One round down and here we are looking at this year’s liveries. There’s some good, some bad and not much ugly thankfully. Let’s get straight to it.
Brad Jones Racing
First cab off the rank is a beauty! With Percat now at his new home at BJR, Clipsal have come along to sponsor the car for the aptly named Clipsal 500.
Some great colours here in white, red and a very strong purple. While white is the main colour, it is complemented by the bright red that really pops, and the unique purple that suits the others so well.
The design is simple; the red and purple spikes framing the Clipsal logo nicely, ensuring that the car doesn’t look too white and plain in the process. Whilst this isn’t typically my kind of design, I like the fact that it’s uniform and uses the colours well. Would have been good to see this in more than one round!
Freightliner are back, this time with Tim Slade at the wheel, and have gone the Force India route: lots of silver. I’m glad they’ve moved away from the standard red and black, but this isn’t better. The front of the car looks nice enough, with the bright white and silver spread evenly across the bonnet, complemented nicely by the bright red streaks and looking uniform.
However, the Freightliner logo is where most of the issues lie. Firstly, it’s a silver logo on a silver background. With a dark outline that it has, it can’t stand out. This would have looked better on white. Secondly, the shape of the logo means it is evenly outlined by the silver/red at the front, starting strong but breaking away in the middle, creating an uneven look. Finally, instead of keeping the entire side section silver with a red outline, as you’d assume it would be from the front, they’ve mixed some red into the middle section just in front of the rear wheel, causing the Frieghtliner logo to run over multiple colours and leaving the livery to look like a bit of a mish-mash. Originally gave this two stars, but it looks good from certain angles that I can’t nitpick from.
This livery is definitely weaker than its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean it’s a poor effort. It’s just a far simpler design, with last year’s secondary blue as the main colour, although the two blues don’t match as well in this orientation.
Negative’s aside, I like the simplicity and the fact it doesn’t look cluttered, but it is missing the wow factor. Certainly better than your average livery.
Erebus have gone with a paler yellow/gold this year and looking back at last year’s livery, it’s a bit of a shame, as that strong yellow was very nice! Colour aside there have been significant changes for the 2017 livery. There’s a lot less going on overall, but there’s beautiful piping on the front and rear, along with some other red and gold bits on the bonnet and bumpers. They probably could have gone without the latter, as they are only on the front. Could have been a mean look, but instead the generic bits on the bumper don’t follow the shape of the car and just look like they’re filling space.
The side of the car is simply a giant Penrite logo, tilted and cropped. Rather plain, but not a bad look. Just feels like it’s missing some piping on that part of the car to match the rest of the livery.
Dale Wood has moved to Erebus and brought GB Galvanizing with him. This livery is very similar to the one raced toward the end of last year at Nissan and is a pleasant look. It’s great to see that grey can be used well, in this case a dark shade and matte paint. It’s paired well with the white, especially on the splitter and above the intake, giving the car a nice milk moustache.
The red parts are a little out of control and would have looked better if they weren’t so erratically designed. Can’t complain much about this at all though, just wish Haas could make grey look this good.
Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport
Debuting this year at just 16 years old, Alex Rullo is the youngest driver in the championship’s history, and the first born in the 2000s. Controversial driver choice aside, the Repair Management Australia LDM has got a number of things right.
While black is the main colour, it’s really the high-vis orange that takes center stage on this livery. They both work well with the blue, in a design that is wonderfully jagged, compared to Wood’s livery above.
It’s just a nice livery overall, although perhaps something could have been done, such as some texture on the black, to keep the base from looking so plain. The livery is certainly missing something, but I can’t put my finger on it. It’s too bad Castrol has to come along and ruin the colour coordination, as it does on a number of liveries this season.
With Taz Douglas standing in for Matt Chahda while LDM figure out they driver issues, the sponsors are similarly temporary, so there’s not much use in analysing this all black livery.
Jason Bright has moved back to Ford with Prodrive, driving the Mega Bulk Fuels Falcon in 2017. While it’s great to have two cars with purple liveries on the grid, one is clearly better than the other. The colour combination here, albeit dictated by sponsor Mega, is weak. The purple and blue aren’t vibrant at all, and don’t really go well together. Thankfully they don’t actually connect at any point on the car, as that could have looked awful.
Interestingly, they’ve gone with an asymmetrical colour scheme, with purple on the left front and blue on the right, and the opposite on the rear.
However, that’s not quite enough to bring life to this livery. The design is very simple, with just one section of blue and one of purple on each half, leaving a huge area of white along the side (which is great for Mega). With two dull, uncomplimentary colours, outlined by black to make things worse, this design just doesn’t do any favours for itself.
Mobil 1 HSV Racing
Holden has taken its official backing over to Red Bull, leaving Walkinshaw to fend for themselves. Thankfully they’ve got two very capable drivers in Courtney and Pye to steer them in the right direction.
As for the livery, they’ve gone dark and aggressive, with a mainly black matte paint job. On the other hand, the very bright red parts aren’t in matte, creating a nice variation in textures along the car, but also placed very aggressively. It’s a very strong design up until the front bumper, where it loses this aggressive look, adding a pointless pinstripe which doesn’t match the rest of the car, but that’s just a personal gripe of mine.
Can’t take away too many points for that though. The rest of the design looks great, especially the red flashes along the edge of the roof, windshield and bonnet. Mobil is huge on the side of the car, which works well enough in this instance, but Boost clashes a little with its orange. A very nice car to watch going around the track.
Nissan Motorsport & Team Harvey Norman
Caruso’s Nissan this year is split into thirds, a bit like a Neapolitan ice cream, with red at the front, white in the middle and black at the rear. It uses a gradient, streaky and stripey design to blend the colours, with the side view the most rewarding. I like the top section of the car, which features black fading to white, but a sharp white down the side of the roof. Not a ground breaking livery but not ugly either – middle of the road.
One of the biggest talking points at the beginning of the season was Simona De Silvestro joining the series as a full time driver. Her first hit out didn’t go badly at all, apart from being turned around while heading for the pits.
The livery is the same as Bathurst last year, apart from the more
generic ‘Nissan’ colour palette. This wasn’t my favourite livery at the time and that hasn’t changed.
Some Nissan style stripey business along the side, but the front is the best looking section in my opinion. Simple, no-nonsense red and black, sharply split, following the shape of the unique Nissan grille.
Preston Hire Racing
Preston Hire Racing already had one of the best liveries on the grid last year, so it was brave of them to make such significant changes. However, it’s totally paid off, designing another beauty in 2017.
This season, the car’s main colour is matte yellow, creating an inverted look to last season. The slightly pale yellow pairs perfectly with black, with all the logos slotting into the theme well, although I wish Fuchs could’ve gone with yellow rather than white to make an almost perfectly two-tone livery.
The main yellow and black sections folow the natural curves of the car beautifully, creating an organic base for the other small yellow and black protrusions and flashes. There are also some small red sections, adding a third colour which without sponsorship wouldn’t be necessary, but do look good and add a little something to the livery. The silver rims with black spokes are also a really nice touch.
Red Bull Holden Racing Team
As mentioned earlier, Holden have jumped ship, joining the most successful team in recent history, and that’s a move that makes sense, to be at the top. However, with a team and brand as well renowned as Red Bull, I can’t imagine many people would be thinking about Holden as a main sponsor. I don’t know, I feel it would have made more sense to stick with their guns and be the straight up Holden Racing Team.
Red Bull have decided to emulate last season’s beautiful Formula 1 livery with a commendable effort of their own. They’ve used the matte navy and electric red paint and transferred it to Supercars with a suitable design.
However, I feel I have more gripes than likes with this one. The car looks confused and cluttered on the side, with the Holden and Red Bull logos fighting for space, leaving no room for an actual design. Whilst the Holden logo has taken the F1 style all red lettering, the Red Bull logo has retained the usual white outline which is baffling to me, taking away a sense of continuity in the design. I could only imagine this is to create a bit of differentiation between the Holden and Red Bull logos which could have been difficult to distinguish otherwise, but it just feels like they haven’t gone all in with the theme by doing it this way.
It’s still nice overall, the front looking pretty with the red splitter and piping on the grille, just few too any things that had be nitpicking.
Sengled Racing & carsales Racing
How’s this for a confusing livery. Sengled stays on Rick Kelly’s car for 2017, with an overall design similar to last year, but what in the world is going on with that texture? Instead of the silver, there’s a weird ice or metal texture (I can’t figure out what in the hell it is), which looks absolutely hideous. This texture is also on some of the red parts, with the Sengled logo using a standard Photoshop filter for a 3D effect that I only ever used when experimenting with the program as a beginner.
An effort was made here, but this just proves that sometimes, simplicity is the best option. I was desperately close to awarding this abomination no stars at all and can only hope this was a Clipsal only livery.
There are a few changes to the carsales Nissan for 2017, namely some larger areas of that lovely blue, which now covers the majority of the sides and top of the car. I can’t say it’s an improvement on 2016, but it’s still a good look overall.
The design is still distinctly Nissan with those jagged white lines parallel to the blue areas, although I am slowly getting tired of that ‘Nissan’ look, which thankfully has been broken up by Caruso’s new livery at least.
Shell V-Power Racing Team
All smiles at DJR Team Penske with the signing of young gun Scott McGlaughlin and having Shell on board for the entirety of the 2017 season. With this, one of my biggest annoyances of last season is gone! No more one livery fits all. What’s even better is that with Shell, one of the best colour schemes of last season is on the grid for good. Red, yellow and white go together very well, especially in this design.
I was initially a little disheartened when, after announcing a shortlist of liveries, they went with what is essentially last year’s design. However, part of the reason why I wait until Round 1 to do the round-up is to have a cooling off period, to ensure I’m speaking with my head and not my heart (well, not too much). I can now say I’m totally cool with their decision.
One of the biggest differences to last season is the red bonnet, which was white last year. While this makes the design simpler, it adds a further level of continuity and looks great with the bold red and attractively huge Shell logo. Apart from that, little has changed. One is the red boot, matching the bonnet. Another minor adjustment is the top yellow line on the side slimming toward the rear instead of getting larger. They’ve also added a nice touch, with the drivers’ mirrors and wings being yellow for Coulthard and White for McLaughlin.
Supercheap Auto Racing
A refreshed livery for Chaz Mostert in 2017, with the majority of black seen last season making way for a lot more red. This leads to a great tricolour combination, looking a lot like Ingall’s Holden of a few years ago.
What’s presented is a beautifully complex design which unlike the Nissans, for example, connects large coherently jagged sections together, rather than dropping a bunch of odd lines all over the place.
Each coloured section is outlined by black creating great uniformity and separating the yellow and red well. Black is used nicely as a third colour for splitting the red and yellow and with flashes like behind the front wheels, but isn’t so strong in large sections such as the bonnet, where perhaps plain red would have been fine. I’m just happy to see Supercheap make changes on a yearly basis. Special thanks to Castrol and Ovo for ruining an otherwise completely uniform colour scheme.
TeamVortex looks refreshed in 2017 with a lot more white bringing a new look to the team. The famous teal is still around on a much smaller scale, interestingly textured for the most part. It’s actually a great pattern using three or four different shades of teal to spice up the livery. Take note Nissan, this is how you use textures without making the car look butt ugly.
The red stripe along the side of the car, as high as it is, squashes the Vortex logo a little too much and could have been avoided if the line was lower. On the other hand, the red and teal lines which start behind the rear side windows and finish on the bonnet look fantastic and frame the Caltex logo really well. Overall, I’m really glad to see this new take on the livery.
TEKNO Woodstock Racing
With Darrell Lea not renewing their sponsorship and taking the Stix livery with them, Woodstock have come in with a red, black and white effort that I’m quite indifferent to. Three of the most standard Motorsport colours replace the exciting orange of 2016, but the design itself is what disappoints rather than the colours.
Red is mainly used on the front of the car, with some of this spilling onto the side, along with some white flashes. The Woodstock logo looks great on the side, but not so nice on the bonnet. I’m not sure why they felt the need to invert the colours, rather than just extending the black a little further out to accommodate the logo in its normal colours. It looks wrong in black with a white shadow, a red base. This might have needed a little less red, or at least some more love in the overall design.
The Bottle-O Racing Team and Monster Energy Racing
The #5 is back and with it, another evolution of The Bottle-O livery. Bright green remains the overarching colour on the car, but I’m glad to see an increased presence of white this year. While I can’t be sure, it looks as though they’ve toned down the green a notch from radioactive, although I never had an issue with that colour.
The placement of the white makes it look like there is more of it than there actually is. It’s cleverly placed between the roof support, mirrors and in front of the rear wheel to open the livery up where it was quite dull last year with the large black sections. Speaking of black, it’s no longer matte this year, going against the grain, as the fad takes over the grid in 2017.
There’s still a few too many things happening on this livery, with the white and black sections not really speaking to each other, but still looks pretty good as a whole.
Waters is looking a new man in 2017 with two solid performances in Adelaide. His car too, is looking the goods. Gone are a the weird grey bits from last season and this results in a super clean livery.
It’s completely matte black, ensuring that all the logos, especially Monster, match well. Not too much more to say about this. You can’t screw up a livery if you don’t design one! All jokes aside, smart play for Prodrive. Even seemingly design-free cars like these take a lot of effort and sometimes keeping it simple is the best thing to do and lead to nice looking cars.
Wilson Security Racing GRM
A shake up at GRM means they’re racing two brand new Holdens, with Garth Tander at the wheel of the #33 after switching from Walkinshaw. At first I was surprised to see they’d kept the cyan colour on the car which was synonymous with Volvo, but I’m glad they have, because it is a great colour. On second thought, it appears they are still sponsored by Volvo trucks, so that might be the reason for retaining cyan. It also matches really well with white, black and red that is on the car, making this one of the most coherent four colour liveries I’ve seen.
The 2016 livery was already fantastic but this has to be just as good. Cyan is relegated to secondary status, with white evolving into the main colour. The black and cyan along the side fan out toward the rear, and whilst I’ve been largely against pinstripes lately, the black one on the side of this car actually looks pretty good.
The front of this car is also great, using the cars lines nicely on the bonnet and using the same design style as the side. The red headlights are neat and I don’t even mind the red Payce moustache. A+ for colour, design and sponsor uniformity.
And that’s 2017 for liveries. A few different themes on the grid this year such like matte paint and different textures, but all in all there’s a great mix of designs and colours. While they can’t all look good, there are definitely a few stunners in there. There are also a few wildcards this year, but I’d prefer to see them on track before analysing them. Now we can just hope for great on track battles, in what may be the last year of true V8 racing in Australia.
Almost forgot about this!
Best Looker Award – Preston Hire Racing
I was tempted to give this to GRM, but the canary yellow and black, presented in the largely two tone design has to be my favourite on the grid this year.
Least Attractive Award – Sengled Racing
Hands down. That texture is truly awful and ruins what would probably have been an average livery anyway.
Most Improved Award – Monster Energy Racing
With a lot of teams moving backwards, Prodrive have simplified and improved. Getting rid of the grey bits and green that didn’t match makes a world of different.
Biggest Nagger Award – Red Bull Holden Racing Team
The current F1 livery is superb, so there was potential for Red Bull Holden to do the same. It falls short on a couple areas, namely the outline Red Bull logo and bull, which is quite annoying. I wonder if they’ll experiment during the season.
It’s Time to Move On Award – Nissan
Their overall design theme is beginning to look tired. Let’s do something new in 2018 guys.
Potential F1 Livery Award – MEGA Racing
Poor colour choice and bland design. Belongs in F1!