V8 Supercars has set the grid for the 2014 Championship with 25 entrants confirmed for the season opener, the Clipsal 500, in Adelaide from February 27 to March 2.
The 25 entrants, including the return of Volvo to the sport with two Volvo S60s, will be seen for the first time at the sydney.com V8 Supercars Test Day at Sydney Motorsport Park, where entry is free.
“The quality and depth of this field is without doubt one of the best we have had,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.
“V8 Supercars continues to produce one of the largest grids by any global standard which will assure that we continue to see the remarkable racing, multiple race winners and close finishes that we did across 2013.”
Three Racing Entitlements Contracts (RECs) of Tony D’Alberto Racing, FFF Racing and Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, did not meet the deadline to enter the 2014 Championship.
Reigning Champion Jamie Whincup heads the field in his #1 Red Bull Racing Australia Holden Commodore as he resumes his battle with Ford Pepsi Max Crew’s Mark Winterbottom.
Scott McLaughlin and Robert Dahlgren will pilot Volvo’s return to the sport following the announcement that the Swede would join one of the sports’ brightest stars.
Volvo Car Australia has a rich heritage of motorsport in Australia, having won the 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship with Robbie Francevic in a Volvo 240T.
Last season was the 15th anniversary of Volvo winning Australia’s most famous race, the Bathurst 1000, in 1998 with Jim Richards and Rickard Rydell in a Volvo S40.
Nissan Motorsport remains unchanged with their driver line-up while Will Davison, who ran third behind Whincup and Craig Lowndes in 2013, switches to Erebus Motorsport V8.
Nissan Motorsport will again run four cars with Jack Daniel’s Racing’s Todd and Rick Kelly, and Norton Hornets’ James Moffat – who took a race win at Winton last year – and Michael Caruso.
Nissan Motorsport and Erebus Motorsport V8 are expected to reap big gains following their debut season. Erebus Motorsport V8 has secured last year’s third-placed Will Davison, who joins Lee Holdsworth at the second-year outfit.
One of last year’s success stories Chaz Mostert moves to Ford Pepsi Max Crew while highly regarded fellow youngster Scott Pye joins David Wall in the Dick Johnson Racing prepared Wilson Security Ford Falcons.
Jack Perkins, son of Australian motorsport great Larry Perkins, returns to a full-time drive in the Team JELD-WEN Ford Falcon prepared by FPR, replacing Alex Davison in the Charlie Schwerkolt owned team.
Another of last year’s front-runners and Gold Coast 600 winner David Reynolds returns in The Bottle-O Racing Team Falcon, also prepared by FPR.
Tim Slade is looking for a big year having replaced veteran Russell Ingall in the Supercheap Auto Racing team Commodore prepared by Walkinshaw Racing in the same stable as Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander, James Courtney and 2011 Bathurst winner Nick Percat.
Ingall returns for another season with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in the Repair Management Australia Commodore as he mentors the young team through the season.
Brad Jones Racing will continue with last year’s form pairing of Jason Bright for Team BOC and Fabian Coulthard for Lockwood Racing. Dale Wood will pilot the Advam Racing entry, also raced out of the BJR stable.
Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen lines up in the now single car entry of Team Tekno V.I.P. Petfoods.
The season commences with the sydney.com V8 Supercar Test Day at Sydney Motorsport Park which is free entry for all fans, with the Championship opener in Adelaide two weeks later.