McLaughlin and Coulthard's new Supercars look revealed
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Perhaps one of the most highly anticipated little side-plots of the upcoming 2017 Supercars Championship is how DJR Team Penske (now known as Shell V-Power Racing) will go.
For this season they have recruited Kiwi Scott McLaughlin, to pair with current also-a-Kiwi driver Fabian Coulthard. Both drivers are race winners, and the team have healthy amounts of finance behind them — leading several to believe that they could well be the next team to rival the Red Bull Holden Racing Team juggernaut. Particularly after Prodrive Racing's indifferent 2016 season.
But, like RBR, we're yet to see whether both drivers will play nicely on track. Historically they've both been fair racers behind the wheel, but competition between teammates can be a fierce affair, especially when you're in a team where the bar of achievement is set so high.
In the meantime, the new colour schemes for their Ford Falcon FG-Xs have been uncovered today at an unveiling at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. “New” being a somewhat subjective choice of word, as not much has changed during the off-season in terms of look. That is apart from the outrageously huge Shell logo on the bonnet.
“Even as a young guy, I always saw the Shell and Dick Johnson relationships as one of the best in the sport,” said McLaughlin.
“To now be part of the new Shell V-Power Racing Team and drive for Dick and Roger Penske is fantastic. I think the team is doing great things and can’t wait to get the #17 Shell V-Power Ford on track at the Clipsal 500.”
What we do know is that unlike last year, where the liveries acted on a sponsorship rotation, this one is expected to hang around for the full season — thanks to a big shiny new agreement between Shell and DJR Team Penske.
Coulthard and McLaughlin pictured with Pirtek Enduro Cup co-drivers Tony D'Alberto (second from left) and Alex Premat (far right)
Shell of course have a long and colourful history with the team. They sponsored Dick Johnson through the days of the turbocharged Group A Ford Sierras in the late ’80s, through the following decade of V8-powered Falcons, and then into the new millennium before departing from the team at the end of 2004.
Those were dark days for DJR, following the collapse of Westpoint, their replacement sponsor, and then the departure of Jim Beam just after they claimed the 2010 championship with James Courtney.
But things are now back on track. The new partnership with Penske has at the very least improved their financial standing, and has made them a race-winning threat once again.