2018 Winton SuperSprint Results

Friday
Practice 2
Final
  • Session Type: Practice
  • Date: Fri 18 May 2018
  • Start: 14:35
  • Finish: 15:20
  • Length: 45 mins
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Michael Caruso was the leading charge for Nissan Motorsport in 2014, and he is looking to become an overall contender this year.

Caruso finished the 2014 season in 10th overall – the highest placed Nissan driver and the first time a Nissan has finished inside the top 10 in the new era of V8 Supercars racing.

With the Sydney-born driver sporting the factory colours of Nissan Nismo in 2015, Caruso is hoping to be fighting for more than just top 10s.

Caruso started his motorsport career in karting at the age of 11, winning countless titles. He stepped up to Formula Ford and Formula 3 before turning his attention to V8 Supercars racing in 2004. He competed in the Development Series, finishing second in the 2007 title before moving to the main series with Garry Rogers Motorsport.

Caruso collected a number of podiums and a race win before switching to Nissan at the start of the 2013 season.

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Rick Kelly is one of Australia’s most high-profile V8 Supercars drivers, having tasted success at the highest level.

The Jack Daniel’s Nissan driver won the 2006 V8 Supercars Championship, and he also won the Bathurst 1000 two years in a row.

Now running his own team under the Nissan Motorsport banner, Kelly is hoping to not only take his team to the top, but bring his own racing fortunes back to the forefront.

After beginning in karts and following in the wheel tracks of his older brother Todd in Formula Ford, Rick clinched the Australian Drivers Championship in 2001 and made his V8 Supercar debut in the same year for Kmart Racing.

Stepping into the Holden Young Lions program, Rick was Rookie of the Year in 2002 and took over Todd's seat at Kmart Racing for the following season, culminating his first of two back-to-back Bathurst 1000 wins.

In 2006 he was in true championship form and his consistency was unbeatable. Despite only winning one individual race all season, Kelly took the title in controversial circumstances after a last race clash with Craig Lowndes at Phillip Island.

Kelly continued under the Walkinshaw Racing umbrella in 2007 and 2008 before Kelly Racing was formed. Rick took a number of wins for his own team before embarking on the Nissan project. 

In 2015, Rick aims to return his name as a regular winner in the V8 Supercars Championship.

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Rookie Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner Nick Percat joins Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport for his second full-time V8 Supercars season in 2015.

Signing with Walkinshaw Racing in 2007, Percat competed in Formula Ford, winning the national title in 2009 and breaking Steven Richards’ record for most race wins.

He then progressed to the V8 Supercars Development Series in 2010 and finished fourth in the standings, earning him an endurance drive alongside Garth Tander in 2011. 

The duo claimed victory at the Bathurst 1000, Percat becoming the first rookie winner in 30 years. He remained part of HRT’s endurance lineup while he continued to race full-time in the Dunlop Series until the end of 2012.

In 2013, Percat stepped into the Porsche Carrera Cup and placed second, stacking up a record amount of pole positions and fastest laps. He then substituted for the injured James Courtney in the HRT Commodore at the season-ending Sydney 500 before receiving the full-time call-up in 2014.

Percat’s debut season recorded a 2nd at Eastern Creek and 3rd at the iconic Bathurst 1000.  He rounded out the year 12th in the Championship, enlisting him as the highest placed rookie.

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Coulthard started his career in karts before moving into Formula Ford in NZ. A trip to the Australian Grand Prix support races at Albert Park in 2002 proved his worth, he then jetted to England to compete in Formula Renault.

Coulthard joined the Porsche Carrera Cup, finishing third and best rookie in 2004, then was crowned champ in 2005.

He signed to drive with Paul Morris Motorsports, sharing a car with Alan Gurr and Steve Ellery in 2006/2007.

In 2008 linked with countryman Paul Cruickshank and an ex-Craig Lowndes BF Falcon and finished in the top 10 on six separate occasions.

In 2009 he returned with PCR and a brand new Triple Eight-built FG Falcon taking the car to his first-ever podium finish at Symmons Plains before moving across to Walkinshaw Racing in 2010 for two seasons, then joining BJR in 2012.

2013 proved to be a breakthrough year for Coulthard – two pole positions and twelve podium finishes. His sixth place finish in the drivers championship was a career best.

Coulthard continued his momentum in 2014 scoring 24 top ten finishes, three pole positions and six podiums.

2015 will see trucking giant Freightliner Trucks take over naming rights sponsorship.

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TEKNO Autosports’ Shane Van Gisbergen will be keen to build on the momentum that saw him finish last season as championship runner-up.

The talented New Zealander had his best season to-date in 2014, with eight wins (three at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix), and three pole positions – marking him out as a future champion with standout performances all year.

Van Gisbergen burst onto the V8 Supercars scene with Team Kiwi Racing in the middle of 2007. During a torrentially wet weekend of racing at Oran Park, Van Gisbergen finished 13th in one of the races and set the third-fastest lap in another.

Stone Brothers Racing became Van Gisbergen’s home from 2008 through to the end of 2012. In the early stages of his career, he demonstrated brilliant car control – especially in the wet weather.

As the New Zealander matured, his performances on-track became far more consistent – and he teetered on the brink of victory for a few seasons. Van Gisbergen broke through for his maiden win in the rain on New Zealand’s Hamilton Street circuit in 2011.

While Van Gisbergen scored more top-10 results in 2012, he was ready for new pastures in 2013 and switched to the TEKNO Autosports Holden outfit.

The change in scenery reinvigorated Van Gisbergen’s enthusiasm and he won on debut with his new team at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, and took Commodore’s historic 400th all-time race win in the final race of the year at the Sydney 500.

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After a string of strong results in karts over five years, Heimgartner made the step up to the New Zealand Formula Vee Championship at just 12 years old – followed by seasons in Formula Ford and the Carrera Cup.

The young kiwi had always had his sights set on competing in the V8 Supercars Championship, and competing at home in the V8SuperTourer Series was quickly followed by a drive in the V8 Sueprcars Dunlop Development Series in Australia.

It was during this time he caught the eye of those at Super Black Racing, who brought Heimgartner on board for the 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 to steer the team's wild card entry.  

His impressive performance at Bathurst convinced Super Black Racing to sign him for a full season in the V8 Supercars Championship, for what will be both the team and Heimgartner's maiden year in the category. 

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In a stellar breakout season for Mostert, 2014 saw the young driver crowned King of The Mountain in a thrilling last lap victory at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. 

The young gun proved his pace early last season with a victory in Perth, and a string of strong performances led to a competitive end to to the year, finishing seventh after a tight fight for fifth in the Championship.

A star in karts, Mostert dominated the field in the 2010 Australian Formula Ford Championship, winning an incredible 10 of the last 12 races in the series.

In 2011 he made his Dunlop Series debut in a Ford with Miles Racing before being snapped up by Prodrive Racing (Australia) after a stellar wet weather drive at Queensland Raceway, claiming a podium and pole position on debut.

In 2012 he competed in the Dunlop Series full-time with PRA, winning two rounds and finishing third in the series behind Scott McLaughlin and Scott Pye. If it had not been for penalty points, he would have been crowned champion.

He began 2013 driving an ex-Mark Winterbottom Falcon for MW Motorsport in the Dunlop Series and won the opening round at Adelaide before receiving a call-up through his PRA links to step up and take over the #12 Falcon at Dick Johnson Racing in the V8 Supercars Championship, where he reaped instant success, taking out a victory in Race 24 at Ipswitch.

2015 provides new opportunities for the 2010 Australian Formula Ford Champion, who is looking to perform more consistently across all events. 

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The Moffat surname is synonymous with Australian motorsport, but James Moffat is not looking to ride on the coat tails of his famous father, Allan.

In his first two seasons with Nissan Motorsport, Moffat has shown to be a driver with true grit, great passion and a thirst for success.

After four years of successful karting, he moved into circuit racing, competing in the competitive Lotus Trophy in 2004, finishing second in his debut season and claiming ‘rookie of the year’ honours.

In 2005, he progressed to the V8 Ute Racing Series earning himself another rookie title and finishing seventh overall.

Moffat switched to the Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2007, finishing third before stepping up to Porsche Carrera Cup.

In 2009, Moffat advanced to the Development Series, finishing second in the Championship. He was also awarded the coveted Mike Kable Young Gun V8 Supercar Award for the sport’s best new talent.

In 2011, Moffat joined Dick Johnson Racing in the main series and remained with the team for two seasons before switching to Nissan Motorsport. 

His highlight at the team was his maiden race win, scoring victory at Winton in 2013, plus his second place finish alongside Taz Douglas at Bathurst last year. 

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Tim Slade will again have his best chance of a breakthrough maiden win aboard the Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore in 2015.

The South Australian impressed last year with podiums at Winton, Gold Coast and Sydney – and showed what he’s made of when he diced for the lead with six-time champion Jamie Whincup at the final round.

Slade first made headlines in 2006 when he finished second in the Australian Formula Ford Championship.

Slade progressed to the V8 Development Series in 2007, taking his first round win with his own team in 2008 and claiming the Privateers Cup for the best non-main game affiliated driver.

Slade’s persistence captured the attention of V8 team owner Paul Morris, and he was rewarded with a full-time V8 drive for the Supercheap Auto Racing squad in 2009, scoring top-10 results in the Phillip Island and Bathurst endurance races.

A shift to Stone Brothers Racing in 2010 yielded further improvements, Slade finishing 16th before taking his first podium finish in 2011 en-route to ninth overall.

2012 was an even more impressive season for the South Australian, who finished fifth overall after scoring more podiums along with his first career pole.

The 2013 season was more challenging, Slade remaining with his team through its transition to Erebus Motorsport and struggling for results as the team developed its Mercedes-Benz customer entries.

Slade returned to a Holden Commodore last year, and will be hoping the momentum built throughout 2014 will lead to a win.

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Lee Holdsworth is entering his tenth year in the V8 Supercars Championship, and is looking to return to the front of the pack after a few lean years.

His move to Charlie Schwerkolt’s operation has landed him in a plum drive at Walkinshaw Racing, piloting the #18 Commodore VF.

Holdworth's career began when he was seven, racing karts before progressing into a highly successful car racing career.

Holdsworth entered the V8 Supercar Development Series in 2004, catching the eye of V8 Supercars team owner, Garry Rogers, who signed Holdsworth for the endurance races in 2005.

A five-year career with GRM would follow. By mid-2006 Holdsworth had gained his first podium result, and in 2007 he qualified in the top-10 seven times, gaining 11 top-10 finishes. This was topped off with his first V8 Supercars race win at Oran Park.

In 2009 and 2010, Holdsworth was one of the fastest drivers in the field, scoring his second race win in 2010 on the streets of Homebush.

A further year with GRM in 2011 garnered three more podiums, before Lee was signed to join Stone Brother’s Racing for the 2012 season, who morphed into Erebus Motorsport V8 in 2013.

Holdsworth continued his strong career with the new team, achieving the team’s highest championship result, plus highest race finish and qualifying results through a tough development year.

In 2014, he became the first driver to win a V8 Supercars race for Erebus Motorsport and Mercedes-Benz AMG at Winton Raceway.

He joins Walkinshaw Racing for the 2015 season, and beyond.

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Scott Pye enters his second full season in the V8 Supercars Championship after moving from the LDM team he ran with in 2013.

Pye was 2012’s Mike Kable Young Gun Award winner for the best first-year driver in V8 Supercars (when he contested the Dunlop Series), clinching a breakthrough round win in the final event at Sydney Olympic Park and finishing runner-up to Scott McLaughlin in the overall pointscore.

Pye came up through the ranks of karting and Formula Ford, finishing third in the 2009 Australian Formula Ford Championship behind Nick Percat and Mitch Evans before heading overseas to race.

He claimed the 2010 British Formula Ford Championship with 14 race wins and stepped up to the cut-throat British Formula 3 Championship a year later. He finished 10th overall in the points with a race win at Rockingham the major highlight, joining the likes of Mark Webber and Will Davison as Australian drivers to score a race win in the category that produced drivers the ilk of Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard.

The backing of Roland Dane and Triple Eight Race Engineering helped Pye with his overseas racing program and he returned in 2012 to Australia to drive the Monster Commodore in the Dunlop Series for the team. A superb rookie season saw Scott finish second overall picking up two race wins and a host of podiums.

Pye also made his V8 Supercars Championship debut in Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s Triple Eight-built Commodore at Sandown teaming with Taz Douglas.

A full season with LDM in 2013 did not bring the results Pye was hoping for and a number of unlucky big accidents did not help his title aspirations. A fine recovery at Bathurst with a superb sixth place, teamed with Paul Morris, showed just what potential Pye had and shook off some of the disappointments from earlier in the year.

In 2014, Scott moves to the re-energised Dick Johnson Racing. The team has strong support from Wilson Security and Pye now has the chance to establish himself as one of the real young stars of the V8 Supercars Championship. 

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The 2015 season provides a year of opportunities for David Reynolds after a positive end to 2014.

A podium finish at Sydney Olympic Park and front-of-field performances at the Gold Coast and Phillip Island put the momentum well and truly in the likeable larrikin's hands.

As he enters his fourth season with Prodrive Racing, consistency will be key for Reynolds, after a lacklustre 2014 season.

Reynolds won multiple Australian titles on his way to earning a seat in the V8 Supercars Championship, including the national Formula Ford Championship in 2004 and the 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup crown.

He made his V8 Supercars debut in the same year as an endurance driver at Sandown and Bathurst, before driving in the Dunlop Series the following year.

Fourth place in the development category led to a full-time drive in V8 Supercars in 2009 and while he was the highest-placed rookie that year, there was no full-time drive for 2010, necessitating a move back into enduro driver mode.

He moved back to the main series for 2011 and a number of attention-grabbing performances led to team owner Rod Nash securing his services.

Renowned as a bit of a joker, Reynolds is also one of the fittest drivers on the grid and a keen cyclist.

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Youlden was born into motor racing with dual Australian Production Car Champion Kent Youlden for a father.

Like his dad, Luke has enjoyed success in a wide variety of motorsport categories from single-seaters to Trans-Am.

This year will be his 15th Season of Endurance and he is hoping to better his landmark result, third at Mount Panorama with Steve Ellery in 2003.

After a relatively late start in motorsport 16-year-old Youlden was quick to make up for lost time. Debuting in Victorian Formula Ford he was soon a regular race winner in between working with Centreline Suspension to bolster his knowledge of set-up and design.

That earned him a role with Dugal McDougall Motorsport as chief engineer at the Formula Ford outfit and in 1999 Youlden assisted Greg Ritter to become Australian Formula Ford Champion.

With Ritter involved in V8 co-driving duties at Bathurst that year, Youlden drove the new champ's vacated Ford in both Bathurst 1000 support races. Two victories on the renowned Mountain circuit, in front of the V8 Supercar establishment, along with clinching the Victorian Formula Ford series earned him 'favourite' status for the following year's national title-hunt. He did not disappoint, taking the title in 2000 over current V8 Supercars drivers Rick Kelly and Will Davison.

Youlden's main series Mount Panorama debut came that year – the wettest Bathurst 1000 on record. Despite that, the then-22-year-old was on for a fifth place finish alongside Christian Murchison until a broken valve spring ended his stunning run.

That result earned him a regular spot with Steve Ellery Racing in the Development Series, with time out to partner Ellery in the main game endurance rounds.

The highlight of that partnership came in 2003, with two podiums in the enduros (second at Sandown and third in the Bathurst 1000).

In 2005 he moved to Stone Brothers Racing, partnering Russell Ingall for the endurance races, and remained with the team until 2007.

In between enduro duties, Youlden achieved success in the New Zealand Touring Car Championship and the New Zealand Trans-Am Series, as well as finishing fifth in the V8 Supercar Development Series in 2007, despite only competing in five of the seven rounds.

He competed as an enduro driver at FPR for the following four years, then returned to SBR in 2012 to partner Shane van Gisbergen. 

Youlden now resides with Brad Jones Racing, pairing with Fabian Coulthard for the PIRTEK Enduro Cup for the second time. 

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A year of highs and lows for Mark Winterbottom saw the 2013 Bathurst champion finish in the top three of the championship standings in 2014.

In a high flying start to the year Frosty compiled four wins in New Zealand, Darwin and Winton, collecting 12 podium finishes overall and the Jason Richards Trophy while in New Zealand.

The feisty driving style he adopted in 2013 reappeared towards the end of the season where he claimed two podium finishes at Phillip Island. 

2015 sees Frosty enter his tenth season with Prodrive Racing with his sights firmly set on a maiden championship win.

Frosty is one of the most consistent drivers in the field and has finished in the top five in the championship every year since joining Prodrive Racing.

He gained Ford support in 2001 when he made the jump from karts to single-seater racing in the Victorian Formula Ford series.

After finishing runner-up in the national series two years later he made the move to V8 Supercars where in a Falcon he claimed the Development Series title at his first attempt. 

After finishing runner-up in the national series two years later he made the move to V8 Supercars where in a Falcon he claimed the Development Series title at his first attempt. 

A move to the main game the following year saw him impress and despite being in modest surroundings he did enough to attract the attention of Ford’s factory team.

He switched to PRA for 2006 where he stunned on debut to finish third overall against very experienced opposition and has been a frontrunner ever since.

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Canto was not only the inaugural V8 Supercars Development Series Champion but has become one of the most consistent and highly-sought endurance race co-drivers in the country.

After winning what is now known as the Dunlop Series he moved into the main series with Garry Rogers Motorsport for two seasons where he joined the list of V8 Supercars race winners.

He claimed the second-tier title again in 2008 after leaving GRM before beginning what has become a long and successful stint as an endurance race co-driver with Ford Performance Racing and its various customer arms.

Canto has driven in The Bottle-O backed #55 entry for the last few years and was part of the famous 50th edition of The Great Race in 2012 where he and David Reynolds finished a mere 0.3 seconds shy of claiming the sport’s biggest race.

Returning alongside Reynolds he will again suit up in The Bottle-O’s distinctive green colours, driving at all three enduros of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup. The pair won at the Gold Coast event last year. 

When he is not racing in V8 Supercars, Canto runs a performance driving school as well as undertaking driver coaching and TV and film work. 

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Having stepped up from the Dunlop Series as the reigning Champion, McLaughlin made his debut in the 2013 V8 Supercar Championship. He made an impact immediately, qualifying in the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout for his first official full-time race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. 

McLaughlin went onto to take two Championship races wins and finished the 2013 season 10th in the Championship, earning him the the Mike Kable Young Gun Award, recognising rookie of the year. 

In 2014 McLaughlin had the opportunity to develop and race a new car, with Valvoline Racing GRM making the switch from Holden to Volvo and debuting the Volvo Polestar S60s at the first round in Adelaide. 

It proved to be a very successful year for GRM, Volvo Polestar Racing and Scott, winning 5 races, making 10 podiums and claiming 10 ‘Pole’ positions ending the year 5th in the Championship Standings and being awarded the coveted Barry Sheene Medal. 

Scott and Volvo have now proved that the Volvo will be a championship threat in 2015. 

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The form man of the last eight years in the V8 Supercars Championship, reigning champion Jamie Whincup has amazingly not finished out of the top two in the championship in that period.

Demon fast in karting, Whincup moved to Formula Ford in 2000 and was crowned Australian champion in 2002.

Spotted by Garry Rogers, he made his V8 Supercar debut at the Queensland 500 in 2002 before graduating to a fulltime position with the team a year later.

2003 proved to be difficult and Whincup found himself dumped come the end of the season, only able to scrape together an endurance seat in 2004.

Given a lifeline by Tasman Motorsport in 2005, Whincup responded in style, partnering the late Jason Richards to podium results at Sandown and Bathurst which paved the way to joining Triple Eight Race Engineering for 2006.

Winning in style on debut in Adelaide, Whincup would win Bathurst in partnership with Craig Lowndes.

He returned in 2007 to challenge for the title, winning four rounds on his way to becoming runner-up to Garth Tander by a mere two points.

In 2008 he would finish the job, winning six rounds, and backed it up in 2009, winning 11 races and sealing back-to-back titles.

After falling short in 2010, the Triple Eight ace struck back with force in 2011, making him just the second man after Norm Beechey to have won the championship in both a Ford and a Holden.

He then backed that up with 12 more race wins in 2012 to seal his fourth title. His record-equaling fifth championship win in 2013 cemented his place in the history books as he overcame a testing year in the all-new Car of the Future.

Last season though was one of the champion’s toughest as he overcome a mid-season slump with a new engineer to claim a record-breaking sixth title win at Phillip Island with one event to spare.

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Prodrive Racing Australia’s Cameron Waters is eager to continue the momentum that saw him finish runner-up in the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series in 2014.

The Mildura-native kicked off his racing career in go-karts, collecting multiple national and state championships before graduating to Formual Vee in 2009.

The following year he moved on to the Australian Formula Ford Championship, finishing sixth in the championship standings while being awarded the Rookie of the Year title.

That same year Waters debuted in the Dunlop Series at Sandown with Kelly Racing after becoming the inaugural winner of the Shannons Supercar Showdown TV series. The show awarded Waters with a drive in the Bathurst 1000 alongside Grant Denyer, which saw Waters become the youngest ever driver to compete in the legendary race.

While the pair failed to finish the race after Waters crashed at Forrests Elbow, he returned to the mountain the following year to drive with Jesse Dixon – winner of the 2012 Shannons Supercar Showdown. Waters and Dixon were the youngest driver combination to ever compete in the race, finishing in 20th position.

Alongside his Bathurst 1000 duties in 2012, Waters also won the Australian Formula Ford Championship and competed in the Dunlop Series with Dreamtime Racing, before the squad withdrew from the category.

He returned to the Dunlop Series with Minda Motorsport in 2013 – finishing tenth in the series – before making the successful move to Prodrive Racing Australia in 2014.

In 2015, Waters and his Prodrive Racing Australia squad are vying for the title, while the 20-year-old will partner with reigning Bathurst champ Chaz Mostert in the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

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Queenslander David Russell is back with Rick Kelly for this season's PIRTEK Enduro Cup. 

Though he paired up with Todd last season, Russell joins Rick for the second time, after diriving with him at the long distance races in 2012. 

An experienced racer, Russell last year competed in the RennSport round of the Porsche Carrera Cup at Sydney Motorport Park, and placed second at the Sepang 12 hour in Singapore.

In 2012 he contested the Dunlop Series for the fourth straight season, and with Rick recorded his best result enduro result, 12th at Sandown. 

Originally a gun in speedway and production car racing (in a Proton Satria, of all things), Russell won the 2002 Chance of a Lifetime competition with the prize of a drive in the 2003 Dunlop Series.

Driving an older AU Falcon, Russell still showed speed and was nominated for the Mike Kable Rookie of the Year Award after finishing 12th in the Championship.

Champion of his class in the Australian Production Car Championship two years running, Russell then turned his focus to the Porsche Carrera Cup, where he was a mainstay for the three seasons.

In 2008 he scored his first race win at Adelaide before a late season switch to Fitzgerald Racing reaped further rewards. In the end, Russell finished third in the series and moved to the Dunlop Series in 2009, where he finished third with Howard Racing.

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South Australian Todd Hazelwood will enter his second V8 Supercars Dunlop Series Championship campaign in 2015 with Matt Stone Racing in a Stone Brothers Racing built Ford FG Falcon.

Since 2003, the young gun has successfully progressed through the motorsport ranks, winning numerous championships and titles in both dirt and sprint karting, placing on the podium numerous times in Formula Ford, which spring boarded the teenager's open-wheel career into Formula 3, where Hazelwood prevailed to be the most consistent driver in the 2013 series.

The young racer was also a part of Australia’s successful youth program known as the Fujitsu 'Cool Driver' program, from the start of 2011 to the end of 2013.

In 2013, there was an opportunity for Hazelwood to be a contestant in the third season of the ‘Shannons Supercar Showdown’. He won the show, which gave Hazelwood the chance to be associated with Ford Performance Racing as a test driver in 2014.

Debuting in the Dunlop Series in 2014, the teenager closed his maiden campaign in eighth – the highest placed rookie of the year. He also won the prestigious V8 Supercars Mike Kable Young Gun Award, awarded to the best first year V8 Supercar driver, encompassing both the Dunlop Series and V8 Supercars Championship.

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Craig Lowndes first appeared on the Australian touring car radar back in 1994 when he debuted for the Holden Racing Team in the Sandown 500, stunning everyone a few weeks later by finishing second at Bathurst in partnership with Brad Jones.

After attempting to put together an open-wheeler deal overseas, Lowndes went to HRT for 1996 and was an instant hit, clinching the championship, as well as both Sandown and Bathurst.

A tough stint in International Formula 3000 in 1997 saw Lowndes return home and re-join HRT full-time until the end of 2000, claiming two more championships.

One of the biggest stories in V8 Supercar history was Lowndes’ move to Ford for 2001 but a lack of success with firstly the Gibson/00 team and then Ford Performance Racing prompted a move to Triple Eight and he has never looked back.

In 2010 he moved back into a Holden as his team made the switch from Ford and reunited with former HRT teammate Mark Skaife to win the endurance double at Phillip Island and Bathurst.

The duo recombined in 2011 and again won at Phillip Island and finished a narrow second at Bathurst, as Lowndes finished runner-up to teammate Jamie Whincup in the championship.

The following year saw him claim another Sandown 500 win partnered by Warren Luff, which helped him on his way to the runner-up position in the championship again.

Lowndes came within touching distance of the title in 2013 when the hunt for the championship crown came down to the last race of the season, but he was to finish second for the third consecutive year, making Triple Eight Race Engineering the only team to have ever finished 1-2 in the championship three years in a row.

After a strong start to the 2014 season, Lowndes suffered several misfortunes in the second half of the year, which dented his championship campaign, leaving him fourth at the end of the year.

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At just 23 years of age, Jack Le Brocq has cemented himself as a star of the future, having already compiled a list of impressive racing credentials to his name.

Coming up through the ranks of go-karts and Formula Vee, Le Brocq first emerged as an up-and-comer when he was named as a CAMS Rising Star while competing in the Australian Formula Ford Championship in 2012 – the same year he claimed the title.

The Melbourne-native was also recruited into the esteemed FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy in 2012. The program saw Le Brocq represent the Asia Pacific region alongside 17 other young drivers attending workshop camps that strive to develop young racing talent and promote the principles of safety, fairness and responsibilities on and off the track.

He soon caught the attention of V8 Supercars team owner Betty Klimenko, who drafted Le Brocq into the Erebus Academy as the squad’s Formula 3 driver. Soon after Le Brocq was enlisted by Erebus to steer their Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 in the 2013 Australian GT Championship, driving to victory at Sydney Motorsport Park and Phillip Island.

In 2014 he stepped up to the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series with Image Racing. But after finishing 13th on debut, Le Brocq shifted camps and arrived at MW Motorsport to take on the 2015 season.

The Erebus Academy also gave Le Brocq the opportunity to contest the Bathurst 12-Hour, standing on the podium alongside V8 Supercars driver Will Davison in 2015, while finishing 5th in 2015. 

As part of his alliance with Erebus, Le Brocq will make his V8 Supercars Championship debut in 2015 when he tackles the PIRTEK Enduro Cup with Ash Walsh in the #4 E63 AMG Mercedes.

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Three-time Bathurst 1000 winner and 2007 V8 Supercars Champion Garth Tander starts his 18th consecutive year with Holden in 2015; his sights locked on the front of the field.

Revered by drivers, fans and media alike for his professionalism and ongoing commitment, Tander has been part of the Holden official factory team line-up since 2008 – where he has notched up a staggering 23 championship and six non-championship race wins.

Tander’s time at HRT has seen him claim a Clipsal 500 Adelaide crown, back-to-back Phillip Island 500s, along with multiple successes in Australia’s Great Race, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 – including the iconic team’s 200th all-time race win alongside rookie Nick Percat in 2011. 

Tander is fourth on the all-time race winners’ list behind Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup. His 2014 Townsville victory, leading home teammate James Courtney for a famous back-to-back one-two result, took his career total to 53 championship wins.

As one of the most experienced drivers in the field, Tander’s knowledge of the sport and technical knowledge sees him remain an integral part of HRT’s ongoing VF Commodore development.

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James Golding enters the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series having established himself as a naturally-gifted star of the future.

An accomplished karter, Golding has an Australian National Championship and two Victorian State Championships to his name, while the Victorian-teen represented Australia at the World Rotax Grand Finals in 2012, where he was ranked seventh in the world.

After his enormous success in karts, the humble teen graduated to the Victorian Formula Ford Championship, winning the first race of the season on debut in 2013. Despite missing one round and racking up the most race wins, Golding closed his maiden assault of the Championship in fourth place before stepping up to the Australian Formula Ford series the following year.

The competition was rife in the Australian Formula Ford Championship and Golding was narrowly trumped for the title to finish third after the young gun finished inside the top four at every round of the series.

As an apprentice mechanic at Garry Rogers Motorsport, his talent soon caught the eye of his boss Garry, who gave him the chance to contest the final round of the 2014 Dunlop Series at Homebush with the squad. He impressed on debut – so much so that the Volvo squad granted him a drive in the Dunlop Series in 2015.

Golding joins the likes of Jamie Whincup, Garth Tander and Scott McLaughlin as the newest GRM prodigy, and hopes to follow in their footsteps and race in the V8 Supercars Championship.

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Second-generation driver Tim Blanchard steps back into the V8 Supercar Championship in 2015 with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.

A former karting champion, Blanchard enjoyed many successes in state and national level Formula Ford, before going one step further with the Sonic team in 2007 to win the Australian championship.  He moved to the United Kingdom in 2008, where he finished runner-up in the British Formula Ford Championship and won a number of races throughout the season.

Blanchard made his V8 Supercar debut in 2010, behind the wheel of an ex-Craig Lowndes Falcon for Sonic Motor Racing, finishing the season runner-up to Steve Owen. He also claimed the Mike Kable Young Gun Award for the best first-year V8 Supercar driver earning him an endurance drive alongside Greg Murphy.

He continued to race full-time in the Dunlop Series and remained part of the enduro line-up until he received the call up to drive the #7 Commodore of Todd Kelly for the final rounds of 2012.

Blanchard stepped into the Championship as a full-time driver in 2013 with Dick Johnson Racing, but a difficult season saw Blanchard leave the team at the end of the year. 

After pairing with Russell Ingall in LDM’s Commodore for the 2014 PIRTEK Enduro Cup, Blanchard returns to the category as a full-time driver.

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Davison heads into his second season with Erebus Motorsport looking to raise the bar after making some encouraging progress during his debut year with the team.

Davison ticked plenty of boxes during a breakthrough year for Erebus in 2014, recording his first podium finish and pole position for the team as well as scoring a fourth place finish at Bathurst with his brother and co-driver Alex Davison.

Having been a regular V8 Supercars Championship contender throughout his career, the former Bathurst winner will be hoping to steer his young team to even better results in 2015.

The 2015 Championship will mark Davison’s 12th year in V8 Supercars and 10th season overall as a full-time driver as he approaches his milestone 300th race in the category.

Among Davison’s career highlights include a win in the 2009 Bathurst 1000 as well as coming close to winning the V8 Supercars Drivers Championship in 2009 (2nd) and 2013 (3rd).

Davison also boasts Formula One experience on his extensive motor racing resume having previously tested for Minardi at Misano, Italy in 2004, following in the footsteps of his late grandfather Lex Davison, who was a four-time Australian Grand Prix winner.

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Bursting on the V8 Supercars scene in 2006 at the age of 19, Jack Perkins impressed in his debut season in the Development Series, with a third place finish in the championship.

This fantastic rookie season was topped off with a drive in the main game endurance races alongside Perkins Engineering teammate Shane Price. The youngest ever combination to compete at Bathurst unfortunately walked away with a DNF, however his efforts in the DVS did earn him a one-off appearance at the inaugural Bahrain 400 in the #39 Sirromet Holden.

Jack was then drafted in to replace Paul Dumbrell in the #11 Jack Daniel’s Commodore full-time in 2007, qualifying in the top 10 at Winton, ahead of the likes of Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup. However, a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes saw Jack stand down from the final two races of the season to focus on his health.

He then raced in the 2008 DVS, and again contested the enduros in the #11 Commodore, netting top 10 results alongside Nathan Pretty before replacing Shane Price for the rest of the 2008 V8 Supercars Championship.

2009 again marked a full-time season for Perkins, with newly formed Kelly Racing. A tough season for the new team, running four cars, saw quality results difficult to come by, with Perkins leaving the team at the end of the season. He has since raced as an endurance co-driver in 2010 for James Rosenberg Racing, 2011 for Paul Morris Motorsport and Garry Rogers Motorsport in both 2012 and 2013. During that period he also raced in the DVS in 2011 to finish second in the championship standings, and 2013 when he finished fourth overall despite missing the first two rounds of the season.

Perkins is a nine-time Australian GT race winner, seven-time DVS race winner and five-time NZ V8 SuperTourer race winner.

2014 marks his return to full-time driving in the V8 Supercars Championship, his first full-time season since 2009, and his first main game drive in a Ford Falcon. 

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Position / Driver / Team Fastest Lap Gap Lap Of
1
Driver number Drive Racing - Nissan Altima
01:19.7105 17 17
2
Driver number Castrol Racing - Nissan Altima
01:19.7270 0.0165 19 19
3
Driver number Timken Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:19.7407 0.0302 19 19
4
Driver number Shell V-Power Racing Team - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:19.7651 0.0546 19 19
5
Driver number Red Bull Holden Racing Team - Holden Commodore ZB
01:19.7971 0.0866 16 16
6
Driver number Plus Fitness Racing - Nissan Altima
01:19.8424 0.1319 20 20
7
Driver number Supercheap Auto Racing - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:19.8882 0.1777 21 21
8
Driver number Freightliner Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:19.9812 0.2707 18 18
9
Driver number Preston Hire Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.0639 0.3535 19 19
10
Driver number Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.0743 0.3639 15 16
11
Driver number Erebus Thermosphere Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.0810 0.3705 18 18
12
Driver number Erebus Penrite Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.0999 0.3894 19 20
13
Driver number MEGA Racing - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:20.1037 0.3932 19 19
14
Driver number The Bottle-O Racing Team - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:20.1144 0.4039 16 16
15
Driver number Shell V-Power Racing Team - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:20.1294 0.4189 23 23
16
Driver number Red Bull Holden Racing Team - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.1865 0.476 18 19
17
Driver number Monster Energy Racing - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:20.2570 0.5465 16 20
18
Driver number Team Harvey Norman - Nissan Altima
01:20.2743 0.5638 18 18
19
Driver number Bigmate Racing - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:20.4579 0.7474 17 18
20
Driver number Autobarn Lowndes Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.5363 0.8258 19 20
21
Driver number Tekno Autosport - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.6513 0.9408 13 20
22
Driver number Wilson Security Racing GRM - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.7591 1.0486 21 21
23
Driver number Wilson Security Racing GRM - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.7873 1.0768 20 20
24
Driver number Team Cooldrive - Holden Commodore ZB
01:20.8118 1.1013 18 19
25
Driver number Milwaukee Racing - Ford Falcon FG/X
01:20.8820 1.1715 17 21
26
Driver number Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing - Holden Commodore ZB
01:21.4341 1.7236 14 16
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