round held outside of Australia at Pukekohe back in 2001.

TRACK: Pukekohe Park Raceway (Auckland, New Zealand) LENGTH: 2.91km DIRECTION: Clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 166km/h TOP SPEED: 258km/h QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:02.2186 (2016) – Shane van Gisbergen, Holden VF Commodore RACE LAP RECORD: 1:03.2524 (2015) – Craig Lowndes, Holden VF Commodore 4 5 3

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CIRCUITS

MELBOURNE

TRACK: Albert Park Circuit (Melbourne, Victoria) LENGTH: 5.3km DIRECTION: Clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 164km/h TOP SPEED: 256km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:53.8280 (2019) – Scott McLaughlin, Ford Mustang RACE LAP RECORD: 1:55.7280 (2019) – Chaz Mostert, Ford Mustang

The 2020 Australian Grand Prix was postponed from March to November due to international travel restrictions. The event will remain in doubt if restrictions are still in place and with the uncertainty of the Formula 1 schedule.

And it’s still uncertain if Supercars will slot into the rescheduled event given the congestion in the latter stages of the season. The support races to the grand prix were included in the Supercars championship from 2018.

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The streets of the Gold Coast host the Supercars season finale for the first time in 2021. With Newcastle postponed to 2022 and the mooted season-ending move for Adelaide falling by the wayside, the Gold Coast slots

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into the season-ending spot with two 250km races. It’ll be the first time the Gold Coast hasn’t hosted a two-driver enduro event since 2009, with 2021 also marking the 30th anniversary of the circuit’s first IndyCar race in 1991.

TRACK: Gold Coast Street Circuit (Surfers Paradise, Queensland) LENGTH: 2.96km DIRECTION: Anti-clockwise AVERAGE SPEED: 146km/h TOP SPEED: 265km/h PRACTICE/QUALIFYING LAP RECORD: 1:09.9179 (2017) – Jamie Whincup, Holden VF Commodore RACE LAP RECORD: 1:10.0851 (2011) – Will Davison, Ford FG Falcon 14 15

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DICK JOHNSON RACING

WORDS John Bannon IMAGES Dick Johnson Racing, Peter Norton

A NEW DAWN

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After 56 wins, 62 pole positions, three teams’ championships and three drivers’ titles as DJR Team Penske over the last six seasons, the reigning champions revert back to Dick Johnson Racing with an all-new line-up of Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison in 2021. Can the team retain the lofty heights it reached in recent seasons without Team Penske and Scott McLaughlin? SUPERCAR XTRA

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DICK JOHNSON RACING

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he Team Penske link is gone. Threetime Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin is now an IndyCar Series driver. Fabian Coulthard has moved to Team Sydney. But a winning mentality, high expectations, key team personnel and the continued support of Shell V-Power remain at what is now once again Dick Johnson Racing. Rising star Anton De Pasquale and the highlyregarded Will Davison headline the Dick Johnson Racing changes in an all-new driving pairing, as part of a restructured team for the Stapylton squad. McLaughlin’s race engineer Ludo Lacroix will now work with De Pasquale, while Richard Harris will step up to race engineer Davison. Ben Croke takes on the team principal role with Ryan Story the chairman, CEO and part-owner, alongside Dick Johnson. Former Erebus Motorsport driver De Pasquale is full of praise for the achievements of McLaughlin in recent seasons, as he settles in with his new Queensland-based team. “In terms of filling his shoes, he’s made very big shoes and has done amazing things,” says De Pasquale. “So I don’t think anyone can naturally replace him. I’m not looking to replace him as such; I’ve got my own shoes to make and my own thing to do. And, if I can emulate anything he has done within the category, I’ll be very happy. “There’s a lot of hard work to do. Being with the team he has been part of, you can obviously see how the success has come. I’m looking forward to learning that and getting the most out of it.

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“I’m super excited. Getting a chance to step into a team that has won the last few championships is obviously something most drivers in the field would want. I’m one of the lucky two. “I’ve had a good few years with Erebus and really enjoyed my time there. I’m thankful to them for giving me that chance in the main game. I’ve gone up and down, a few podiums, had that first win, and so now is my turn to step up into that top-line team and step up myself and try and get some good results on the board.” The 25-year-old says he was lucky to do his main game learning at a competitive team, which saw him qualify third for his first Bathurst 1000, build up to his first win in Darwin last year and finish an impressive eighth in the championship in his final year with Erebus Motorsport. “I was pretty fortunate to get into a team that was on the rise at the time in my first year,” he says. “Dave [Reynolds] was obviously winning a couple of races here and there, so I was able to be a part of that and grow into that. “Obviously, they have heaps of changes now and they are probably in a bit of a rebuild stage with everything going on. So it probably worked out as a pretty good time for me to move up and get an opportunity. I’m fortunate enough to get an opportunity in one of the best teams.” While De Pasquale steps into a championshipwinning team for his fourth full-time season, he will benefit from being joined by another experienced teammate in Davison. “This is a big team sport now; you need both cars fighting the top guys and working together to get

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LEFT: Dick Johnson Racing has restructured its management and engineering line-up with the departure of Team Penske. BELOW: Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison are a mix of youth and experience for Dick Johnson Racing in 2021.

DICK JOHNSON RACING TEAM RESTRUCTURE Ryan Story Anton De Pasquale Will Davison Ben Croke Perry Kapper Ludo Lacroix Richard Harris Ron Young Josh Silcock

Chairman and CEO Driver Driver Team Principal Chief Engineer Race Engineer for Anton De Pasquale Race Engineer for Will Davison Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary Team Manager

the most out of it because it is so close and competitive,” says De Pasquale. “I’ve been fortunate enough so far in my career to have good teammates. I had Dave as a rookie and that was a big learning curve, having a top-line driver straight away to compare to. It kind of sped up my process. “Now, being with Will, another really experienced race winner, it’s awesome. You always want a bit of everything. I get along with Will really well, so I’m looking forward to learning things off him and working together. Hopefully we can both push each other up the ranks and get some good results.” In the past three seasons, McLaughlin finished 776 (2020), 814 (2019) and 1467 (2018) points ahead of teammate Coulthard in the standings, with the rival team boss Roland Dane telling SupercarXtra Magazine in December 2019: “They [DJR Team Penske] have made a conscious decision to have a number one and a number two [driver].” De Pasquale, though, is adamant that both he and Davison will be given equal treatment and equal status within the team in this new driver pairing. “The team has been pretty clear that they want to have both cars at the front, so that’s what we aim to do,” says De Pasquale. “Obviously, you want to win the drivers’ championship, but ultimately for the team and sponsors you want to win the teams’ championship. That’s also a goal, and you can’t do that working by yourself. You need two good guys punching at the front and working together. We’ll worry about everyone else before we worry about each other. That would be the plan straight off the bat.” SUPERCAR XTRA

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DICK JOHNSON RACING

Davison first raced for Dick Johnson Racing in September 2005. New teammate Anton De Pasquale turned 10 in September 2005.

The #17 will race under the Dick Johnson Racing name for the first time since 2014.

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Davison, who will drive the #17 entry vacated by McLaughlin while De Pasquale drives the #11 as opposed to the #12 used by Coulthard, agrees with his new teammate. “One thousand per cent, it’s an equal opportunity for the both of us,” he says. “I don’t know where that perception of a number one and a number two driver has come from. At the end of the day, Scott’s just been incredibly dominant but Fabian has still been very competitive. You don’t win three teams’ championships if the team is not running two strong cars. “I think those sorts of perceptions are just sometimes built up from nowhere. At the end of the day, Fabian has won a lot of races there. He’s had a lot of podiums and he’s certainly always been up towards the front. So to win in this sport you need everything going for you, and Scott’s obviously just had that upper hand and that last little X-factor.” Given the different levels of experience between the two drivers, we asked the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner how important it is for him to beat De Pasquale. “At the end of the day, you shut your visor, you try and perform at your best and of course you want to beat everyone,” says Davison. “The team element is incredibly important and we do need to work together. For me, how important is it for me to beat Anton? Of course, I want to win a championship. And, yeah, to do that I need to beat my teammate. But at the end of the day we need to work together. “All the great teams, they fiercely battle but they work for the bigger picture, which is the team. When you are both on that front row together, we want to race hard and fair. But to get ourselves in that position with the team structure is absolutely more important than anything else. It’s a fine balancing act, but at this stage in my career I’m just grateful for this opportunity.” The 38-year-old is pleased to return to Dick Johnson Racing after spending three full-time seasons with the team between 2006 and 2008. He has since had stints with the Holden Racing Team, Ford Performance Racing (now Tickford Racing), Erebus Motorsport, Tekno Autosports and 23 Red Racing, before returning to Tickford as an endurance co-driver and taking second place at Bathurst alongside Cameron Waters following the demise of 23 Red Racing. “I feel excited; it is a huge opportunity to be with an amazing team,” says Davison.

“The time I’ve spent with them already has been great. They are super professional. Just dealing with such a well organised, professional team is just so motivating. To be in that position again, I’m incredibly grateful. “I am preparing as hard as I can to put my best foot forward because I realise how strong the team is, how strong the car is going to be. There is lots of pressure and I love that. That’s absolutely why I love this sport, it’s the pressure and absolutely trying to be at your best in a pressure cooker situation, and that’s what is ahead of me. So I’m nervously anticipating the year and I’m very, very excited about the challenge ahead.” The 19-times Supercars race winner unexpectedly lost his full-time seat last season when 23 Red Racing’s major sponsor withdrew its support for the team when COVID-19 hit. “Every now and then I find myself reflecting back to just after the grand prix last year and the way everything went down,” says Davison. “I suppose some of the battles I faced, it’s the uncertainty everyone faces at some stage in their career, but I just didn’t feel ready to leave. The desire and fire was still burning really strong and it really hurt to sit out when I had really got back into a competitive situation. “There was always a glimmer of hope for me from day one, but with the way the sport is and with COVID, you couldn’t be certain. I know this sport too well, you’re never guaranteed anything, so I certainly had plan A, B, C, D and E and didn’t really know how it was going to come off. “For it all to come off, to have a strong Bathurst and to really have my dream opportunity come together…it is a huge opportunity to be with an amazing team. “Rich Harris is a guy I know really well back from my Erebus days. He’s obviously worked with Ludo for the past three or four years with Scott. For him to go out on his own now is big for him, and I think he’s an absolute star engineer. He’s a great personality to work with. “I’m absolutely loving working with Rich already. I’m really excited about the relationship we’re going to form. The way the team is structured, the engineering structure is so tight and impressive. Ludo is a big part of the team and we’re all working closely together on a daily basis. I couldn’t be happier to have such an amazing engineering group behind us all.” Davison rates his second stint at DJR as right

“I HONESTLY FEEL LIKE I’M DRIVING AS WELL IF NOT BETTER THAN EVER… AND STILL BELIEVE THAT ABSOLUTELY I CAN CHALLENGE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP.” – WILL DAVISON SUPERCAR XTRA

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DICK JOHNSON RACING

Scott McLaughlin and Team Penske lifted the team to lofty heights and set a high bar for the allnew line-up in 2021.

“I DON’T THINK ANYONE CAN NATURALLY REPLACE HIM [SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN]. I’M NOT LOOKING TO REPLACE HIM AS SUCH; I’VE GOT MY OWN SHOES TO MAKE AND MY OWN THING TO DO.” – ANTON DE PASQUALE up there with the biggest and best chances of his career, as he chases an elusive championship crown. “I was at Dick Johnson Racing all those years ago and joined them at a very different point in time,” he reflects. “They were built on a legendary team that went into a very tough era, and I joined them at that stage. But by my third year we ended up as race winners. They were rebuilding at that stage and I now rejoin them off the back of phenomenal success. I honestly feel like I’m driving as well if not better than ever… and still believe that absolutely I can challenge for the championship.” In what will be an intriguing teammate battle, both drivers are targeting a maiden Supercars crown to keep the team at the top of the pecking order. “I’m stepping up into a team that has won the majority of the races since I’ve been in the 50

category,” says De Pasquale. “So to have an opportunity to be a part of that, if you’re not winning races there you’d have to have a good hard look at yourself because the foundation is there to do it. “Obviously there is a bit of time to adjust and everything, different car, different team and all that. But you don’t want to take too long to do that because it is a cutthroat game. You have to be on your game straight away and be chasing the results. “For sure I want to win the championship. I’ve always had the attitude my whole life, aim high and try to shoot high at the same time… now that I’m in a team that has done it before, of course your goal is always to win.” What De Pasquale and Davison can achieve with Dick Johnson Racing, in the wake of Team Penske and McLaughlin’s departures, shapes as one of the main storylines of 2021.

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FLASHBACKS

ROLLING BACK THE DECADES

With the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars moving into a seventh decade, we look back at the decade anniversaries celebrated in 2021.

1961

The Australian Touring Car Championship turned two in 1961, with the single-race championship decider being held at Lowood Airfield Circuit in Queensland. Reigning champion David McKay didn’t defend his title, though the Jaguar Mark 1 3.4 that he won with in 1960 remained the car to beat. Jaguars filled the top-five positions on the grid with Ian Geoghegan scoring pole position. Geoghegan led off the start, while fellow Jaguar driver Bob Jane retired in the early stages with suspension failure. But Geoghegan soon ran into his own technical difficulties, losing the lead with clutch slip.

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Bill Pitt, who finished in second place in 1960, took the lead and went on to score a comfortable victory, ahead of the ailing Geoghegan and Ron Hodgson. Bob Holden was the best-placed non-Jaguar in fifth place. The Armstrong 500 was also held for a second time in 1961, returning to Phillip Island for the endurance event that was the forerunner for the Bathurst 1000. Jane and Harry Firth took the outright win in their Mercedes-Benz 220SE, for the first of what would be four wins together in the endurance event.

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1971

An Australian-made car had won the Australian Touring Car Championship for the first time in 1970, courtesy of Norm Beechey’s Holden HT Monaro GTS350, but American muscle cars returned to winning ways in 1971. Bob Jane won his third championship and first in the Chevrolet Camaro, claiming three wins across the seven rounds. He won the title at the season finale at Oran Park, holding off a fast-finishing Allan Moffat. The Ford Mustangs of Moffat and Ian Geoghegan were next best, with Jim McKeown and his Porsche 911S finishing ahead of Beechey and his Monaro. At Bathurst, where the regulations for the Bathurst 500

1981

After the heartbreak of his tangle with a rock at Bathurst in 1980, Dick Johnson fought back in remarkable fashion in 1981. Equipped with a new Ford XD Falcon, thanks to the donations that followed the Bathurst accident, Johnson and his Dick Johnson Racing team stormed out of the gates with wins in three of the opening four championship rounds. The Holden Dealer Team’s Peter Brock fought back in the middle stages of the season, setting up a thrilling championship decider at Lakeside where Johnson defeated Brock in the race to win the championship by eight points. The championship decider is remembered as one of the best races of all-time, and a high point of the Ford versus Holden and Johnson versus Brock rivalry. The duo won all eight rounds

didn’t allow the American muscle cars to compete, Moffat won the event driving the Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III. It was a second consecutive solo Bathurst victory for Moffat, despite the scare of having a stray piece of cardboard wedge itself in the front of his Falcon. While Moffat won the race by over a lap, there was a near disaster behind with Bill Brown lucky to escape a series of barrel rolls at McPhillamy Park in what was one of the biggest singlecar accidents in the history of Bathurst. Bathurst gave a taste of what was to come, with locally-made Falcons and Toranas doing battle. However, American muscle cars had wrestled back control in the championship.

between them that season, with Colin Bond a distant third in the standings. Johnson completed his dream year with redemption at Bathurst, winning the race alongside co-driver John French. The race didn’t go the full distance with a tangle between Bob Morris and Christine Gibson triggering a multi-car accident at McPhillamy Park. With the track jammed and multiple cars damaged, the race was declared and results taken from the previous lap. Ford was back on top and had a new hero in Johnson, in the same year that Allan Moffat ended his long association with the Blue Oval and raced the Mazda RX-7 for the first time at Bathurst. In what was a year to remember for the Ford versus Holden rivalry, other manufacturers were coming to the fore. SUPERCAR XTRA

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1991

Nissan ended Ford’s dominant run in the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1990, with the arrival of the Skyline R32 GT-R helping Jim Richards defeat a gaggle of RS500 Sierras. After the late-season debut in 1990, the new Skyline showed its full potential into 1991 with wins in seven of the nine rounds and a comfortable one-two in the championship for Richards and teammate Mark Skaife. Richards prevailed with four wins from the opening five rounds of the season, building an unassailable lead with Skaife fighting back with two of the last three round wins. Tony Longhurst was the only non-Nissan race winner, scoring two victories in his BMW M3 at Amaroo Park and Lakeside for third in the championship, ahead of teammate Alan Jones, with Glenn Seton the best of the Sierra runners in fifth. Peter Brock returned to Holden after three seasons away, though he and teammate Larry Perkins struggled to challenge and never made it to the podium. The Nissan domination continued at Bathurst, where the Skyline locked out the front row with Richards and Skaife teaming up to win the race by over a lap. The Skyline R32 GT-R looked unbeatable, as the tide began to turn against the Group A regulations that had allowed for such domination.

2001

All eyes were on Craig Lowndes entering 2001, with the three-time champion ending his association with Holden by moving to Ford in a Gibson Motorsportprepared AU Falcon. The Holden Racing Team remained the team to beat despite Lowndes’ departure, with Mark Skaife now driving the new VX Commodore. With the upgraded car, the factory Holden team stormed to a fourth consecutive championship win. Skaife was at his imperious best, winning two of the three opening rounds. Ford entrants fought back with rookie sensation Marcos Ambrose of Stone Brothers Racing and Steven Johnson and Paul Radisich of Dick Johnson Racing winning rounds in the middle of the season, but Skaife’s consistency proved the difference. Skaife went on to win the championship and Bathurst double, securing the former with a 603-point margin over Russell Ingall and the latter alongside Tony Longhurst after late-race pressure from the AU Falcon of Brad Jones. Lowndes couldn’t crack the top 10 in the standings, despite a race win in Adelaide, with Johnson the highest-placed Ford runner in fifth place. The championship headed overseas for the first time in its history with a round at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand, with local favourite Greg Murphy dominating with a clean sweep of all three races. Skaife, though, ruled the roost with his second consecutive championship, in what would be the middle of his title-winning run with the Holden Racing Team. 54

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2011

Triple Eight Race Engineering narrowly missed out on the championship win in its first season running Holden Commodores in 2010, though it made amends with a dominant showing in 2011. With reigning champion James Courtney leaving the depleted Dick Johnson Racing for the Holden Racing Team, the momentum swung to Whincup, who returned to the top with 10 wins across the 28 races. Whincup defeated teammate Craig Lowndes by 35 points in the championship race, following a nervy season finale at Sydney Olympic Park where an error for Whincup kept Lowndes in contention. But Whincup prevailed for his third championship and first in a Holden. Mark Winterbottom was best of the rest in third place, while

Shane van Gisbergen rose to prominence with his first race wins for fourth in the championship. Courtney won a race at his debut event with the Holden Racing Team in Abu Dhabi, though finished in 10th in the standings, while Dick Johnson Racing fell down the order as it battled with financial struggles. The Holden Racing Team claimed victory in the Bathurst 1000 with Garth Tander and rookie co-driver Nick Percat defeating Lowndes and Mark Skaife. It was the final race for Skaife, who ended his storied career on the podium at Mount Panorama. Holden was back on top after the shock championship defeat the previous year, with Whincup beginning his record-equalling run of consecutive titles.

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HOLDEN COMMODORE

THE HEART OF THE LION

WORDS Cameron McGavin

The Commodore had big shoes to fill when it became Holden’s flagship model in 1978, replacing the Kingswood on the road and the Torana on the race track. Ahead of the Commodore’s final season in Australian touring cars, we retrace key early developments in its journey from unknown quantity to road and track giant.

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ustralian touring cars was at a crossroads when the 1980 Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) kicked off at Symmons Plains in Tasmania on March 2. The first era of Group C, starting in 1973, had come to an end. Ford and Holden had pulled their backing from the sport and the Falcon hardtop and various iterations of the Torana that dominated the grid up until the end of 1979 had been superseded in the showroom. Teams faced a new decade with new cars, revised regulations and factories unwilling to play ball. The days of showroom models being built specifically to bring speed on the track, it seemed, were over... except they weren’t.  A new name had arrived, one that would deliver Holden even more on-track success than the celebrated Monaro and Torana and draw the line between hot Australian road cars and their 56

racing brethren closer than at any time since the productionseries days of the late 1960s and early 1970s. That name? Commodore.

THE GROUP C YEARS

The Commodore was a success right off the bat. Peter Brock and his Holden Dealer Team took the first VB Commodore racer to victory in its first race, that opening round of the 1980 championship at Symmons Plains. More wins and the ATCC followed. Then – in its VC successor, which had gone on sale that year – Brock snared the Sandown 400 and Bathurst 1000 as well. The Holden Dealer Team’s (HDT) racing activities were more deeply intertwined with the latest road car than just merely racing it. When Holden pulled the pin in 1979, Brock bought the team and called on a network of Holden dealers to help him

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finance the reborn racing operation for 1980. They said yes, but only if he’d supply them with a hot Commodore to tempt punters onto the showroom floor. And so HDT Special Vehicles was born. Its first car, September 1980’s VC Commodore HDT, was not specifically built for homologation purposes in the manner of a Torana A9X or some of its successors, but the team would never have made it onto the grid that year without it. In a roundabout way, it would drive the future direction of both road and racing Commodores. HDT might have achieved vast success with the VB/VC in 1980, but by 1981 Dick Johnson and his Ford XD Falcon had grabbed the ATCC ascendency. The Commodore had excellent aero/road-holding qualities for the era but lacked the grunt from its five-litre V8 to match it with Ford’s 5.8-litre equivalent, and Holden’s ‘factory’ team would lobby governing body CAMS hard for a solution during this time. For HDT the answer was its hot new road car; the revised-for-1980 Group C regs had mandated the use of production cylinder heads, and the bigvalve units fitted to the HDT Commodore were far more efficient than the small-valve ‘pollution’-spec equivalents currently fitted to the racers. But the big-valve VC was trouble for HDT from the start. First, production issues meant the last few of the 500 Commodore HDT road cars weren’t delivered in time to make the homologation cut-off for the 1981 enduros. Then, when it was finally homologated for 1982, CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) slapped it with a 50kg weight penalty, owing to the big-valve HDT road car being based on the heavier Commodore SL/E body rather than the small-valve base model. By this stage the VH had superseded the VC and HDT decided against racing the big-valve VC in 1982. But after a thrashing from Johnson in the 1982 ATCC opener at Sandown, Brock fronted up at the next round at Calder with the newly-homologated VC ballasted up to the new minimum weight. He won from fifth but was excluded from the

results for an alleged illegal manifold. Then he was slapped with a three-month suspension. HDT’s fight to get the big-valve VC homologated meant there were already tensions between it and CAMS. The Calder exclusion and suspension turned it into a full-on legal battle that saw Brock take CAMS to court and race under a Supreme Court injunction for much of the year. The case was eventually dropped but Brock lost points under a back-dated suspension, clearing the way for Johnson to take his second consecutive ATCC title. A valuable lesson had been learnt, though. HDT’s next key road car, the VH Commodore SS series, was deliberately built around a base SL model, and when it was homologated for the 1982 enduros, HDT and other Holden teams finally had the bigvalve/light-body combo they were looking for. Allan Moffat and his Mazda RX-7, then Johnson again in his XE Falcon, denied the Commodore another ATCC crown to go with its lone 1980 success, but the VH was a much more competitive prospect. Consecutive Bathurst wins in 1982, 1983 and – in the visually freshened but conceptually unchanged VK SS successor – 1984 sealed its place in the lexicon of classic Australian racers and muscle cars.

Peter Brock gave the Commodore a winning start with the championship and Bathurst double in 1980.

THE GROUP A YEARS

Group C’s increasing freedoms had taken Australian touring cars away from their production-car roots, but the adoption of the international Group A formula in 1985 saw things swing the other way. Engine modifications were much more limited than Group C – pistons, compression ratios, bearings, fuel pump, camshaft, valve shape/material/timing and the clutch were free and you could use a homologated gearbox, but fundamentals like the original conrods, crankshaft and suspension mounting points had to be used. If you wanted wings and other aero body bits, they had to be on the production car. SUPERCAR XTRA

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HOLDEN COMMODORE

The Commodore won four of the five Group C-era Bathurst 1000s it entered between 1980 and 1984.

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The first Group A Commodore racer was a much more timid beast than its predecessor, producing just 300hp-odd compared to the 415hp of the last of the VK Group C cars. It was slower – Brock’s best at Adelaide that year was 61.0 seconds versus his 56.4 the previous year – and HDT and other Commodore teams were outgunned on the track by the new benchmarks, BMW’s 635CSi and Jim Richards. Durability issues with the Commodore V8’s single-row timing chain, meanwhile, killed its chances at Bathurst that year. But Holden and HDT would turn the Commodore’s track fortunes around with the first in a series of the most single-minded Australian road cars since the days of the Falcon GTHO. Holden was the first brand in the world to capitalise on the ‘evolution-model’ aspect of Group A regulations. This allowed makers to piggy-back the key 5000 production-unit requirement (1000 for Australia) with 500 ‘evolution’ models that could incorporate whatever bits might help its charger on the track. Its evolution car, the VK Commodore SS Group A, was launched in March 1985 and addressed many of the issues that had limited the base car on the track. The capacity of Holden’s venerable five-litre V8 was reduced from 5044cc to 4987cc, dropping the racing Commodore into the sub-5000cc class and allowing it to shed 75kg from its minimum homologated weight. Stronger conrods, roller rockers, twin-row timing chains, extractors and other tricks paved the way for more power and better durability. HDT’s plan was to build all 500 between March and June to achieve homologation by August 1 and race the VK Group A in the enduros. But production issues meant progress was slow and the run wasn’t finished until October, so it and Holden runners had to use the uncompetitive original Group A

Commodore racer for the remainder of the 1985 season, albeit with some concessions to help it along. However, the VK Group A did do the business when it finally appeared in 1986. There was no ATCC crown again – Nissan’s Skyline and Volvo’s 240 Turbo had the legs on it in the shorter races – but it won on debut at New Zealand’s Wellington 500, and then again at Pukekohe. Allan Grice showed the turbos a clean set of heels at Bathurst to make it five wins at the Mountain for the Commodore in seven attempts. HDT and Grice also contested several rounds of the European Touring Car Championship in 1986. While wins were not forthcoming, they put the wind up the locals, especially Grice, who led on occasion. By this stage Holden and HDT were already well on their way with their second evolution car, 1987’s VL Commodore SS Group A. It picked up bigger front/rear spoilers, a bonnet intake that force-fed the carby and stronger, lighter conrods for more on-track revs, plus stronger crankshaft, roller rockers and extractors with their first flange joint just an inch from the cylinder heads, allowing teams to fine-tune the exhaust for different tracks. Holden and HDT now had the production process down to a fine art, and all 500 were built between October and December 1986, allowing the new racer to be homologated on January 1, 1987. It was clobbered by the Skyline and BMW’s M3 in the shorter ATCC events, but victory for John Harvey and Allan Moffat at Monza in the first-ever World Touring Car Championship round, plus another Bathurst win in the hands of Peter Brock, meant it wasn’t unsuccessful, even if those wins had only come after the exclusions of winning rivals, a familiar theme of the short-lived WTCC series.

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The big news of 1987, though, was Brock and HDT’s bust-up with Holden. That sent the maker into the arms of Scot Tom Walkinshaw and led to the founding of Holden Special Vehicles, which would now look after Holden’s racing and specialvehicle ambitions. HSV’s first serious contribution to the hot-Commodore genre, 1988’s VL Commodore SS Group A SV, was the most hardcore evolution Commodore yet – Holden’s five-litre V8 picked up fuel-injection and a myriad of other changes, while the wildest body kit in Australian muscle-car history reduced the co-efficient of drag by 25 per cent while producing downforce. But the latter’s complexity (there were 27 separate panels!) led to production troubles that delayed its homologation, and it didn’t make its track debut until September 1988’s Sandown 500. By then Ford’s Sierra had become the Group A weapon to have and successes for the new Commodore were few and far between. Relentless track development, however, meant it ended up quick enough to steal a celebrated, against-the-odds Bathurst win in 1990 against the Sierras and Nissan’s new touring-car dominator, the Skyline GT-R. The last hot Holden to be built specifically with racing in mind – 1990’s HSV VN Group A SV – was the first evolution Commodores to be based on the all-new VN model that had gone on sale in late 1988. It had modified heads, a stronger block, a six-speed gearbox and other advancements to help it deliver on the track, while the VN’s naturally more slippery shape allowed a much less complex (and confronting) body kit to be used. By 1991, though, the whole Group A ship was sinking and CAMS gave the new Holden the goahead for track use despite just 302 being built. A now all-but unbeatable GT-R, though, meant it rarely got a look in at the front of the field. By 1992 the Group A experiment had run its course and the next generation of touring cars

proposed for Australia – the five-litre V8s that morphed into the current Supercars – would no longer require manufacturers to commit the same kind of costly and complex road-car derivatives to fulfil track-homologation requirements. From now on the Commodore’s road and track advancements would occur in largely separate universes and eventually the link would be all but severed, leaving us with today’s purpose-built, highly-specialised ‘silhouette’ racers.

The 1984 VK Commodore, the ‘Last of the Big Bangers’, remains one of the most iconic Australian touring cars of all-time.

MR. COMMODORE

Brock may be the person most closely linked to the Commodore legend, but one man comes close... the recently departed John Harvey. He was not only intimately involved in HDT’s racing and special-vehicles operations but also those of its successor, Holden Special Vehicles. His fingerprints, if not his signature like Brock, are all over every hot road Commodore and racer from that vital first decade. Harvey had his first sample of the Commodore ahead of its October 1978 release at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground. Its racing future wasn’t known then, but he immediately knew it would be the business if it ever made it to the track. “The first thing I noticed was the MacPherson strut front suspension, as one of the problems with the Torana was it had double-wishbone front suspension with a very small shock absorber and it wasn’t very flash on the track,” said Harvey. “You could change to a different brand but it still had to be the same size to fit in the car, so it had a smaller oil capacity, which meant it used to overheat. So you’d start to lose the front end, the shock absorber would lose its performance and it would be a difficult thing to drive. “The Commodore, with its MacPherson strut, had a huge shock absorber, a really long one with a far greater oil capacity and, of course, that could be changed. You just knew it would work a whole lot better.” Harvey wasn’t wrong. What he couldn’t have SUPERCAR XTRA

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HOLDEN COMMODORE

The Commodore enjoyed international success with the VL Commodore SS Group A winning multiple races in the 1987 World Touring Car Championship.

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predicted, though, was the key place he, Brock and HDT would occupy in the future road development of this exciting new Holden. It was a stunning success but also hard work. “To do it all Holden had to make engineers available; they had to make changes on the assembly line for the cars we were building and we had to sell the whole deal to the dealer network,” said Harvey. “We had a lot of help from Holden, but we used it to good effect. It was all a huge success. And had we not done it, HDT would have faded away, I guess.” Trying to juggle a successful racing outfit with production-car commitments wasn’t without its challenges for this small organisation, especially in the Group A days. If there was a problem on the road-car production line, it could have direct consequences on the track. “We weren’t able to build enough of those VK Group A Commodores the way we wanted them in time, with the double-row timing chains and so on,” said Harvey. “So we had to race the cars mostly bog-standard in 1985; we had the stock carby on it, I think the exhaust was free, but it was mostly just a bogstandard car. “At Bathurst that year we were running second and third, and I think my car broke the chain on lap 98. Peter did more laps but broke before the end as well.” The challenge of the VK Group A, however, was nothing compared to that of its 1988 VL successor, built by the nascent Holden Special Vehicles organisation after the Brock/Holden split of 1987.

“That car was all about aero track performance and it was a good car; it won at Bathurst and that was what it was all about,” said Harvey. “But it was a complex car, not so much from the race-car point of view but production. That was the biggest task I think that HSV ever faced. It was a complex thing to build. “The first time we started assembling the car, one of the guys came over to me one day and said, ‘The side skirts don’t fit properly.’ “He took me over, I had a look and, no, they didn’t fit. Then another bloke said the same thing. “At this stage we had the supplier full-steam ahead making them! “Then I tried them on another Commodore and they fitted. I thought, ‘Something’s wrong.’ “So I spoke to Holden and they said, ‘Oh yeah, those cars were made at the Dandenong plant.’ “The last car they ever built at that plant was the VL Group A; they closed the plant because it was the oldest plant they had and a lot of the machinery had, I suppose, seen better days. “So we had to redo the side skirt in two pieces and concertina it in so it could fit every car.” The touring-car world has well and truly moved on from the days when there was a deep connection between the race cars and their road-going equivalents. “It’s totally different, they’ve designed the thing themselves, they’ve built this thing that’s strong everywhere,” he said. “It’s a proper race car, whereas we were fiddling around with road cars and trying to make them into a race car, which was a bit difficult.”

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IN MEMORIAM

Remembering JOHN HARVEY

IMAGES Autopics.com.au

John Harvey’s motorsport career included success in open-wheelers, sportscars, sports sedans, touring cars and even solar-powered long-distance races. We remember the career of the recently-departed Bathurst winner.

A

ustralian motorsport lost one of its most versatile competitors and gentle souls at the end of 2020 when John Harvey succumbed to lung cancer aged 82. A member of the Australian Motor Sport Hall of Fame and recipient of an Order of Australia Medal, his career started in speedway and progressed into road racing; competing in various disciplines for 20-plus years. Harvey debuted in the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) with a top 10 in the singlerace decider at Sandown in 1965, before making his debut in the Bathurst 500 later that year. But he didn’t limit himself to tin-tops, winning the singleseater 1.5-litre Australian title in 1966, while also scoring a fourth place in the ATCC that year. Further single-seater appearances followed, including in the Australian Grand Prix, though a serious accident in a Brabham at Bathurst in 1968 saw Harvey focus more on tin-tops. He joined forces with Bob Jane into the 1970s, winning the 1971 and 1972 Australian Sports Car Championship driving a McLaren M6B and partnering Jane to fourth in the Bathurst 1000 in 1973. Harvey scored his first win in the ATCC driving a privateer Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 at Symmons Plains in 1976, before joining the Holden Dealer Team later in the year and scoring his first podium in the Bathurst 1000 alongside Colin Bond. Following a season as the lead driver for the Holden Dealer Team in 1977, Harvey dutifully slotted into the role of number two when Peter Brock returned to the team in 1978. A regular on the podium alongside Brock, Harvey scored another win at Symmons Plains on his way to a career-best third place in the championship in 1979 and back-to-back runners-up finishes in the Sandown endurance event in 1978 and 1979. Intermittent appearances in the ATCC followed, though it was in the endurance events where Harvey thrived into the 1980s. He was part of the winning entry at Bathurst in 1983, when an engine failure for the #05 saw Brock and Larry Perkins take over Harvey and Phil Brock’s #25. 62

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Between 1982 and 1986, Harvey stood on the podium four times at Bathurst. This included second place as part of the Holden Dealer Team’s one-two formation finish with its VK Commodores in 1984. Harvey split with the Holden Dealer Team in 1987, ending a decade-long association with the team. While Brock took the plaudits in that period, Harvey was an instrumental part of the team’s success on and off the track, not only as the development driver but also in its road-car division. He teamed with old foe Allan Moffat in 1987, winning a round of the World Touring Car Championship at Monza and their class in the Spa 24 Hours. Victory in the inaugural World Solar Challenge in 1987,

ON DISPLAY

1972

OWS YOUR “NO ONE KN N S.” KE SHANNO PA S S I O N L I

IN THE EARLY 1970S PETER BROCk WAS LITTLE MORE THAN YOUNG HOPEFUL. HE HAD ALREADY EXPERIENCED A THIRD PLACE AT BATHURST IN 1969 CO-DRIVING A HDT MONARO WITH DES WEST, BUT THE

completing the 3000-plus kilometre journey from Darwin to Adelaide in just over five days, highlighted the diversity of Harvey’s racing endeavours. He retired from competitive driving at the end of 1988, following his 18th start in the Bathurst 500/1000, though he remained involved with the sport in various roles at Holden, Holden Special Vehicles and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport. Harvey is survived by his wife, Bev; children Donna, Lyndall and Gavin; sister Fran; son-in-laws Paddy and Paul; Gavin’s partner Melissa; grandchildren Caitlyn, Scarlet, India, Imogen, Lulu, Arabella, Emerson and Miller; and great grandson Gabriel. We send our condolences to his family and friends.

W

WET RACE OF 1972 WAS TO BE THE FIRST OF BROCk’S NINE

VICTORIES IN THE GREAT RACE. FOLLOWING IS

A POSSIBLE TRACk COMMENTARY FROM

THE DAY…!”

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THE “HOLYWOOD FINISH”

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76

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE

APRIL 2021

FROM THE ARCHIVES

THE LAST TIME A CHAMP DIDN’T DEFEND THE TITLE

Scott McLaughlin won’t be defending his Supercars championship in 2021. The last time that happened was in 1997, when Craig Lowndes ventured to Europe and paved the way for McLaughlin’s mentor Greg Murphy to step up with the Holden Racing Team.

T

here have only been three times in the 60-plus year history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/ Supercars when the reigning champion hasn’t defended the title. They were David McKay in 1961, Robbie Francevic in 1987 and Craig Lowndes in 1997. While McLaughlin plans to take part in the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship with a return to drive for Dick Johnson Racing at the Repco Bathurst 1000, the aforementioned trio didn’t race in any championship rounds in what would’ve been their titledefending seasons. Lowndes’ dominant performances in 1996, including a record-breaking run to the championship in his rookie season followed by victories

in the Sandown and Bathurst endurance races, led to an opportunity to race in Formula 3000, the feeder category to Formula 1, in 1997. New Zealander Greg Murphy replaced Lowndes at the Holden Racing Team, following his stint as co-driver to Lowndes in their wins in the endurance events the previous year. With Lowndes’ absence, the 1997 championship shaped as a wide-open contest. Murphy won the opening race of the season at Calder Park Raceway, but the pendulum soon swung to Glenn Seton. The Ford driver scored a clean sweep of the rounds at Sandown and Eastern Creek, with John Bowe and Russell Ingall his closest championship challengers. Murphy ended the season as the form driver with round wins at Mallala and Oran

Park, though Seton had done enough to win his second championship with his own Glenn Seton Racing team. Meanwhile, over in Europe, Lowndes was having a difficult time, struggling to keep pace with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya and scoring points at just one round. Lowndes returned for the non-championship enduros alongside Murphy in 1997, but it was his move back into the championship on a full-time basis in 1998 that created a dilemma for the Holden Racing Team. With Lowndes back and Mark Skaife signed for the 1997 endurance events and a full-time drive in 1998 as replacement for the retiring Peter Brock, Murphy had to make way. He made a wildcard appearance for the Holden Racing Team at Calder Park in 1998 before returning for the

endurance events, though he would have to move elsewhere to continue on a full-time basis. While Lowndes and Skaife went on to win five championships in a row for the Holden Racing Team between 1998 and 2002, Murphy moved to Gibson Motorsport in 1999 and won the first Bathurst 1000 to be included in the championship that season. Twenty-four years after Lowndes’ one-season absence, McLaughlin follows suit with a switch to open-wheelers as the reigning Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars title winner. This time it’s a young Australian in Anton De Pasquale replacing the departing New Zealand champion, as opposed to a young Kiwi replacing the departing Australian champion as it was in 1997.

Greg Murphy replaced Craig Lowndes at the Holden Racing Team in 1997, before the duo reunited at Bathurst that year.

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ISSUE 120

Inside the museum you’ll see many of the dominant machines that ran in Australian touring car, open wheeler, rally, motorcycle and speedway races. The stories of drivers and events are told through original trophies, race suits, leathers, race footage and photographs.

SUPERCAR XTRA

No visit to Mount Panorama is complete without a stop at the National Motor Racing Museum, right beside the track at Murray’s Corner. Don’t miss the constantly changing array of racing cars and motor bikes that have made their mark not only on Mount Panorama, but across Australian motor racing history.

Check out the spectacular Immersive Room for a virtual lap around the historic Mount Panorama circuit, pick up a souvenir at our Museum shop and take in the Peter Brock statue & playground. Open daily from 9.00am - 4.30pm, closed Tuesdays. 400 Panorama Avenue Mount Panorama T: 02 6332 1872 E: museums@bathurst.nsw.gov.au Facebook: National Motor Racing Museum web: museumsbathurst.com.au

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SupercarXtra Magazine Issue 120  

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SupercarXtra Magazine Issue 120  

The Dark Horse