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HomeNewsTOP 5: MILESTONE SUPERCARS NUMBER CHANGES

TOP 5: MILESTONE SUPERCARS NUMBER CHANGES

REACHING a milestone in the Repco Supercars Championship as a driver or as a team is something to be celebrated.

Some drivers and teams over the years have celebrated a milestone by changing the number that adorns their car for a particular round of the Supercars Championship.

Here are five times when a driver or team changed their race number to recognise a very special milestone in their career.

1. Mark Skaife: 2007 Phillip Island

The five-time Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercars Champion and six-time Bathurst 1000 winner celebrated his 200th round by changing his traditional #2 to #200 for the 2007 Phillip Island Finale.

The number change also coincided with the debut of a brand-new Holden Racing Team Commodore, with that particular chassis, WR 006, going on to win the Phillip Island 500 and Bathurst 1000 double two years later in 2009 in the hands of Will Davison and Garth Tander.

Skaife qualified second and recorded second, fifth and seventh places in the races over the weekend.

Teammate Todd Kelly won the final race of that Phillip Island weekend, his final round with the factory Holden squad.

2. Greg Ritter: 2005 Oran Park

It was the 80th anniversary of Ford Australia in 2005 and to celebrate, Greg Ritter and Ford Performance Racing chose to celebrate by changing his car’s regular #5 to #80 at Oran Park Raceway.

Additionally, every BA Falcon (bar WPS Racing) that weekend adorned a ‘Ford 80’ windscreen banner to mark the occasion.

Ritter qualified 27th but made his way up to 15th in race one, before finishing 29th in race two, hardly a stunning list of results for a milestone number change.

3. Steven Richards: 2008 Oran Park

Three years later, Ford Performance Racing decided again to change a race number at Oran Park to celebrate Dunlop’s 120th anniversary in 2008.

Steven Richards’ regular #6 was changed to the #120 and he achieved a fourth and a third place in races one and two, but finished 17th in race three after a penalty for jumping the start.

That race, won by Rick Kelly for the HSV Dealer Team, was the final Supercars race held at the Western Sydney circuit.

4. John Bowe: 2006 Pukekohe

John Bowe and Brad Jones Racing chose to not only change his race number from #12 to #200 for the Pukekohe round in 2006, but also put his face as a caricature all over the bonnet.

This round marked the 200th ATCC/Supercars round for the 1995 Champion but ended in disaster with a heavy crash in race two.

The Team BOC Falcon suffered a stuck throttle and hit the barrier near turn one, the collision with the barrier ending with photographer Scott Wensley suffering a broken leg.

Bowe did not start race three of that weekend due to the damage suffered in the accident, ending a horror milestone round for the Tasmanian.

John Bowe retired from Supercars at the end of 2007 with the most round starts in championship history (226), a record that stood for six seasons.

5. Russell Ingall: 2013 Townsville

Russell Ingall tied Bowe for the most round starts in ATCC/Supercars at Townsville in 2013 and celebrated by changing his usual #66 to #226 on his Supercheap Auto VF Commodore.

The weekend started horribly for the 2005 Supercars Champion, qualifying 22nd on the grid before suffering power steering problems in race one.

Ingall stormed his way through the pack in race two to finish in fifth position after qualifying 26th.

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