Pizza Hut backing for Jones in Townsville

Pizza Hut will be naming-rights sponsor of the Brad Jones Racing #96 entry of Macauley Jones at the NTI Townsville 500.

“It’s fantastic for the team to once again be joining forces with Pizza Hut here in Townsville and we think the car looks fantastic,” said Jones.

“We’ve just touched down here in Townsville, the weather is looking brilliant for the weekend and the whole team is really looking forward to the longer distance races, the addition of some fuel stops and of course the whole atmosphere that a street circuit brings.

“It’s great to have the continued support of our season sponsors on the car as well this weekend – TRG Transport, Kubota, tools.com, Pertamina, Drillpro and Automotive Superstore.”

ONLINE NOW: NTI Townsville 500 official program

The Repco Supercars Championship title race heated up at an action-packed Merlin Darwin Triple Crown, with the challengers to Shane van Gisbergen’s crown eager to continue their winning ways at the NTI Townsville 500.

The SupercarXtra Magazine-produced NTI Townsville 500 free digital program is your must-have companion to the seventh Supercars event of 2022.

CLICK HERE to view and read the program.

The program features the event schedule, preview, entry list, driver profiles, circuit guide, records, support category previews and entry lists and more, all free to read.

Anton De Pasquale, Cameron Waters and Chaz Mostert were the race winners at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown, in their bid to close in on van Gisbergen.

The NTI Townsville 500 consists of two 250-kilometre races/88 laps – Race 19 and 20 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship.

Qualifying for both races features a 15-minute full-field session that determines the grids slots for 11th to 25th place, with the top 10 set by a Shootout.

Dunlop’s hard compound and super-soft compound tyres will feature, with the super soft used exclusively in the races with one set per entry for each race.

The on-track support bill includes the Dunlop Super2/Super3 Series, Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia, Touring Car Masters and the Toyota Gazoo Racing 86 Series.

CLICK HERE to purchase the latest edition of SupercarXtra Magazine.

Golding replaces Jacobson at PremiAir Racing

PremiAir Racing has hired James Golding as its new full-time driver for the remainder of 2022 following the sacking of Garry Jacobson.

Jacobson split with the team following the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown, opening up a full-time slot on the 2022 Supercars grid.

Twenty-six-year-old Golding raced full-time with Garry Rogers Motorsport between 2018 and 2019 and was endurance co-driver at Team 18 over the last two years.

“I’m stoked to be joining the PremiAir Racing team as the driver of the Subway car for my long-awaited return to Supercars,” said Golding.

“I’d like to thank everyone that has been involved in getting this deal over the line, especially Peter Xiberras for giving me the opportunity.

“I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the team, and I can’t wait to get to Townsville.

“It feels great to be racing full-time once again, especially after what felt like such a long time away.

“In saying that, the break has given me time to reflect and re-focus.”

Golding finished in second place in the 2022 S5000 championship, with the chance to impress in his solo Supercars return. 

Team 18 releases Golding ahead of full-time return

Team 18 has released James Golding from his 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 role, paving the way for him to fill the full-time vacancy at PremiAir Racing.

Golding has been linked to the drive that was opened up after Garry Jacobson and PremiAir Racing parted ways after Darwin.

Golding last raced full-time in Supercars for Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2019 before moving into the endurance co-driver role at Team 18 in 2020 and 2021.

Golding looked set to rejoin Team 18 alongside Scott Pye for Bathurst in 2022, though has been allowed to pursue the PremiAir Racing option.

Team 18 also confirmed Michael Caruso will return alongside Mark Winterbottom.

“Team 18 has shelved plans to have James Golding as an endurance co-driver with the team for the upcoming Bathurst 1000,” said a statement from Team 18.

“Golding had been slated to re-join Scott Pye for this year’s Great Race but has elected to pursue another opportunity.

“Team 18 wishes to extend their thanks to Golding for his contribution to the team over the past two years as an endurance co-driver and wish him well on his future endeavours.

“Team 18 will assess its options for a new co-driver to join Scott Pye for the 2022 Bathurst 1000 and will make an announcement in due course.

“Michael Caruso remains with Team 18 for a second Bathurst 1000 tilt and will co-drive with Mark Winterbottom in the #18 IRWIN Racing Team 18 Holden ZB Commodore.

“Team 18 will continue its preparations for this weekend’s NTI Townsville 500, with practice commencing on Friday.”

Team owner Charlie Schwerkolt added: “James has been a great endurance driver for us over the past couple of years, and we thank him for his efforts with our Bathurst 1000 campaigns.

“We have some really exciting options on the table to select a new co-driver for Scott and we look forward to making an announcement as soon as we can.”

Doubts over Bathurst wildcard entry

Doubts have emerged over Michael Anderson’s Repco Bathurst 1000 wildcard entry.

Anderson wants to run an ex-Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang in the Great Race, but his credentials are being questioned. The latest PARKED UP PLUS podcast reveals that his claim to have secured the necessary Super Licence to contest the 1000 is not clear cut.

Listen to the podcast here:

Anderson’s wildcard entry with the ex-Fabian Coulthard Mustang reportedly relies on securing a star overseas co-driver.

He maintains he is cleared for the Repco Bathurst 1000, but informed sources dispute that Motorsport Australia has approved his application for a Super Licence.

The Bathurst builder, who races in Super3 and occasionally Super2, has been linked with securing a star co-driver from IndyCar or NASCAR.

There are strong suggestions that the acceptance of his entry relies on being partnered by a big name. PARKED UP PLUS has the full story of why Anderson’s entry has raised concerns.

Also in the latest episode, news on PremiAir Racing’s mid-season driver change, and the future of the Supercars retro round and S5000. As well, Aaron Seton talks about becoming the first third generation driver in the Bathurst 1000.

CLICK HERE to purchase the latest edition of SupercarXtra Magazine.

Super2 to open up to all Car of the Future models

The Dunlop Super2 Series will include the Car of the Future-spec ZB Commodore and Ford Mustang from 2023.

The two models are currently used in the Repco Supercars Championship but will be replaced by the Gen3 Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro in 2023.

The Supercars Commission has confirmed that both models will now be eligible to race against all other Car of the Future models currently in the Dunlop Super2 Series, including the FGX Falcon, VF Commodore and Nissan Altima.

Also, the FG Falcon and VE Commodore Project Blueprint cars currently in the Super3 Series will remain eligible for the third-tier category, which will continue to race on a combined grid with the Dunlop Super2 Series.

“After speaking with both Repco Supercars Championship and Dunlop Super2 Series teams, we are aware that some are ready to commit to ZB Commodores and Ford Mustangs immediately, while others will remain committed to current programs in 2023,” said Supercars Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess.

“This decision benefits teams in both of those positions and paves the way for more teams and drivers to enter our second-tier competition in 2023.

“This combined Dunlop Super2/Dunlop Super3 Series category gives drivers the opportunity to become more familiar with how to race Supercars. The primary focus for us is around the driver pathway, a commitment which Dunlop shares.”

Seton lands Bathurst co-drive at Matt Stone Racing

Third-generation racer Aaron Seton will make his main-game Supercars debut as endurance co-driver to Jack Le Brocq with Matt Stone Racing at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Seton, who races for Matt Stone Racing in the Dunlop Super2 Series, follows in the footsteps of grandfather Barry and father Glenn to feature in the Great Race, making them the first family to have three generations start in the Bathurst 500/1000.

It will be the first Bathurst since 2010 to feature a Seton, with Barry winning the Bathurst 500 in 1965 and Glenn a two-time championship winner with four Bathurst podiums.

“I am very thankful to the team, from Matt, Jason [Gomersall], and the whole crew,” said Seton.

“I’m just looking forward to getting to the 1000. It’s awesome to be joining a guy like Jack and I really admire the way he has gone about his racing this year since working closer with him.”

Seton will complete double duties in Bathurst, with his co-drive in the main event alongside his Super2 duties.

“It’s great that Aaron’s actually running in the Dunlop Series as well over the Bathurst weekend,” said Le Brocq.

“I’ve done it many times before when I was a co-driver and it’s really crucial to just get those laps in around there. It’s a very daunting place at the best of times and it will be very full on.

“For Aaron to be able to compliment his running with his Dunlop Series program will allow us to get the most out of him come Sunday.”

The team is yet to announce Todd Hazelwood’s co-driver for the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Chahda wildcard entry for Bathurst

Family-run team Matt Chahda Motorsport will race in the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 as a wildcard entry.

Dunlop Super2 Series regular Matt Chahda will drive a ZB Commodore leased from Walkinshaw Andretti United in the Great Race, with his co-driver yet to be announced.

The entry will run under the Matt Chahda Motorsport banner with Matt’s father Amin Chahda the team principal and experienced engineer Wally Storey the team manager.

It will be the fourth wildcard for the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000, joining the Triple Eight Race Engineering entry of Craig Lowndes and Declan Fraser, an Erebus Motorsport entry for Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway and the Anderson Motorsport entry for Michael Anderson and an unconfirmed co-driver.

The Chahda wildcard entry takes this year’s Bathurst grid to 29 cars, which is the largest for the Great Race since 2013.

“As drivers we aspire to take part in Australia’s Great Race,” said Chahda.

“To have the opportunity this year is an absolute highlight for me. My sincere thanks to my MCM family, sponsors, Supercars and WAU for helping make this a reality for me.”

Amin Chahda added: “We are delighted that Supercars has granted us a wildcard for Bathurst. Our family has shared Matt’s dream of driving in the main game. After six seasons in Super2, we will do everything in our power to make his debut a success.”

Larko’s mid-season report card 

Popular TV pitlane pundit Mark Larkham has delivered his verdict on the Supercars season so far.
 
Larko names his ‘scuds and duds’ – the standouts and disappointments – at the halfway mark of the championship on the latest PARKED UP PLUS podcast. He delivers his mid-season report card with typical candour and insight.
 
Larko tells PARKED UP PLUS that Shane van Gisbergen will be under pressure to retain his title during the back half of the season.
 
He analyses the form of SVG and looming challengers Anton De Pasquale, Cameron Waters and even Will Davison, plus the mercurial Chaz Mostert.
 
Larko also laments the lacklustre form of Erebus Motorsport rising stars Will Brown and Brodie Kostecki.
 
As well, PARKED UP PLUS hears from Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards about his ‘driver dilemma’. The resurgent Ford team, which has lifted Waters into title contention, has five drivers vying for four seats next year.
 
Waters is a long-term lock, but James Courtney, Thomas Randle and Jake Kostecki are all vulnerable despite on-going agreements. Knocking on the door is Tickford’s Super2 protégé Zake Best.
 
Edwards admits his driver surfeit is a great problem to have as he also backs veteran Courtney to be competitive for years to come.
 
PARKED UP PLUS also talks to V8 legend Dick Johnson about his grandson Jett’s future prospects.
 
Jett is the third-gen Johnson in racing, poised to establish a new motor racing dynasty. There’s already the Brabhams, the Andrettis, the Unsers and the Davisons.
 
It’s a select group, but grandpa Dick declares there’ll be “no nepotism” for Jett at Dick Johnson Racing. The most senior Johnson outlines how Jett will have to earn his spurs, most likely away from the family team.
 
All this and more on the latest PARKED UP PLUS, leading rather than following the week’s major motorsport news.

Listen here:

Feature: The non-Ford and Holden Australian touring cars

Ford and Holden may be the two pillars of Australian touring cars, but other manufacturers have enjoyed championship success.

Jaguar was the manufacturer to beat in the formative years of the Australian Touring Car Championship, winning the first four titles under the Appendix J rules.

Chevrolet took the final two championship wins in the Improved Production era, with the brand returning to Supercars to replace Holden into Gen3 in 2023.

Mazda claimed a championship win with the rotary-powered RX-7 in Group C, while the Group A era paved the way for more international representation with titles for BMW, Volvo and Nissan.

Non-Ford and Holden manufacturers were locked out of the V8 era until the introduction of the Car of the Future, when Nissan, AMG Mercedes-Benz and Volvo came and went with varied success.

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #125 is a celebration of the iconic cars of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #125.

CLICK HERE to access the digital edition of issue #125.

The following non-Ford and Holden features are in issue #125:

The original reborn: The rebirth of the first winner of the Armstrong 500, the Vauxhall Cresta.

When Davids beat Goliaths. The small cars that defied the odds and defeated their bigger rivals, including the Mini Cooper S, Mazda RX-7 and BMW M3.

Cars of the Rising Sun. Nissan’s history in Australian touring cars leading into its dominant spell with the Skyline.

Welcome to the jungle. The challenge of getting the Nissan Altima and AMG Mercedes-Benz E-Class Supercars competitive.

Shootout! The top 10 most successful cars in the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars, including representatives from Mazda, BMW, Chevrolet, Jaguar and Nissan.

The print edition of issue #125 also includes a pullout poster featuring the Nissan Skyline BNR32 GT-R, 30 years since ‘Godzilla’ bowed out of Australian touring cars with a second consecutive championship and Bathurst double.

CLICK HERE to purchase the Nissan Skyline poster.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to SupercarXtra Magazine.