The Red Bull Holden Racing Team has today revealed a retro-inspired livery that will adorn Supercars Champions, Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen’s Commodores at next month’s Sandown 500.
In celebrating the history of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at its second annual retro round, Whincup and Van Gisbergen’s factory racing Commodores will pay tribute to the original Holden Dealer Team.
Inspired by its Monaros of the late 1960s and Toranas of the early ‘70s, GM Design Australia Exterior Manager, Peter Hughes has created a familiar HDT look adapted for the modern era and Holden’s partnership with Red Bull.
“This livery is a direct throwback to the glorious years of Holden’s original factory racing team, which I’m confident the fans will love,” Hughes said.
“HDT’s 1971 GTR-XU1 Torana was drawn upon for the thick, simple red striping and placement of the historic Holden Lion on the c-pillar, combining it with the ‘70s Holden font on the rear quarter signage.”
Hughes said the early factory racing cars often bore a black or dark-coloured bonnet, separate to the rest of the car, to ensure less light was reflected into the driver’s eyes.
“Keeping true to the look of the era, the bonnets of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodores are dark blue, maintaining the stark contrast between panels that was common for the period.”
Fans can join in the retro celebrations with the limited edition RBHRT Sandown 500 merchandise range, available for pre-order now and trackside across the Sandown weekend.
Reigning Supercars Champion, van Gisbergen said he was looking forward to taking on the first endurance race of the season in fresh paint – Sandown the first race in the three-event PIRTEK Enduro Cup.
“I think our Commodores will look awesome, they’re so different to what we usually race, hopefully the fans like our throwback livery as much as we all do,” van Gisbergen said.
“I’m a bit too young to have seen the original HDT Monaros and Toranas racing, and I don’t even think Lowndesy (Craig Lowndes) was around back then, but I’ve been a Holden fan since I was a kid so it’s pretty special that we can now pay tribute to this historic era in our own way.”
Rising star Matt Campbell joins Van Gisbergen in his quest to retain the PIRTEK Enduro Cup title.
“I’m really looking forward to racing with Matty, he was really impressive in last year’s enduros and is having a great year competing in Europe. I think we should go pretty well,” van Gisbergen said.
Three-time Sandown 500 winner Whincup partners with Paul Dumbrell for their sixth consecutive endurance season.
“PD and I have won this race twice together, but that’s all in the past and we’re channelling all our efforts into doing our best during this year’s enduros,” Whincup said.
The livery change is only the second for the Triple Eight Race Engineering team since joining forces with Red Bull in 2013.
“To have a new livery on the car is exciting. We didn’t do one last year, so that makes it even more special for the team this time, but I hope we get to bust out the retro flat caps again,” Whincup said.
“I think the retro theme is a great way for both fans and competitors to celebrate the heritage of our sport and Sandown is the perfect place to do it. It has so much history and if it means we can keep racing there a few years longer, then I’m all for it.”
The Wilson Security Sandown 500 takes place 15-17 September, while the Supercars Championship heads to Sydney Motorsport Park next week for the Sydney SuperSprint, 18-20 August.