A few new liveries this week, including two of the new wildcard entries for Winton.
A couple of mandatory livery changes to begin with; Percat first up. This week we see Freightliner, a supporter of BJR for a few years now, as the main sponsor on the #8 car. A great combination of colours, similar to Reynolds’ Penrite machine, with a bit of grey in the mix. Some nice, sharp and aggressive lines giving the Commodore a great look.
New colours again on Todd Kelly’s Altima, this time a deep blue for trucksales. I’ve got a fairly strong dislike for the clashing blues on this car, but it is what it is,
Macauley Jones was one of the wildcard entrants today, in his DrillPro sponsored Commodore, run by BJR. A rather basic livery in some standard colours, with a lot of white making the livery look a little boring. Some simple details here with a thick blue line all along the bottom of the car and along with the red Payce moustache, it creates some nice confusion considering this isn’t a GRM entry!
Shae Davies is a second wildcard at Winton in his Nissan Altima. An interesting design here sponsored by Loco Energy Drink, with some vibrant light blue and red bringing some life to the black and grey. It’s a nice black diagonal strip across the side, although I wish there was less grey, considering the other vibrant colours available on the car. While it’s good to see a new livery on the grid, it isn’t very memorable.
James Golding is also a wildcard entry for Winton in the #31, although he sensibly racing in a standard GRM livery.
So I’ve slacked off a little after hours spent on the round-ups, so let’s take a look at some of what I’ve missed, starting with Percat, who will seemingly be changing sponsors each round.
Holden used Percat’s car to push some social responsibility during the Australian Grand Prix, painting the #8 in rainbow colours in support of marriage equality. It was a simple and very colourful design and didn’t look awful, passing as a decent art car. I have to say I’ve attempted this many times in the (distant) past to varying levels of success.
Come Symmons Plains, it was Biante on the side of the car, with something a little more subtle. Traditional white, red and black in a standard but pleasant design.
Then for Phillip Island, Hare & Forbes jumped on board, with something a little less uniform. A few too many colours on this livery, without much design to go with it. The number of slapped on logos can’t be hidden with the plain white, and is easily the weakest of the four efforts so far.
Back to Albert Park and Tekno unveiled this monstrosity. This is the definition of why putting a logo on an already established livery can go wrong. Horribly matching colours, especially on the bonnet with the EDG sky blue directly on the Woodstock red *shudders* with what was already a below par livery. I can only imagine they were short on time finding a sponsor for the non championship round.
Conversely, a livery on short notice can work well, given enough care is given. Lift sponsored Taz Douglas’ LDM car for the Australian GP and turned out an agressive, quite striking yellow and black livery. No real complaints here with all the colours working in unity, and all the jagged bits of yellow looking great. Shame it only stuck around for one race! However, it was promptly replaced with the same RMA livery as on Rullo’s car, which is also good.
Another piece of good news was RBRA touching up their F1 inspired livery. The Holden logo has now changed to white, which is a great move, considering it was somewhat lost in it’s previous form.
The Penrite Erebus also has a new look, with Enviro Box (not Castrol for once) bringing some green to the party and ruining the beautiful uniformity that was. That said, it’s not nearly as offensive as it could be and is a much more manageable shade of green in comparison to Castrol.
Lastly, Walkinshaw have struck a deal with Boost Mobile, to turn James Courtney’s Commodore orange. The design hasn’t change, but the new colour does provide an easy way to distinguish Courtney and Pye. Can’t say this is better or worse. Black and orange go very well together, so no real complaints here.
I’ve been a little busy, so here are four new liveries that I’ve missed!
This is the new Preston Hire Racing (Charlie Schwerkolt Racing) livery. A whole lot more yellow as it was kinda of dull and grey last season. Nice and bright, with plenty of edges to complicate the livery without causing it to be too messy. Fuchs sticks out like a sore thumb with colours that don’t suit the livery at all, but that can’t exactly be avoided. I like it and it will stand out, but hopefully we don’t get it mixed up with the next one.
Supercheap Auto have left Holden and jumped on the Prodrive bandwagon. The new livery is not unlike the 2015 one, being mainly yellow, but with much less red and black as the new secondary colour. It has a nice edgy tear effect and the colours allow for the rest of the sponsors to fit in well with the colour scheme. I have to say I’m a little disappointed that there’s no purple on the car.
Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport is one of the few teams running the same livery on both cars. Funnily enough, it does bare a resemblance to the other team doing this, HRT. A lovely shade of orange, complemented with blue black and silver. The SP Tools logo is massive on the side of the car, so they’d be happy about that. Solid design nice, but perhaps Coca Cola could have been white on the orange background.
Lastly, Volvo. What a fantastic livery. They’ve added a bunch more white, and it’s helped to turn the design up a notch. Last season’s livery was nice, but it didn’t have that wow factor. This one does. The design is simple, follows the cars natural lines for the most part and the white is used cleverly to make for an attractive design. All the colours match and just make for an all round pleasing livery to look at. I wish the outline of the white was even along all of the car, but as I haven’t seen the livery from many angles, it might not be a problem anyway.
The trend these days seems to be for teams to come up with short term sponsorships or just special liveries for the enduros, or even just for Bathurst. I’ve decided to go through the liveries the teams will be racing in this week, and look at what’s changed.
Holden Racing Team
The HRT machines will be promoting the latest Star Wars film at Bathurst this week, with two cars in similar yet opposite colour schemes. The cars will represent either side of the force, with car #2 in ‘dark side’ colours and #22 in a ‘light side’ scheme.
The car driven by Garth Tander and Warren Luff is a mean, aggressive livery with a smooth matte black paint job, bright red flashes and different Star Wars character images on either side of the car. Usually images don’t work on racing liveries, but they definitely get away with it here, as it matches the rest of the livery perfectly. The matte black is the most impressive part of the livery and everything else supports it well.
The other car, piloted by Jack Perkins and veteran Russell Ingall in James Courtney’s absence, is in matte silver/grey. It features the same red flashes and also has character images on either side, although they don’t quite seem to work as well. The problem with this livery is that it fades from silver to black quite suddenly, and it would certainly have been better off in all silver, giving the livery a more rounded look.
Charlie Schwerkolt Racing
Lee Holdsworth has partnered up with Frenchman Sébastien Bourdais for this year’s enduros. Starting in Sandown, the team had a new main sponsor Preston Hire. This livery design is virtually the same as it was prior, only that now main colours are silver, black and yellow. The colour combo is great; black and yellow usually look good on race cars. Something irks me about the silver though. It looks like they’ve just placed the design decal straight over a stock road car paint job. In terms of logos, Fuchs stands out in the wrong way as it doesn’t suit the livery at all. Oh and Hog’s Breath…I’ve been over that before.
Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport
The #222 driven by Nick Percat and Oliver Gavin also has some slight modifications. OPS Gateway replaced Repair Management Australia as the car’s main sponsor for Sandown and with it, a somewhat different livery. It’s an interesting design, mainly in white with a large chunk of black on the sides. It is complimented by some blue lightning bolts surrounding the OPS logo on the black sections and some neon red sections on the front, rear and wing. A nice livery but not exactly ground breaking, nor unique or a stand out.
Both Erebus cars are also in different liveries this weekend. After seemingly switching sponsors race by race throughout the season so far and awkwardly patching their logos on top of the standard silver and black designs, it’s a relief to see them have liveries tailor made to their sponsors.
Ash Walsh is partnered by Matt Le Brocq for the enduros and together they will drive a rather striking car at Bathurst. Pink liveries are hard to get right, but the Wendy’s sponsored machine is very well designed. Being a chain of stores that sell mainly ice cream, the hot pink is complimented cleverly with splashes of what I would call ice cream splashes on the hood and behind the wheel arches. The use of off white for the ice cream component of the livery matches the hot pink really well and thankfully the secondary, lighter pink colour is only used minimally as possible.
The #9 machine is driven by brothers Will and Alex Davison. This car is less of a stand out, but looks great in its own right. It’s a clean and simple design, with gold and red lines running along the edges of the car and breaking up the mainly black livery. The Penrite logo looks like it was made for a race car and looks great, especially on the bonnet. I must take away points for the sponsors on the side skirts, which are a little jarring with their chunky borders (nit-picking, I know), but on the other hand, the honeycomb grille painted in gold is a very nice touch.
Prodrive Racing Australia
For the Bathurst 1000, Prodrive will have a much publicised 3rd entry (or 5th, depending on how you look at it), driven by the all-female team of Renee Gracie and Simona de Silvestro. The livery, sponsored by Harvey Norman and HP, is a clean red and white effort, with silver dividing the two. The bright red used it very nice, but I’m not sure silver was the way to go. It seems to get lost depending on what angle you view the car from and perhaps charcoal would have been a better option, or perhaps a simple black. Chrome silver would have also been nice and although it would have had the same viewing angle problems, it could have been forgiven as it is a much more striking colour. Not sure how I feel about designs on the edge of the bonnet.
Four cars and four new liveries for Nissan.
Todd Kelly has had a number of different sponsors this season, but for Bathurst and beyond, his car, co-driven by Brit Alex Buncombe, is sponsored by Carsales. The design is quite similar to other Nissan liveries, but has some minor differences. The black, blue and white combo works very well, a shame it isn’t used more often. There’s not much to say about the design other than it is complex, yet quite attractive. A tough livery to describe. Props to Nissan for having every single sponsor on the car match the livery (apart from their own, but it’s on the windscreen so I’ll let it slide).
The #15, driven by Rick Kelly and David Russell isn’t too different to the usual car. Much like HRT, they have gone with matte black, which is a nice effect. For Bathurst, Jack Daniel’s have decided to promote their Zero Sugar product and with that, flashes of red are added to the usual black and white colour combination. It adds a touch of colour whilst still unmistakably being a Jack Daniels livery.
Much like last year, Michael Caruso will be sporting a retro themed livery. Partnered once again by Dean Fiore, the livery is a throwback to the 1990 Nissan in which Jim Richards won the championship. The livery itself is simple, but quite beautiful. The only real difference between the new and original liveries is that they have used chevrons rather than straight lines on the side in the transition from red to white to blue. Despite the huge difference in shape between the two cars, the livery works extremely well on both. Good to see a big number on the front door too. Great looking livery.
The #99 car driven by James Moffat and Taz Douglas also has a new livery. Sponsored by Mack for the enduros, the livery has changed since Sandown, with the red lines being removed, giving a design more unique to Mack, but one that isn’t very memorable. The livery is mainly white, with the black and silver on the side. Plenty of potential here but it doesn’t look like they’ve got the most out of it. It still looks like a semi blank canvas with work to do. The Mack logo, however, does look very good on the side of the car. Would like to see them tinker with this livery again before the Gold Coast 500.
Overall, I’m very happy to see Nissan make use of both complex and simple liveries.
DJR Team Penske
For the enduros, the Scott Pye/Marcos Ambrose machine was unveiled in a bright green Xbox sponsored livery. It brings back memories of the Xbox One Racing entry in the 2013 Bathurst 1000 as well as the car driven by Ambrose in the final round of last year’s championship. This time around the green is not metallic and is a much brighter shade of green. The design is simple, but uses the shape of the FG X Falcon well. A pleasing livery, but I’m not sure The Bottle-O is very happy about it!
Last but not least is Novocastrien Motorpsort. The second set of brothers in the field, Aaren and Drew Russell, will be at the wheel of the #62. The team, which is coming up from the Dunlop Series for the Bathurst 1000, will be racing in a VF Commodore. The livery is based on their Dunlop Series car, and is mainly royal blue and sponsored by Plus Fitness. Unfortunately, it does have the distinct look of a car from a lower category. The design is too simple and the sponsors all over the car seem to fighting for attention, rather than singing in harmony. However, it isn’t a disaster. The design on the roof and bonnet works well and the orange tinted headlights are a very nice touch. Shame about the design on the side, which looks like it was made in 5 minutes and brings the overall look of the livery down. As a small team with a small budget, I imagine their priorities were elsewhere, and that’s fair enough if you ask me.