Caltex Australia and Triple Eight Race Engineering have today announced the creation of TeamVortex to run in the 2016 V8 Supercar Championship with Craig Lowndes.
TeamVortex will become the third car in Triple Eight's stable and will run alongside the Red Bull Racing Australia team cars with 2015 Bathurst Champion and fan favourite Lowndes at the helm.
The deal - with an initial commitment of a minimum two seasons - is a natural extension of the existing Caltex partnership with Triple Eight and Lowndes, who has been a brand ambassador for nearly a decade.
Lowndes will officially take the wheel of the new TeamVortex Holden Commodore on January 1, 2016, after the conclusion of this year's V8 Supercars Championship. It will run the number #888 - unless Lowndes takes #1 after winning the tile. He sits second to Mark Winterbottom in the Championship chase.
"I'm really excited to have TeamVortex created around me and thrilled to have the continued support of Australia's leading fuel supplier, Caltex, over the next two seasons," Lowndes said.
"To expand to three cars, firstly, but then to have Caltex step up and have that Vortex livery on the side of the car is going to be very special.
"The one thing that I really wanted was the 888 number - I've been carrying #888 for almost 10 years, and it's nice to be able to carry that across.
"Of course, it'd be nice to swap that out and have a #1 on the side of the car, but all in all it's been a great partnership with them, and really looking forward to cementing that and a really promising 2016."
Triple Eight Race Engineering team owner Roland Dane said he was excited at the opportunity to further grow the team.
Dane dropped a bombshell earlier this season when it was announced he would run a third car to accommodate fan favourite and V8 great Lowndes, as well as signing quick Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen and extending the contract of six-time champ Jamie Whincup, for next year and beyond.
"We're extremely pleased to have Caltex step up for 2016 and beyond with the creation of TeamVortex. This gives us a brilliant opportunity to give Craig a platform to continue to rack up race wins including, hopefully, a few more Bathursts," Dane said.
"Furthermore, it allows us to build our engineering expertise here for the betterment of the entire Triple Eight organisation.
"This is also a great testament to the category as a whole with an organisation of the stature of Caltex choosing to increase its involvement and visibility at this time."
Caltex Executive General Manager Commercial Bruce Rosengarten said the iconic Australian fuel brand was proud to extend its commitment to Australian motorsport while continuing to partner with Lowndes, arguably the biggest name in the business.
"Caltex has been by Craig's side for almost ten years of his racing career. As a legend in the sport, and indeed Australian sporting history, we couldn't be more excited to power him as he takes the wheel of TeamVortex," Rosengarten said.
The Caltex brand's history in Australian motor sport is a long one and includes the backing of the likes of Colin Bond and took the 2005 V8 Supercars Championship with Russell Ingall.