LIVERY UPDATES – SANDOWN RETRO ROUND 2018

As usual, my review is well after the event; one reason is time of course, but the other is that I always prefer to use on track shots, rather than promo photos, with decent quality shots often taking some time to find. Regardless, here are the retro round updates we saw at Sandown last week.

#2 Pye/Luff & #25 Courtney/Perkins

WAU Pye 18WAU Skaife 08

First cab off the rank is Mobil 1 Boost Racing, who paid homage to the 2008 Toll HRT, the last Commodore to be driven full time by Mark Skaife. The first thing I wonder in situations like this is, how should a company feel when they are, in essence, promoting another?

Marketing aside, it’s refreshing but also makes me feel old when we are looking at a 2008 livery as retro. It isn’t completely identical, and can’t be given they are not longer Holden backed, but could have used a little more silver to more strongly replicate the old design. Neat to see, but wouldn’t have it over their usual livery.

#9 Reynolds/Youlden

Erebus Reynolds 18Erebus Chickadee

Retro done right! Erebus have done a great job emulating the 1986 Bathurst winner, replicating it almost line for line, including a very nice stylised Penrite logo to match the now defunct Chickadee. This is a style of livery design that has been out of favour for a number of years, but I hope it makes a comeback of sorts.

I personally love flowing liveries, but straight lines with harsh angles have their own odd charm, which is clearly visible on a few of this year’s retro efforts. Probably mine and many others’ pick of the bunch.

#12 Coulthard/D’Alberto & #17 McLaughlin/Prémat

DJR McLaughlin 18DJR Johnson

Simple, however, also has its place in retro round. No fuss was also a popular theme back in the day, and the Sierras driven by Dick Jojnson and John Bowe were a leading example.

The key to a simple livery is the right colour, and DJR Team Penske have done well in bringing back this shade of red, which is just different enough to their usual red to be noticeable and eye catching. The clean look is pulled off well, capped off with the warm fuzzy feeling of classic number plates on the doors.

#14 Slade/Walsh

BJR Slade 18BJR Bob Jane Monaro

Brad Jones Racing have tipped their hat to Bob Jane and his 1972 Monaro with this orangy-red effort. It’s a quite similar replica to DJR Team Penske, but this one falls apart slightly in that the logo placement just doesn’t quite match the original. The blocky white Alliance logo, despite attempting to match the theme, is the main culrpit, adding a lot of white where it should appear plain red, not to mention the number font. The thought was there, but the execution slightly lacking for the #14.

#15 Kelly/Jacobson

Nissan Kelly 18Nissan Perkins 02

Castrol have decided to throw back to 2002, oddly enough replicating the Larry Perkins Commodore on the#15 Nissan. As strange as that seems to me, the design is near identical which is super pleasing to see. All that’s missing are the thick five spoke wheels in white!

While this was not my favourite Castrol livery of all time (that would probably go to the 1997 Castrol Commodore or the 1993 Castrol Celica), it’s a great nod to the recent motoring past.

#18 Holdsworth/Bright

Preston Hire Holdsworth 18Preston Hire Holden Bathurst 68

This retro livery isn’t too dissimilar to the Freightliner entry last season, but so was the basic design thinking in the 60s and 70s.

The #18 this year closely resembles the 1968 McPhee Monaro it pays homage to. It’s a completely authentic looking design, with perfectly matching lines, numbers, and even the old ‘Class D’ lettering (on the side at least). The ‘Warwick Yellow’ looks great and is a nice break for the usual, equally nice Preston Hire yellow.

#21 Blanchard/Wood

BJR Blanchard 18BJR Benson Hedges

Tim Blanchard kept it classy this year, giving a nod to the BMW his father had once raced. I remember Lotus getting some heat for using the old JPS liveries as inspiration in Formula 1 one year, but you can’t get much closer to a cigarette livery than this Benson & Hedges replica.

Any livery fanatic will tell you that cigarette brands had some of the best and most memorable liveries of all time, and this here is no exception. It’s translates incredibly well to a modern racer, and despite a departure from the usual blue, CoolDrive looks fantastic and in no way out of place on the design. While cigarettes are terrible things, I’m glad in a way that they left an imprint on the Motorsport world.

#33 Tander/Pither

GRM Tander 18GRM Garry Rogers Debut

Another set of direct replicas, and don’t these look amazing. Both are depicting cars Garry Rogers himself had driven, this one a 1978 Torana. As I mentioned with the Chickadee Penrite machine, it’s great to see some truly retro shapes and colours going on this year, this one being a true period piece of the 1970s. This too translates well to a modern Supercar, and just looks nice!

Would love to see this used for the rest of the Enduros – fingers crossed.

#34 Golding/Muscat

GRM Golding 18GRM Bathurst 83

The #34 is an homage to Garry’s 1983 Commodore. The sleek black and simple white line and chevron look great on the 2018 car. It’s nice to see that simple designs can work just as well as the odd and complex ones.

#55 Mostert/Moffat

Tickford Mostert 18Tickford Ellery 04

Antother design from the not too distant past, with Tickford choosing to paint the #55 in Steven Ellery’s Supercheap Auto colours from 2004. They’ve steered clear of purple this year, instead going with the blac, red and silver design. They’ve taken some liberties and simplified the livery slightly, removing some of the extra yellow lines, which does modernise the design. It’s great to see not only replicas, but successful modernisation of classic liveries this year.

#78 De Silvestro/Rullo

Nissan De Silvestro 18

For De Silvestro and Rullo, Nissan have gone with a retro themed design as opposed to immitating an actual past livery. I’m not sure how rich Harvey Norman’s racing history is, but I’m sure there would have been some lovely looking Nissans to choose from, rather than this very basic effort. Whilst it’s very similar in design to others we’ve seen this year and last, red and white doesn’t really excite!

#99 De Pasquale/Brown

Erebus De Pasquale 18Erebus Chickadee 81

I went the whole of last weekend, somehow, thinking both the Erebus cars had the same livery. My usually attentive eye stupidly saw the retro Chickadee font and didn’t ask any further questions. Luckily in writing this post I picked up on my error, and found that the #99 is based on the 1982 Toyota Celica.

In actual fact, the two liveries are completely different, this one focusing simply on a thick red stripe across the bonnet and front quarter panels. It’s a great job again of font replication and logo placement, although the one thing I’d have loved to see on both cars was the Penrite/Erebus logos on the side sprawling all the way above the rear wheel to the rear bumper.

 

It’s great fun to see retro round increasing in stature year after year, and more teams and fans embracing it with the awesome inspired and replica liveries. Can’t wait for next year.

 

 

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LIVERY UPDATES – SANDOWN RETRO ROUND 2018

Livery Launches – Preston Hire Racing, Prodrive, GRM and LDM

I’ve been a little busy, so here are four new liveries that I’ve missed!

Preston Hire Racing

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.

Prodrive

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.

LDM

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.

Volvo

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.

Four new liveries, four big ticks!

Livery Launches – Preston Hire Racing, Prodrive, GRM and LDM

Liveries of the Day – Garry Rogers Motorsport VE & VF Commodores, 2012 & 2013

GRM 1

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.

GRM 2

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.

GRM 3

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.

GRM 4

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.

GRM 5

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.

GRM 6

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.

GRM 7

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.

Liveries of the Day – Garry Rogers Motorsport VE & VF Commodores, 2012 & 2013