Monday, 03 June 2019 14:17

Feature: Supercars numerology

20numbers

The history of the numbers on the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship grid tells some interesting stories. We look back at the roots of the entries to celebrate the diversity of teams’, drivers’ and Supercars’ histories in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #110.

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #110. 

Triple Eight Race Engineering - #88, #97

The team named after the #888 isn’t campaigning the number on a full-time basis in 2019. Craig Lowndes had run the #888 since joining the team in 2005, with the number now parked following his full-time retirement. Triple Eight derived the number from Chinese mythology, which considers eight (‘Fa’) a lucky number that’s linked to prosperity and success. The team fielded the #88 and #888 from its first full season in 2004, though Jamie Whincup did opt for the #1 while the reigning champion. Shane van Gisbergen’s preferred number is #97, which he ran at Tekno Autosports and carried across to Triple Eight in 2016.

DJR Team Penske - #12, #17

The #17 has become one of the most iconic racing numbers in Australian motorsport thanks to the efforts of Dick Johnson, who won his five championships and three Bathurst 1000s with the number. It has been a regular with the team ever since its debut in 1980, continuing on since Johnson’s retirement from racing in 1999 and the change to DJR Team Penske in 2014. Following the loss of long-time second number #18 to Charlie Schwerkolt, DJR Team Penske took on the #12 that Team Penske has had a long association with in North America, including with Australian Will Power in IndyCar. The #12 had also previously been run by Dick Johnson Racing when it had a lease on Dean Fiore’s license in 2012 and 2013.

Tickford Racing - #5, #6, #55

Tickford Racing’s roots link back to Glenn Seton Racing, which became the factory-backed Ford team from 1999 and campaigned the #5 and #6 entries when the Racing Entitlements Contracts were initially allocated. Ford Performance Racing took over from 2003 and kept the #5 and #6 through various name changes, which led to Tickford Racing. The #55 belongs to Tickford Racing co-owner Rod Nash, who fielded the number when he drove his own privateer entry. He took his license to Ford Performance Racing from 2010 and has retained the #55 ever since.

23 Red Racing - #23

Phil Munday’s lucky number and colour, 23 and red, formed the name of the team that took over from Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport ahead of the 2018 season. With Nissan Motorsport fielding the #23, given its ties to the manufacturer (‘ni’ is ‘two’ and ‘san’ ‘three’ in Japanese), 23 Red Racing opted for #230 as an alternative last season. Nissan’s decision to end its factory backing of the team now known as Kelly Racing freed up the #23, which was promptly snapped up by 23 Red Racing for 2019. The #23 was also used by the Munday-sponsored Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport in 2014.

Erebus Motorsport - #9, #99

Erebus Motorsport bought out Stone Brothers Racing ahead of the 2013 season and retained the #9 that the team fielded along with the #4, the former winning the title courtesy of Russell Ingall in 2005. Erebus Motorsport moved away from the #4 and rebranded its second entry to #99 in 2017, and the #9 and #99 are a good fit with the matching Penrite Oil liveries on the cars in 2019.

Walkinshaw Andretti United - #2, #22

The Holden Racing Team dominated Supercars in the late 1990s and early 2000s, running with the #1 and #2 from the implementation of the Racing Entitlements Contracts system in 1999. The team retained the #2 even when it had lost the #1 and ran the #22 from 2004. Those numbers have stuck, though James Courtney campaigned the #25 in 2018 in honour of Mobil 1’s 25th year with team before returning to the #22 this season.

Brad Jones Racing - #8, #14, #21

Brad Jones enjoyed success as a driver with the #8 and promptly picked up the number when it became available following the demise of WPS Racing in 2008. Brad Jones Racing debuted in Supercars with the #21 in 2000 but opted for a switch to #14 in 2006 in a bid to change its fortunes. While the #14 remains with Brad Jones Racing, the #21 eventually returned in 2010 when Jason Bright parked his license at the team. When Bright took his license to Tickford Racing and Tim Blanchard purchased a license from Super Black Racing, the third entry run by Brad Jones Racing retained the #21. Fittingly, Macauley Jones is racing the #21 that father Brad Jones also raced with in 2000.

Kelly Racing - #3, #7 #15, #78

The differences in numbers amongst the four-car Kelly Racing outfit reflect the variety in the team’s history and the drivers’ backgrounds. The #7 and #15 come from the two teams that were formed to create Kelly Racing in 2009, Perkins Engineering and the HSV Dealer Team. The #7 was a regular at Perkins Engineering at the time, syncing up with major sponsor Jack Daniel’s and their ‘Old Number 7’ brand. Rick Kelly raced with the #15 at the HSV Dealer Team and retained the number when it morphed into Kelly Racing. The #3 was picked up for rookie Garry Jacobson this season and is one of the most celebrated in the history of the championship, raced by Ian Geoghegan, Jim Richards, Tony Longhurst, Jason Richards and more. The #78 is a personal favourite of Simona de Silvestro, who raced with the number in IndyCar and carried it over into Supercars.

Garry Rogers Motorsport - #33, #34

Garry Rogers had a long driving career before owning his own team, racing with the #34 for long periods and occasionally the #33. Garry Rogers Motorsport entered the Australian Touring Car Championship with the #32 in 1996, though picked up and switched to the #34 when it became available the following season. The team expanded to two cars in 1998 and ran the #34 and #35, though switched to the #33 in 2003 following the departure of long-time #35 driver Jason Bargwanna. The #33 and #34 remain as part of the longest continuation of two numbers from the same team currently in Supercars.

Matt Stone Racing - #35

Matt Stone Racing is one of the newest teams on the grid, yet the history of its number dates back to the early career of Jim Stone, father of team owner Matt Stone. The elder Stone was a mechanic for Miedecke Motorsport, with which Andrew Miedecke ran the #35 in the 1980s. Son George Miedecke picked up the #35 when he drove for Matt Stone Racing in the Dunlop Super2 Series, and the number continued with the team into its graduation into the main game in 2018.

Tekno Autosports - #19

Jonathon Webb purchased a license in 2010 and ran as a third car at Dick Johnson Racing. With Dick Johnson Racing running the #17 and #18, Webb’s Tekno entry naturally campaigned the #19. It was a familiar number for Dick Johnson Racing, having run the #19 on a third entry for Steven Johnson in 1994 and 1995. Tekno Autosports kept the #19 when it became an independent operation from 2011 and retains the number to this day.

Team 18 - #18

The #18 was made famous by long-time privateer Murray Carter and adopted by Dick Johnson Racing when it expanded to two cars in 1987. Charlie Schwerkolt bought a 50 per cent shareholding of the team in the mid 2000s, taking ownership of the #18. After leaving the team, Schwerkolt leased the #18 to Dick Johnson Racing for 2011 and 2012 before running his own Charlie Schwerkolt Racing entry from 2013. The #18 ran on Ford Falcons in 2013 and 2014 before a switch to Holden Commodores, leaving one of the most iconic Ford numbers on the other side of the manufacturer divide

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #110 within Australia.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #110 within New Zealand.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #110 for the rest of the world.

CLICK HERE to find where to purchase issue #110 at your nearest store.

 

calendar-banner

Event Date
Superloop Adelaide 500 February 20-23
Melbourne 400 March 12-15
Tyrepower Tasmania Super400  April 3-5
ITM Auckland Super400 April 24-26
PIRTEK Perth SuperNight May 15-17
Truck Assist Winton Super400 June 5-7
Watpac Townsville 400 June 26-28
BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown July 17-19
Sydney SuperNight August 28-30
OTR The Bend 500 September 18-20
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 October 8-11
Vodafone Gold Coast 600 Oct. 30-Nov. 1
Penrite Oil Sandown Super400  November 20-22
Coates Hire Newcastle 500 December 4-6
   
   

 

points-banner

1. Scott McLaughlin
3872  
2. Shane van Gisbergen
3310 -562
3. Jamie Whincup
3208 -664
4. Fabian Coulthard
3058 -814
5. Chaz Mostert
2879 -993
6. David Reynolds
2694 -1178
7. Cameron Waters
2588 -1284
8. Will Davison
2495 -1377
9. Nick Percat
2445 -1427
10. Lee Holdsworth
2428 -1444

Full championship standings