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HomeNewsSTATS CORNER: WHO ARE THE LONG-TERM TEAMMATES IN CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY?

STATS CORNER: WHO ARE THE LONG-TERM TEAMMATES IN CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY?

HAVING one driver stay at a single race team for a long period of time is rare in the modern Supercars era but having two drivers stay on for a long timeframe looks to be the stuff consigned to the history books.

So which drivers have been teammates the most in the history of the Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championship?

It’s no real surprise that Triple Eight Race Engineering, a team that has prided itself on the stability of its driving line-up for many years, holds the record in this interesting field of history.

Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup first came together as teammates in 2006 and were full-time teammates until the end of Lowndes’ run as a Supercars regular with Triple Eight at the completion of 2018.

They drove together in the endurance races in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and will be teammates again at this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 given Whincup will co-drive with Broc Feeney in one of the team’s Red Bull Ampol cars and Lowndes will spearhead a wildcard entry also run by Triple Eight.

The duo has spent a staggering 188 Supercars Championship rounds as teammates and will extend their record to 189 at Bathurst in October.

Brothers Rick and Todd Kelly sit second on the list with 126 rounds as teammates, firstly in the 2001 Kmart endurance line-up and then as co-drivers as part of the infamous driver swaps in 2006 that landed them together in the Toll HSV Dealer Team #15 Commodore.

The brothers finished second in that year’s Sandown 500 and second in the Bathurst 1000 as well, results that helped solidify Rick’s eventual championship win.

They later became full-time teammates when Kelly Racing was established in 2009, a streak that ended when Todd retired at the end of 2017 (he also missed a handful of rounds late in 2012 due to shoulder surgery).

Perhaps the most famous and successful duo act in Australian touring car racing history, Dick Johnson and John Bowe sit third on the list with 102 ATCC rounds as teammates from 1988 to 1998. The laconic Queenslander and Tassie racer drove a range of Sierras and Falcons during their time together, which only ended when Bowe took up the offer to drive a CAT Racing Falcon for the 1999 season only to be axed from the team in late 2001.

Dick Johnson and John Bowe at a Shell Australian Touring Car Championship press conference in 1994, their seventh season as teammates. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

Rick Kelly also features in the fourth spot on the list, having spent 86 rounds as teammates with Michael Caruso between 2013 and 2018 in the Kelly-run Nissan Motorsport Altima program.

The fifth spot on the list is taken by Paul Dumbrell and Steve Richards, who were teammates for 85 rounds across three teams – Perkins Engineering, Ford Performance Racing and Triple Eight.

MOST ATCC/SUPERCARS CHAMP ROUNDS AS TEAMMATES

ROUNDSDRIVERSTEAM/S
188Lowndes/WhincupTriple Eight
126R.Kelly/T.KellyKelly Racing/Nissan Motorsport, Kmart Racing/HSV Dealer Team
102Johnson/BoweDick Johnson Racing
86R.Kelly/CarusoNissan Motorsport
85Dumbrell/S.RichardsPerkins Engineering, Ford Performance Racing, Triple Eight
81Whincup/van GisbergenTriple Eight
80L.Perkins/IngallPerkins Engineering
80Tander/CourtneyHolden Racing Team
70T.Kelly/CarusoNissan Motorsport
66Skaife/T.KellyHolden Racing Team


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