Dick Johnson waits to start the first Australian Touring Car Championship race held under the Shell Ultra banner at Calder in 1987. Pic: / Dale Rodgers

THE announcement that Repco has signed on as the Supercars Championship’s naming rights partner means Australia’s premier touring car championship will have just its third title sponsor in its history.

Recently announced as the new naming-rights partner for the Bathurst 1000, the automotive retailer will lend its name to the Repco Supercars Championship for the next five seasons starting with 2021.

The Repco name has long had a presence in Australian motorsport, highlighted by its role in the Australian-developed engines that powered the Brabham team to back-to-back Formula 1 drivers’ and constructors’ world championships in 1966 and 1967, plus its involvement in the first V8-powered Holden touring car, the L34-spec LH Torana, in the mid-1970s and in the Formula 5000 category in that decade.

The brand took title sponsorship of the Repco Reliability Trial in 1979, famously won by Peter Brock, Noel Richards and Matt Philip in a 1-2-3 rout by the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team and the then-new VB Commodore.

Repco also served as a sponsor of the Sandown 500, backing the 1995 race won by Dick Johnson and John Bowe, sponsored Rally Australia in 2009, and has supported many individual drivers and teams across an array of categories and disciplines.

The new deal marks the end of Virgin Australia’s title sponsorship of the championship, although the company remains Supercars’ “preferred airline partner” as it rebuilds under new ownership.

The two companies followed in the footsteps of Shell, which served as the championship’s first naming rights partner in a relationship that spanned over a decade.

Here’s a rundown on all the names the championship has gone under in its six decades of existence:

YearsChampionship Name
1960-1986Australian Touring Car Championship
1987-1990Shell Ultra Australian Touring Car Championship
1991-1998Shell Australian Touring Car Championship
1999-2001Shell Championship Series
2002-2010V8 Supercars Championship Series
2011-2016International V8 Supercars Championship
2016-2020Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
2021-2025Repco Supercars Championship
Will Dale is V8 Sleuth's Head of Content - Digital. He began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.