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Sunday, May 26, 2024


THE Repco Supercars Championship is back at Sandown this weekend, but without the retro round theme that proved a smash-hit prior to COVID-19.

Supercars borrowed a page from the football playbook by nominating the history-laden Sandown event as an official retro round from 2016-19, encouraging teams to don classic colours.

As discussed on this week’s Castrol Motorsport News Podcast, there are several reasons why retro round is yet to return, including the removal of the Sandown round’s iconic 500km format.

This year, Super2 runner Jack Perkins is the only one to adopt a retro look for Sandown, having unveiled an impressive tribute to his father Larry’s first drive with Peter Brock in 1982.

With no other retro racers to marvel at this weekend, V8 Sleuth celebrates the best of the liveries run at Sandown’s retro round from 2016-19.

Let us know your favourite by joining the conversation on our social media channels Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DJR Team Penske, 2016

This livery from 2003 was hardly Dick Johnson Racing’s most successful Shell scheme, but it sure stood out and was replicated brilliantly on the FG X Falcon.

DJR Team Penske ran this car alongside a Mark Donohue Sunoco Team Penske throwback in 2016, utilising retro round to showcase both sides of the US-Aussie alliance.

The team’s other retro round efforts included an all-red, two-car Shell Sierra tribute in 2018, which is also worthy of an honourable mention here.

Garry Rogers Motorsport, 2016

GRM nailed the retro round brief for the inaugural running by adopting Volvo’s 1986 Australian Touring Car colours on its two S60 Supercars.

The team went all-out with team kit and merchandise too, despite its Volvo deal having been destined for history following the brand’s decision to exit the sport.

GRM continued to excel with its subsequent retro round efforts on Holdens, including throwbacks to various Rogers race cars and Allan Moffat’s 1987 Rothmans Commodore for son James.

Walkinshaw Andretti United, 2019

Then in its Holden Racing Team guise, this team won the inaugural retro round in 2016 while running its regular colours, but subsequently returned with a string of retro masterpieces.

While its 1994 HRT/Brock homage of 2017 was widely lauded and subsequently used for the remainder of that season, we reckon its 1999 remake of two years later was even better.

It was the first time the iconic helmet and lion HRT logo had been used since Walkinshaw lost its factory team status and was a powerful reminder of the squad’s dominant era.

Tekno Autosports, 2019

Without the history of some of its more storied rivals, Tekno Autosports had to think outside the box to produce this impressive retro round turnout in 2019.

Playing on the theme of a small outfit taking on the bigger squads, it paid homage to Bob Morris’ 1979 ATCC title victory by adopting the colours of his iconic Seven/Breville Torana.

Its effort was all the more impressive for having the original A9X at the track too, while a tribute added following Seven commentary icon Mike Raymond’s passing was also a neat touch.

Erebus Motorsport, 2018

Following its breakthrough Bathurst win in 2017, Erebus paid tribute to another underdog Bathurst winner at retro round the following year – the Allan Grice/Graeme Bailey Chickadee VK of 1986.

Erebus also ran a Bailey Celica livery on its second car and had both of the originals on display alongside the throwback Supercars for an impressive launch.

This scheme narrowly got the nod for this list over Erebus’ 2019 retro round livery, where it honoured the JPS BMWs of the 1980s with another brilliantly executed effort.

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CoolDrive Racing, 2018

Retro round wasn’t all about celebrating championship or Bathurst-winning campaigns of years gone by, as some adopted a more personal touch.

This CoolDrive Racing example harked back to the racing exploits of Tim Blanchard’s father John, who campaigned these Benson & Hedges colours on a BMW M3 in 1993.

John Blanchard’s exploits paved the way for his son’s career, including establishing a link with Paul Morris who eventually gave Tim his main game debut in 2010.

Tickford Racing, 2017

Tickford won the 2017 Sandown 500 with its Monster Energy Falcon in its regular season colours but did turn out a series of noteworthy retro efforts on its Supercheap Auto entry.

We reckon this purple look used in the 2017 race was the pick of them, drawing on the sponsor’s first major splash in the category in 1999.

It may not have been the prettiest – or most successful – scheme in its day, but it adapted well to the FG X bodywork and was a valuable addition to the grid.

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