Let’s start with the 2012 machine. Driven full time by Michael Caruso and Frenchman Alex Premat, this proved a rather fruitless season for GRM. Caruso had a few good top 10 results, but was ultimately unable to reach the podium, whilst Premat struggled to get to grips with the V8s; his best result of the season a 13th at Symmons Plains.
The livery, however, was far more memorable than the results. In 2012, the commodore was painted in an intriguing shade of bronze-silver. This is one of those colours that I imagine was stumbled upon by accident by the design guys when messing about before the ‘eureka’ moment of “Hey, this actually works pretty well!” It’s an interesting and unique colour that stands out in my memory, and for the right reasons.
The bright red contrasts the base colour well, whether it is split by white or directly beside the bronze-silver. The actual livery design isn’t exactly ground breaking, but it is a very pleasing touring car design. Red, black and white are a gimme combination and the sweeping oval shape over the side, along with the solid red block across the hood and roof work well with the shape of the car.
However, there are a couple of things that irk me about this livery. The Fujitsu logo is tilted awkwardly diagonally. Perhaps this allows for the logo to be as large as possible on the car, but it should be straight, parallel to the window frame. I was also going to say that the blue that Valvoline brings to the car was one colour too many and that maybe it should have just been in white, but the blue headlights actually work really well and give the car an extra menacing look. Then James Hinchcliffe partnered Caruso on the Gold Coast and brought with him Go Daddy sponsorship. To put it simply, that really pushed it over the edge. Six colours on a car is incredibly tough to pull off, especially when electric green is involved.
2013 brought a new car and a new driver. Wonder kid Scott McLaughlin was to partner Premat this time around, and with his arrival came great success. McLaughlin won 2 races in his rookie season and Premat even finished the first race of the season in a personal best of 4th.
The reason I combined these two liveries into one post is because, even though they look so different, they are really the same livery with the colours swapped around. In 2013, the main colour was red, with oval design consisting of black, silver and this time a colour closer to gold than bronze. Whilst the regular livery was nice, it was the deep red version (which I believe was only used in the enduros, but I could be wrong) which really stood out to me.
I would have to describe the colour used in this special livery as reflective crimson. It is an absolutely stunning shade of red and I can’t believe it hasn’t been used more often in motorsport. The reflective nature of it just enhances the livery, adding another dimension of beauty and complexity, especially in natural light. The silver parts are also reflective, effectively chrome, which pop out really nicely to add some bright contrast to the deep red.
On top of this, they corrected the Fujitsu logo for 2013! It runs parallel to the window frame and it looks infinitely better than the year before.
So, a pair of memorable liveries from GRM. These proved to be the last liveries of their Commodore era, although the striking liveries were to continue, with the bright blue Volvo machines the following year.