New year, new look… but there’ll be a blast from the past for RBHRT in 2019.
Yes, we know it’s January – but already, the Red Bull Holden Racing Team has had its first victory of 2019. How? By becoming the first team to reveal its livery for the upcoming Supercars season, which featured Craig Lowndes, a Queensland airstrip, and an exciting announcement that added plenty of pop to an early-year sunny Sunday summer’s afternoon in Dalby, a few hours west of Brisbane.
All of six days into his first year of not being a full-time driver in the Supercars game for over 20 years, ‘Lowndesy’ was on hand to unveil the paint scheme on the car set to be driven by Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen in the Supercars championship this season … and by Lowndes himself (we’ll get to that).
The new livery on the RBHRT ZB Commodore has a revised paint job from the car that SVG took to second place in the 2018 season, and after a series of demonstration runs up and down the airstrip in front of thousands of local fans (and some who came from as far as Darwin), Lowndes, as is his custom, had a wide smile on his face.
“It’s really great to reveal the 2019 Red Bull Holden Racing Team car livery in Dalby,” he said.
“This year we’ve done something different by launching in Dalby and getting close to the community here. The people and the farmers came out and they all had a smile on their faces.”
And that exciting announcement we alluded to? A case of a blast from the past for Lowndes and Whincup, who will team up again for this year’s Bathurst 1000 in Whincup’s number 88 entry. The superstar pairing won the 1000 three times in a row from 2006-08 before rules came in preventing regular series drivers from partnering one another in Australia’s most famous motor race; while it hasn’t stopped either from winning since (Whincup won in 2012 with Paul Dumbrell, while Lowndes saluted with Mark Skaife in 2010 and twice with Steven Richards, in 2015 and – memorably – last year), Lowndes is stoked to have the old firm back together for 2019.
“Both Jamie and I have a great history,” he said.
“With a lot of people wanting the pairing to happen, I’m going to really enjoy driving with Jamie. As the year goes on, I can’t wait to see how Jamie and Shane perform this year with the new car and growing on the speed we had from last year. Getting back into the car for the enduros will be really special.”
Whincup says his reunion with Lowndes will be akin to “getting the band back together”.
“Lowndesy and I obviously had a good run at the enduros a few years ago and he’s coming off the back of a win in the Enduro Cup last year, so we’ll be working hard to give ourselves and the team the best shot later this year.” J-Dub added.
“Our previous results are no indication of how we’ll go this time around, but if there’s anyone you’d want on your side at Bathurst, it’s Craig Lowndes.”
The 2019 Supercars season starts with the Adelaide 500 from February 28 to March 3.