Round-Up – 2019 Supercars Field

Round one is done and dusted, but it’s going to take some time to get used to some of the driver and sponsor changes for 2019. Add in the new Mustang, and it’s a few new things to wrap your head around. Let’s take a look at the best and the worst of this year’s grid.

23Red Racing Milwaukee Racing

Milwaukee Racing 2

After a reasonable first season as a standalone organisation, Milwaukee have moved under the Tickford banner, and seem to have reaped the rewards so far with some solid top ten running for Davison in Adelaide. In terms of livery, the colours haven’t changed, but the overall design is neater.

Milwaukee Racing 1

The edgy angled lines are jarring against the curvy, flowing bodywork of the Mustang, especially over the rear wheel, but isn’t necessarily a bad look. However, the whole livery is just a little underwhelming, and can’t find an aspect about it that I love, not any more so than last year.

★★★

Brad Jones Racing Freightliner Racing

Freightliner Racing 1

Freightliner Racing have inverted their main colours, with black and yellow just about swapping places for 2019. Annoyingly, in my eyes, they’ve stuck with almost the same design on the side of the car. I don’t want to dwell on this for another year, but I really wish they’d make some lines that fit the Freightliner logo better, and didn’t look like the logo was slapped on after the fact.

Freightliner Racing 2

That said, black and yellow are foolproof colours, and they still looks nice here. I can’t say the same for the silver, but must be used to tie in the main sponsor. In fact, one of the few teams where silver wheels would have made sense, decided to go with black ones – not that they don’t look great in black. Overall, it’s neither here nor there in terms of improvement, so receives the same rating as last year.

★★☆

Brad Jones Racing National Pharmacies

Brad Jones Racing Percat 2

Nick Percat’s #8 machine appears as though it will have different sponsors race by race again this year, and first cab off the rank is National Pharmacies. These blue and teal colours are some that were pretty unfamiliar to Motorsport, up until Ruoff brought them to Indycar. Mixed with a good chunk of white, they work really well together.

Brad Jones Racing Percat 1

The design is simple, and a racing staple, with the two colours in thick parallel lines running nearly from bumper to bumper. The logo is a perfect size and shape for this design. Some complexity is added at the rear wheel with two white lines added, but feel it may have looked nicer with just the one on the rear door, as it completes the bottom blue section, whilst the other is doesn’t suit so well. Let’s see what’s up next for #8.

★★★☆

Charlie Schwerkolt Racing IRWIN Racing

Irwin Racing 3

I’m sad to see the back of what was a superb couple of years this car had in Preston Hire colours, but glad to see that they’ve produced something just as good in 2019. Irwin have joined Frosty at Charlie Schwerkolt Racing, and have put a big fat logo on the side of the car. Along with that comes a really pleasing design and combo of blue and yellow.

irwin-racing-2.jpg

The logo and main lines are angled nicely, with the solid yellow sections featuring yellow pinstripes on their borders. These lines are fragmented along the sides, ensuring it isn’t just another plain livery. There are also a couple of white sections – I’m not sure a third colour is necessary in this instance, but they’ve done well to fit in what are likely a sponsor requirement. One irk, however, is the Toyota logo that’s half on the bonnet, half on the grille. I get they’re making the most of the space that’s available, but an OCD I didn’t know I had is definitely flaring up looking at it.

★★★★☆

DJR Team Penske Shell V-Power Racing Team

Shell 1

The Shell V-Power livery is probably the one most affected by the move to the Mustang. They’ve tried to mould the existing livery as best they can into the shape of the new car, which itself has been transformed into a really awkward shape to fit the requirements. What was a gradual slope of the yellow line over the front wheel arch is now a steep drop off, which I’m not a fan of, whether or not its intent is to deceive the viewer of the bonnet’s droop.

Shell 2

Apart from that, there aren’t any significant changes, although the shade of red looks to be deeper, which is a big improvement and just about makes up for the aforementioned alteration. Although it’s still a nice livery overall, I hope for a new livery on these cars next year.

★★★☆

Erebus Motorsport Penrite Racing

Penrite 1

Penrite are back for another year, and back in gloss paint! They’ve also gone for some traditional racing stripes, in this instance thick red, with hyper reflective gold pinstripes. They’re simple, but effective, and are also included on either side of the bonnet and roof.

Penrite 2

My main issue is with the Penrite logo. The stylised gold looks dated, and would look a lot neater and more modern in a flat gold colour. Further to this, it clashes with the rest of the gold on the car; it may stand out more, but at the expense of non-uniformity. Still a looker and improvement, especially from front on. Super aggressive.

★★★★☆

Garry Rogers Motorsport Boost Mobile Racing

Boost Mobile GRM 2

It’s a new look GRM. Out with Tander and Wilson, in with Stanaway and Boost Mobile. It’s a sleek black and orange design, understandably very similar to last year’s WAU livery. There’s a bit more silver to this one which is slightly to it’s detriment, as orange worked well to contrast the black in larger sections last year.

Boost Mobile GRM 1

There’s a bit of a Coca Cola vibe at the bottom of the side, and wish the top lines were split as evenly between the two colours as the bottom, but that’s probably just nitpicking. The deeper I look into it the less I like it (look at the chopped off rear wing number…), so I’ll keep it a distance. Looks lovely from there.

★★★★☆

Kelly Racing Castrol Racing

Kelly Racing Kelly 1

The Kelly Racing liveries seem to have minor changes year on year, but the overall ethos is consistent – sharp, jagged edges with flashes of the third colour. It’s a decent look, but gives the team an identity.

Kelly Racing Kelly 2

Therefore, there’s not a whole heap to comment on as it’s like they’re putting in values and pressing randomise on a livery generator, apart from the fact that BP Ultimate lime green is hideously jarring against the Castrol green. We’ve seen a similar issue with Castrol in the past, especially on the FPR/Prodrive blue liveries, but here it’s just gross. Derails the livery.

★★

Kelly Racing Plus Fitness Racing

Kelly Racing Heimgartner 1

As above, it’s the same design, but without the BP Ultimate problem. I thought it looked better with more blue and more orange last season, and the layout was also stronger in 2018.

Kelly Racing Heimgartner 2

I also like the slightly metallic and darker blue used last year. It’s worse in almost every way, but not significantly so, and certainly isn’t ugly, just closer to middle of the road.

★★★

Kelly Racing RABBLE.club Racing

Rabble Club 2

Garry Jacobsen has entered the championship this year, sadly in place of Michael Caruso, who has signed for Tickford for the enduros. Joining Garry on the #3 car is RABBLE.club, which I finally took the time to research. Turns out it’s a ‘digital health & wellness club’, with a fairly shoddy website featuring a poorly designed tiled background, and a promo video of their Falcon livery. All this aside, they’ve made a fairly good effort of painting the Altima.

Rabble Club 1

It looks a lot more like last year’s Nissan design, with the large white portion on the side. The jagged edges look a lot better in thicker sections here compared to the other two liveries above. The reflective blue looks great alongside the white and black, and is overall a far more cohesive livery than the other Altimas.

★★★★

Kelly Racing Team Harvey Norman

Kelly Racing Simona 2

Simona looks set for another season of mediocrity (if that) in the Team Harvey Norman entry. It’s an interesting take on the black, white and red livery, which on this occasion has limited any overlapping of the jagged sections. Each section is separated by black which is nice to see, with some lovely detailing included too, such as the silver lines within the main white section.

Kelly Racing Simona 1

The Harvey Norman logo also looks much better as black on white. The design overall has made a much better attempt to pay attention to the shape of the car, compared to other version that seems slapped on without much care. One little thing that bothers me is the white section sharply dropping off after the mirror. Mainintaing the same angle toward the front bumper would have had a better effect.

★★★

Matt Stone Racing Unit

Matt Stone Racing 2

Ironically, the new MSR team and livery remind me very much of Team Penske. It’s rare to see, but props to the team for having all sponsors agree to appear in black in order to make an almost perfect two tone livery. It’s super clean and uniform, with the double stripes working brilliantly along the sides, bonnet and roof.

Matt Stone Racing 1

It looks superb from all angles, especially when the sun hits it just right, opening up the silver to a lovely bright shade. There isn’t always a need to complicate things! Unit may only be a one race sponsor, so hopefully this design sticks around, and looks just as good with whoever puts their name on the car next.

★★★★★

Tekno Autosports Truck Assist Tekno Racing

Truck Assist Tekno 1

After a short stint with the team last season, Truck Assist are back for a full season with Tekno in 2019. It’s a decent effort, with the orange mainly focused to the front and roof of the car. Not a huge fan of the spiky design on the side, but it looks much better on the bonnet.

truck assist tekno 3

It’s a good distribution of orange and black on the car, although I’d have preferred to see more orange toward the rear to make it more even. That said, it’s a lovely shade of orange, and am glad they’ve gone with a good chunk of it so we can tell it apart from the Boost cars despite the similar colour schemes.

★★★★

Tickford Racing Monster Energy Racing

Monster Racing 2

This is essentially the same livery as last year – pure black plus Monster logos. The matte effect works really well on this livery, however, and considering the lack of flashy design elements, it hasn’t tired either. This has also been helped by the transition to the Mustang, which I believe has been pulled off best by this car (probably because it hides all the ugly disproportionate features).

Monster Racing 1

Not a whole lot else to write about. Scandia sticks out as it’s the only prominent sponsor not in white or green, which is great for them. I’m also a fan of the green lights, now that Orrcon has departed. I may have been a little harsh with my previous ratings of this livery, or perhaps my tastes have changed slightly.

★★★★

Tickford Racing Supercheap Auto Racing

Supercheap 1

I was disappointed to see the large portion yellow had been taken away from the Supercheap livery this season. At first glance, this car almost looks like a patchwork of a number of different sponsors, like we used to see a lot of in the 90s. The main sponsor’s identity has been diluted, purely because others with their own colours, like Century and Castrol, demand more of the focus. It was not so much the case last year. This also has me questioning whether the blue bands below Bendix are part of the larger livery, or for Bendix itself.

Supercheap 2

The livery in general is weaker in design than 2018, but I’m just annoyed at how inharmoniously everything has been put together. Especially front on. Imagine the million dollar homepage was a livery…

★★

Tickford Racing The Bottle-O Racing Team

BottleO 1

Holdsworth has traded places with Frosty for 2019 and has jumped in the Bottle-O car, which is now in it’s tenth season of competition in the iconic green livery. This isn’t the strongest iteration of the design however, but not disappointing like the effort above. The design would have worked just fine without the curved black line behind the front wheel – it’s out of place between the straight green line and gold Southern Comfort line on the bonnet.

BottleO 2

The shade of green used is also a less saturated, which is a good thing as a colour like that can become tiresome quickly. It’s a good idea to swap it in every couple of years like they have been doing. Or maybe the photos I’ve found are not as heavily edited as previous years!

★★★

Tim Blanchard Racing Team CoolDrive

Team Cooldrive 2

I’ve always been a fan of the CoolDrive livery. Tim Blanchard may have retired after a lacklustre career, but the sponsor remains, with Macaulay Jones now piloting his Dad’s #21 car. There are some subtle changes to the design, with the light blue taking up a lot more real estate along the side of the car. White too is more pronounced this season, taking up most of the rear of the car.

Team Cooldrive 1

The main attraction to this car is the same, lovely metallic blue from last year, and am only disappointed to see less of it on the car in 2019. However, I’m glad the team makes tweaks year on year to keep it interesting. I also like how the design of the livery follows the wavy theme set by the CoolDrive logo. That’s Cool integration. Sorry.

★★★★

Triple Eight Race Engineering Red Bull Holden Racing Team

Red Bull 2

Red Bull were the first team to show off their cars this season, which was really early in fact, just a week into the new year. What they’ve popped out isn’t bad by any means, but doesn’t hit the same standard as season. There’s a lot of white on this one, and comes off looking a little generic, most likely due to how unique the 2018 livery was (which in hindsight I’d rate higher).

Red Bull 1

The Red Bull and Holden logos are still awkwardly squabbling for superiority on the sides like a couple of bickering brothers ; two large competing logos in different colours will never completely work on the side of a race car in this fashion. Logos aside, the design sticks mainly to large blue portions on the main panels of the car, with a bit of pin-striping in jagged forms along the edges. It’s an OK livery, but doesn’t get the same originality points as 2018.

★★★

Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil 1 MEGA Racing

Walkinshaw 2

Finally it’s Walkinshaw, who have taken on Mega Fuels as a main sponsor, who have some fairly dodgy photoshops of stock photos on their homepage. This livery, however, is a huge improvement on the sponsors last major design. Here we have a coherent effort, mainly white, taking the odd route of using Mega’s own colours in a less noisy fashion. It’s an inspired choice, as the greater use of purple didn’t work out so well the last time.

Walkinshaw 1

That said, the purple, yellow and blue work very well as intricately intertwined ribbons of colour separating the black and white sections of the car. The theme is maintained across the sides, roof and bonnet and keep us interested enough with a splash of colour, as opposed to a mainly purple and yellow livery (which I’d have been intrigued to see). A good effort, and possibly thanks to Mobil, still maintains a strong Walkinshaw identity.

★★★★☆

 

Time for the bonus awards!

Best Look Award – Matt Stone Racing

I didn’t think this would be my pick, but it’s just a clean, satisfying car to look at.

Least Attractive Award – Kelly Racing Castrol Racing

BP Ultimate just kills this one, but isn’t the only fault. The weaker red lines don’t work well against the main green either.

Most Improved Award – Brad Jones Racing & WAU

Brad Jones for the National Pharmacies livery is a little unfair as it’s not a season long livery, so it’s probably more fair to give it to Walkinshaw. Mega have come a long way since Jason Bright’s Falcon in 2017, and is a lot better than Stanaway’s Falcon that they featured on last year too.

Almost There Award – 23 Red Milwaukee Racing

They’ve made changes this year, but still have the same rating. Red, white and black have lots of potential – a couple of inspired tweaks could see them move up the ranks in 2020.

Most Annoying Award – Freightliner Racing

So much potential with those colours, but they insist on having those yellow and silver lines more or less ignore the Freightliner logo. Drives me nuts.

Sponsor That Should Be Angriest Award – Supercheap Auto

I don’t know, maybe they did have a say in the livery design? Regardless, to dictate a livery and be so much less prominent than in previous years…I’d be annoyed if I was on their marketing team. Maybe this is just subjective though?

 

So, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Do you agree with my opinions, or am I totally wrong on any of these?

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Round-Up – 2019 Supercars Field

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