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

Round-Up – Supercars 2018 Field

Had the pleasure of seeing the Adelaide 500 in person this year, which is also why I’m so late in posting this. No doubt there will be a myriad of livery changes throughout but season, but let’s take a look at how they started the season.

23Red Racing Milwaukee Racing

#230 Will Davison

Davison 2018 1

First cab off the rank is the new 23Red Racing team, co-owned by Phil Munday and Lucas Dumbrell. The livery sensibly makes use of the Milwaukee logo thunderbolt as a theme for the car, but doesn’t take it to the next step of creativity. What we’re left with a pretty standard red and white livery, split by a black thunderbolt on the front quarter panel.

Davison 2018 2

However, this doesn’t make it bad by any means. The red flashes on the splitter and bonnet with black piping are great and make me wish that perhaps there was less of the main red in favour of these smaller details on white. Add what looks like a hastily removed logo on the rear quarter panel (nitpicking, I know) and you’ve got a pretty run of the mill, but attractive enough design. A good benchmark for the rest of the field!

★★★

Brad Jones Racing Blackwoods Racing

#8 Nick Percat

Percat 2018 1

Two colours that can work really well, but in this application are lacking. It’s a very simple design and where straight lines can be appealing, in this case fail to provide any excitement. I think I’d have preferred a simple complete parallel shape as opposed to the odd, single pointed shape that has instead been used for this livery. What also hurts this design is the very dull Blackwoods logo, but that can’t really be helped from the team’s side.

Percat 2018 2

The finishing touch is provided by this ugly bonnet. ‘Rock Your Weld’, the motto of the main sponsor, is hideously jarring to the rest of the livery and makes an average livery quite poor. At least it looks like Percat will have one sponsor for the whole season this year, although maybe it was better he didn’t in this case.

Brad Jones Racing Freightliner Racing

#14 Tim Slade

Slade 2018 1

As Preston Hire Racing have proved for the last couple of seasons, black and yellow are terrific colours to work with, and Freightliner Racing have joined the party. Gone is the red and white, and in comes the vibrant yellow, paired with black as well as some small slithers of silver. Front on, the livery is great, with simple black and silver sections bordering the bonnet and all the sponsors working together coherently.

Slade 2018 2

Side profile however, things become a little less seamless. Unfortunately the Freightliner logo looks as though it is very difficult to work with, and this leads to a livery where the main sponsor logo isn’t worked very well into the design, looking almost slapped on at the end. It’s a little bit of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, but some small details such as the logo not overlapping with the yellow section on behind the front wheel would have made a big difference in this regard.

★★☆

Charlie Schwerkolt Racing Preston Hire Racing

#18 Lee Holdsworth

Holdsworth 2018 1

Speak of the devil, Preston Hire Racing have followed up last year’s stunner with another. A couple of subtle changes in that there’s a bit more black than last year, paint is gloss rather than matte and the lines are overall a little more swoopy than last year’s edgy design, but the overall theme has just remained the same.

Holdsworth 2018 2

There are also a few silver sections this year which reflect nicely in the sunlight, but even with the white Toyota Forklifts section on the boot, is still a fantastically uniform livery. The amount of red has also reduced which is great for uniformity. Can’t say I love it as much as 2017 and I’m not exactly sure why – perhaps the shade of yellow, but it’s still absolutely lovely.

★★★★☆

DJR Team Penske Shell V-Power Racing Team

#12 Fabian Coulthard & #17 Scott McGlaughlin

McGlaughlin 2018 2

DJR Team Penske have an unchanged livery for 2018. I’m slightly disappointed given it wasn’t even my favourite of the their possible 2017 choices, but it’s a good combination of colours and design.

McGlaughlin 2018 1

Still a solid livery, although it’s simplicity means it has dated every so slightly, especially with the thinning yellow lines bordering the white.

★★★☆

Erebus Motorsport

#9 David Reynolds

Reynolds 2018 1

Erebus have gone for something a little more complicated with the Penrite car this year. It’s better and worse in different areas. Whilst I loved the piping on the front and rear of the 2017 car, the thin lightning bolts also work very well on the front in 2018. However, the thicker gold section on the side isn’t quite as effective – not quite the colour/shade you want in large quantities. Not only that, it clashes with the gold in Penrite logo, which it sits directly next to. Triggers my OCD.

Reynolds 2018 2

The other thing of note is the grille, which on this car is obnoxiously coloured red. Not a fan of such a brightly coloured grille which I don’t think it works well at all. Overall, it may sound like there are more negatives than positives, but it also improves in other areas such as the removal of the odd shaped gold areas on the splitter of last year’s livery. More or less even.

★★★★

#99 Anton de Pasquale

de Pasquale 2018 2

Anton de Pasquale is the first rookie on the list, but the design on the #99 is the same as the #9. The colours are slightly more suited to the sponsor, with silver instead of gold. This helps in making the livery seamless, but takes away a bit of bite for the same reason.

de Pasquale 2018 1

Unfortunately the red grille also remains, but a good livery nonetheless.

★★★★

Garry Rogers Motorsport Wilson Security Racing GRM

#33 Garth Tander & #34 James Golding

Golding 2018 1

With Moffat given the boot, another rookie in James Golding joins Tander at GRM this year, the cars appropriately adorning a similar livery to the Tander/Golding enduro design. The basic shape is the same, but the main separating line on this occasion is a chrome silver. Bordering the silver is red, which then uses a slow and intermittent gradient to turn to blue. This whole section looks terrific.

Tander 2018 1

The front is great too, with even sections of red and black swooping across the bonnet and importantly, around and not in the grille. Everything on the livery works really well together – every colour is complimentary, every logo fits and nothing looks out of place. About as close to perfect as you’ll get.

★★★★★

Matt Stone Racing Bigmate Racing

#35 Todd Hazelwood

Hazelwood 2018 1

It may be a surprise that there are three blue and orange liveries in the field, and the middle one belongs to another rookie, Todd Hazelwood. The design here is pretty safe, mainly following the key panels of the car and not venturing much further. The orange sections break up the blue well, but could even have been used more sparsely to good effect.

Hazelwood 2018 2

A slight issue I have with this car is the shade of blue and orange used. The blue is quite strong/saturated which can be OK, but used alongside a fluro, the clash is quite harsh rather than complimentary. A slightly darker or less saturated blue may have been a better option here. Either way, there’s plenty of white to break the strong colours up, which salvages some good looks for the livery overall, keeping it just about above average.

★★★

Nissan Motorsport

#7 Andre Heimgartner

Heimgartner 2018 2

Speaking of orange and blue, this is definitely the pick of the bunch. As mentioned before, the colours aren’t as strong on this livery, with the paler orange and lighter, metallic blue working very well together. The large blue section is complimented by orange around the windows and along the bottom, which then abruptly, but very nicely switches to white, which takes over the front of the car.

Heimgartner 2018 1

There are also small sections of silver, which don’t really add anything, and have been better in white or just left in orange. It’s a classic complex Nissan design, but works well with the colours. The Plus Fitness logo also works a lot better in this format than it has on previous efforts.

★★★★☆

#15 Rick Kelly

Kelly 2018 1

This one certainly suprised me – classic Motorsport sponsor Castrol was back in a big way, dictating the livery of Rick Kelly’s Nissan in 2018. Thankfully we see the back of the Castrol bonnet logos on other cars with no regard to their aesthetics or colour schemes, and instead are replaced with the unmistakable and very attractive green,  red and white in a big way.

Kelly 2018 2

Again, a typically complex Nissan livery, but with green the main colour instead of white as is usually the case for Castrol designs. Some parts are more or less shared with the above Plus Fitness livery, such as the window area and the white sections on the boot, but overall, also looks very nice in this form.

★★★★☆

#23 Michael Caruso

Caruso 2018 1

The more you look at the Nissans, the more characteristics they share. #23 is sponsored by Drive.com.au this year and therefore, takes on the bright teal to go with the usual black, white and silver.

Caruso 2018 2

Some red also remains, mainly for the Autoglym logo on the front. I should like this livery a lot less for that reason, but the red does help to break up all the black and blue. One thing I do find slightly annoying is the odd blue on the rear quarter panel, which just doesn’t belong.

★★★★

Nissan Motorsport Team Harvey Norman

#78 Simona de Silvestro

de Silvestro 2018 1

Just about the same design again here as you’d expect, but a pretty big change in colour scheme, with black now the main colour in place of red for the Harvey Norman Altima. Definitely stands out the least due to the duller colour palette, but having one fewer colour works in its favour.

de Silvestro 2018 2

For example, the red on white of the stripe along the side of the car works far better here than the silver does on either the #7 or #23, and does just about enough to outweigh the standard colours.

★★★★

Tekno Autosports

#19 Jack Le Brocq

Le Brocq 2018 2

Le Brocq is the next newbie on the list and Tekno haven’t deviated too far from the all black car they launched with. The SS Signs logo is in your face and the accompanying design matches it well.

Le Brocq 2018 1

The blue and yellow shards are reasonably well spaced and look good on the front, but I’m slightly indifferent to the ones on the side that are perhaps a little bit messy. I’d look to declutter the side by removing a couple of the blue sections on the side and let the jet black shine.

★★★

Tickford Racing The Bottle-O Racing Team

#5 Mark Winterbottom

Winterbottom 2018 1

Another year in the Bottle-O Falcon for Frosty and it’s another evolution of the green livery in 2018. This sees a lot more white toward the front of the car than last year, taking over the roof and the front b-pillar. There’s also some more black on the rear, meaning there’s less green on the car overall this year.

Winterbottom 2018 2

The design itself is edgier, but better coordinated overall, with most of the lines more or less moving in the same direction, where last year’s design had different shapes all over the place. The black is also glossy rather than matte this year which is welcome. A decent improvement.

★★★★

Tickford Racing Monster Energy Racing

#6 Cameron Waters

Waters 2018 1

No changes of note to call out on the Monster Energy Falcon. Still matte, which works well in this instance with the all black design.

Waters 2018 2

Again, not a lot to say. Hasn’t dated significantly either, which is a bug plus.

★★★

Tickford Racing Supercheap Auto Racing

#55 Chaz Mostert

Mostert 2018 1

You wouldn’t think of it at first glance, but this is exactly the same design as the Bottle-O Falcon. The completely different colour scheme disguises that very well.

Mostert 2018 2

Not a heap more to add considering, but these colours work very well together as has been showcased for the last couple of seasons. Can’t say I prefer one over the other! Shame we didn’t get any sneaky purple, but perhaps we will come the enduros.

★★★★

Tickford Racing

#56 Richie Stanaway

Stanaway 2018 2

As above, this is the same design. However, in this instance it’s incredibly boring. Tickford’s corporate colours don’t produce any excitement in this layout. There’s just too much empty white, and the red and black aren’t enough to significantly improve it.

Stanaway 2018 1

It suffers from the same issue as Bright’s Falcon last year where there’s a little too much empty space, but at least the colours work a little better on this occasion. I imagine swapping the black and white sections would vastly improve the livery.

★★

Tim Blanchard Racing Team CoolDrive

#21 Tim Blanchard

Blanchard 2018 1

Somehow Blanchard is still in the sport, despite only achieving 4 top ten finishes in as many full seasons in the sport (plus three others outside this). At least he drives a car with an attractive livery. The design is almost identical to 2017, apart from the flashes on the front being removed, and an alternate CoolDrive logo being used.

Blanchard 2018 2

The other and key change for 2018 is the colour. They’ve gone with a metallic and less saturated shade of blue, which works so much better on a racing livery. It changes the whole aesthetic of the car and makes the #21 machine a joy to look at this year.

★★★★

Triple Eight Race Engineering Red Bull Holden Racing Team

#1 Jamie Whincup & #97 Shane van Gisbergen

Van Giz 2018 2

A significant change this year for Red Bull Holden, moving away from the Formula 1 imitation to something quite original! The navy blue remains but the livery is now more or less half white too, split down the side in a jagged and faded design which is complex without being obnoxious.

Van Giz 2018 1

Quite difficult to explain this one, and it works well to an extent, but it still feels like there’s a fight between the Holden and Red Bull logos which takes up half of the car and detracts from the livery. You’d think Red Bull could stick with the Bull only and remove the text logo to clean up the livery slightly.

★★★☆

Triple Eight Race Engineering Autobarn Lowndes Racing

#888 Craig Lowndes

Lowndes 2018 2

It’s been a while since we saw Autobarn as a main sponsor of a Supercars machine, but that’s the case for Triple 8 this year. It’s a shame we only had the Vortex livery for one season, but it’s replacement is great and almost provides a sense of nostalgia, dipping somewhere between the above Autobarn of the 2000s and the Green Eyed Monster in my opinion, thanks largely to the silver present (perhaps the Lowndes connection helps too).

Lowndes 2018 1

The design itself utilises evergreen parallel stripes along the bottom of the side, along with copious amounts of silver to compliment the black on the rest of the car. There are other flashes of yellow around the car too which help add further colour to what could otherwise be slightly dull. Yellow mirrors and intake are a nice touch.

★★★★

Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing

#2 Scott Pye & #25 James Courtney

Courtney 2018 1

Michael Andretti has branched out and joined fellow American Roger Penske in Supercars, teaming up with Walkinshaw to create Walkinshaw Andretti United and Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing. Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing. Say that 5 times quickly. Tongue twister aside, some further confusion has also been cleared with Boost now sponsorship just the one team, after sponsoring Courtney and Percat part way through last year. They’ve also settled for glossy black (truly a mass matte exodus this season) which matches really well with the orange.

Courtney 2018 2

The Boost logo is huge on the side, but actually works as a design element, blending in very well and adding a nice chunk of orange to the side of the car. Other orange elements are on the roof, wing and splitter, as well as some other orange and white flashes elsewhere on the car. A great colour combo and look overall.

★★★★☆

 

So, bonus awards!

Best Looker Award – Wilson Security Racing GRM

Just about perfect. Nothing to complain about. A stunner!

Least Attractive Award – Blackwoods Racing

No real redeeming features on this car. The design is boring and the bonnet is butt ugly. A shame, as the colour combo can be very effective.

Best Orange and Blue Livery – Nissan Motorsport #7

There are a few orange and blue liveries this season, but one is a standout. The Plus Fitness car is not only the best of the colour combination, but also the best of the Nissan livery template.

Round-Up – Supercars 2018 Field

Round-Up – Supercars 2017 Field

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

BJR 2

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.

BJR 1

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 1

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.

Freightliner 2

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.

★★☆

 

CoolDrive Racing

Cooldrive 2

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.

Cooldrive 1

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 Motorsport

Penrite 1

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.

Penrite 2

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.

★★★★

 

GB Galvinizing 1

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.

GB Galvinizing 2

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

LDM 1

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.

LDM 2

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.

★★★★

 

LDM 3

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.

 

MEGA Racing

Mega 1

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.

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

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.

Mobil 1 HSV Racing 1

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.

 

Mobil 1 HSV Racing 2

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

Nissan 1

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.

★★☆

 

Harvey Norman 2

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.

Harvey Norman 1

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 1

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.

Preston Hire 2

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

Red Bull 1

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.

Red Bull 2

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 

Sengled 1

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.

Sengled 2

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.

 

Carsales 2

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.

Carsales 1

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

Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin

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.

DJR 2

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

Super Cheap 1

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.

Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Test Day

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

TeamVortex 2

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.

Craig Lowndes

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

Tekno 1

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.

Tekno 2

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

Bottle-O 3

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.

Bottle-O 2

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.

★★★☆

 

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Garth Tander and James Moffat

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.

GRM 2

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.

 

Bonus Awards

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!

 

 

 

Round-Up – Supercars 2017 Field