There are some familiar sponsors and team combinations on the 2017 Supercars grid: Shell with DJR Team Penske, Mobil with Walkinshaw Racing and more. In honour of these partnerships, we present the iconic team/driver and sponsorship combinations that netted success in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars and/or the Bathurst 1000 in V8X Supercar Magazine issue #98.
Issue #98 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.
CLICK HERE for more information on issue #98.
In the formative years of the Australian Touring Car Championship, sponsorships evolved from suppliers. So automotive brands such as petroleum companies were the first to truly promote their involvement in the growing series. This included British-based company Castrol, which backed Ian Geoghegan's Ford Mustangs in his run to four consecutive championships from 1966 to 1969.
Phillip Morris took the tobacco sponsorship era in Australian touring cars to new heights with the Holden Dealer Team. In a deal brokered by the team's customer and socialite Peter Janson, the tobacco giant first appeared on the Toranas in 1974 and ended a decade later with the famed dayglow livery on the Commodores that finished one-two at Bathurst in 1984. A more health-conscious Peter Brock realigned the team's marketing with Mobil from 1985, paving the way for Marlboro to switch its focus to its Peter Jackson brand.
After moving on from tobacco sponsor Marlboro at the end of 1984, American petroleum company Mobil moved in as major backer of the Holden Dealer Team in 1985. Even in the midst of the Holden's split with lead driver Peter Brock, Mobil remained committed to the 'King of the Mountain' and backed his Bathurst win in 1987 and stuck with him through stints in BMWs, Ford Sierras and back to Holden.
Dick Johnson's association with Shell dates back to his own Shell petrol station. The Shell logo appeared on his Torana touring cars with the association rekindled with the petroleum brand's XMO oil range featuring on the Greens'-Tuf Falcons and Mustangs. Shell took over naming rights sponsorship of the expanding team in 1987 in an arrangement that continued for 18 years and produced three championship wins and two Bathurst wins. Shell stepped down as title sponsor following the 2004 season but maintained its links as minor sponsor, returning as the naming rights backer with the Shell V-Power brand in 2017.
One of the first petroleum companies to sponsor entries in Australian touring cars, Castrol increased its backing of Perkins Engineering in 1993. It coincided with the start of the V8 era and a run of three Bathurst 1000 wins in five years for the team. Castrol stepped down as title sponsor at the end of the 2005 season, though the link continues to this day with the company still in partnership with Kelly Racing/Nissan Motorsport, the team which took over from Perkins Engineering.
CLICK HERE to purchase issue #98 to read the feature.