Perkins moves to the Blanchard Racing Team

Jack Perkins will drive alongside James Courtney in the 2024 endurance events for the Blanchard Racing Team.

Perkins announced his departure from Erebus Motorsport earlier in the week before driving a Blanchard Racing Team Ford Mustang at an evaluation day at Winton.

It will be a reunion with Courtney when they team up in the Snowy River Caravans-backed Mustang at Sandown and Bathurst, after driving together at the Holden Racing Team/Walkinshaw Andretti United for five years. That stint included a win on the Gold Coast in 2015 and a podium at Bathurst in 2019.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Blanchard Racing Team and my mate James Courtney in the Snowy River Mustang for the 2024 Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000,” said Perkins.

“I’ve been friends with Tim Blanchard and the Blanchard family since we were both kids racing go-karts together.

“I really like what Tim and John [Blanchard] are putting together with BRT; their expansion to two cars and commitment to Supercars Racing is excellent and I’m hoping to make a small contribution to help drive the family owned team to the front of the grid and onto the podium at the endurance races.

“JC and I have been team-mates before, for five years with great success, winning on the Gold Coast together and standing on the podium at Bathurst with third place back in 2019.

“We remain close friends and would love nothing more than another podium together and to do it with BRT would be very special.”

Team owner Tim Blanchard said: “We are excited to have Jack join us alongside James for the 2024 enduro campaign, as we continue to build Blanchard Racing Team.

“He has a wealth of knowledge that we believe will contribute to helping us push the team forward.”

The Blanchard Racing Team expands to two entries in 2024, with Aaron Love alongside Courtney for the full season.

Payne locked in for the long-term

Grove Racing has announced the re-signing of 2023 VAILO Adelaide 500 winner Matt Payne on a long-term deal.

The 21-year-old scored his first win in the last race of his full-time rookie season in Adelaide, recommitting to the team.

Payne will team with fellow New Zealander Richie Stanaway at the Penrite-backed Ford team in 2024, with the Bathurst winner replacing Team 18-bound David Reynolds next season.

“It was important for the team to extend Matthew’s contract to ensure the entire Racing group can continue to develop the team for the long term,” said team owner Stephen Grove.

“Matthew is a vital part of our long-term strategy, and his commitment to the team through a long-term extension to his current contract, is a testament to the direction of the whole Racing group at Grove Racing.”

Payne first appeared in a Supercar with Grove Racing in the Dunlop Super2 Series midway through 2021, finishing in third place in the second-tier category in 2022 before graduating into the main game in 2023.

“Matt started his career with us as part of our junior team and he is the first driver the graduate up to Supercars,” said team principal David Cauchi.

“It is a testament to Stephen and Brenton Grove for their commitment to developing young talent and to continue our relationship with Matt is very satisfying.

“Our first year in Supercars produced a race win which is a rare achievement in such as competitive championship.

“Matt has shown that he deserves to be in Supercars, and he will be a key part of our team into the future.”

Payne added: “After securing my first race win, I am excited to re-sign with Penrite Racing.

“The upcoming season holds new challenges, fresh competition, and the opportunity to improve my performance on the track.

“I am confident with the support of Penrite Racing, we can further our success in 2024.”

How Ryan turned Erebus into a powerhouse

In a revealing post-season interview, Barry Ryan talks through a Gen3 journey that yielded first drivers’ and teams’ championships for the Erebus Motorsport squad in the latest Speedcafe Newscast. Listen here:

He details the approach that he believes set Erebus apart and pulls no punches over the incredible highs, and devastating lows such as Will Brown’s exit, that the team faced throughout the year.

Ryan also details he and Brown’s antics with Richard Childress Racing at the World Racing League final in Texas.

Also covered in this week’s Newscast is the death of the Newcastle 500, with the council set to undergo road works that will make the return of the event all but impossible.

Nearby Cessnock, however, is emerging as a very real contender to take its place on the Supercars calendar.

The Speedcafe Newscast also features Matt Campbell on his IMSA to WEC switch as well as all the latest news from home and abroad.


In Nashville, one week prior to his NASCAR debut in Chicago, Shane van Gisbergen was a curiosity. His pre-Chicago media conference attracted a bit of interest, but more with journalists trying to work out how to pronounce his name… they gave up and just called him SVG.

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131 gets the inside word on van Gisbergen’s life-changing NASCAR debut win and what comes next.

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

At 1.88-metres tall, van Gisbergen towered over Trackhouse Racing team owner Justin Marks, who is much more racer-sized, and he was humble and understated despite his imposing presence. But like most athletes who have reached the top, there is a burning competitiveness that says they are never there to make up the numbers. No matter what he said.

A short test session on the Charlotte Oval told legendary crew chief and Trackhouse technical director Darian Grubb he had something to play with. Van Gisbergen impressed Grubb with his methodical approach to the task, with his ability to explore lines and braking points like few he had ever seen. Then he explored a little more on Chevrolet’s multi-million dollar race simulator, again leaving an impression. Then it was time for the perfect storm, the inaugural Chicago NASCAR street race.

NASCAR had never run on the streets of a city before, but it still packed the stands in downtown Chicago with a sell-out crowd of more than 70,000 fans, many new to NASCAR and car racing. In contrast to Adelaide’s brilliant racing surface, there were multiple surface changes in Chicago, from concrete to asphalt and back, sometimes in the middle of a corner. But the simulator captured it all after the track was laser-mapped well in advance of the meeting. On the simulator, he spent time learning the 12 corner, 3.5-kilometre track and he said he could feel everything. He started to plan.

Thursday night’s rush hour still had cars in the thousands rolling down South Michigan. On Saturday morning of the two-day meeting, fences were still being erected. And it was hot, stinking hot by the time the NASCARs hit the track for the first time, for one 20-minute practice session before qualifying. Van Gisbergen topped the session and then qualified third after a red flag on his fast lap stopped his charge at pole. He would have been on pole, that lap was so good.

Now the curiosity was something of a fascination, and in the media centre the locals were starting to ask questions. But they were still confident that on race day the usual NASCAR racers would beat him up. Joey Logano commented that he’d love to get ‘him’ onto the track at Darlington so they could show him what NASCAR was all about. What he didn’t realise was that van Gisbergen was getting ready to teach him and 35 other NASCAR regulars his own lesson.

Watching van Gisbergen around the track you could visibly see his advantage. While the NASCAR regulars were wobbling out to the wall using the steering wheel, van Gisbergen was out there pushing hard and sliding naturally out to the wall.

Kostecki and Mostert win top honours at gala awards

Following on from his first-ever Repco Supercars Championship drivers’ title, Brodie Kostecki has been voted the Drivers’ Driver by his peers for 2023.

At Supercars annual Gala Awards, Kostecki claimed the top driver-voted gong, while Chaz Mostert received the Barry Sheene Medal.

It’s the first time the Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford Mustang driver has been awarded the Barry Sheene Medal, which is presented to the driver adjudged to have displayed outstanding leadership, media interaction, character, personality, fan appeal and sportsmanship throughout the season.

In the fan-voted categories, the VAILO Adelaide 500, attended by an estimated 260,7000 fans, won the event of the year award.

NASCAR-bound three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen was voted as the fan’s most popular driver for a third consecutive year. The Kiwi exits Supercars with an 80 wins, 177 podiums and 48 pole positions from 227 round starts/511 race starts.

The Mike Kable Young Gun Award went to Cameron McLeod. McLeod is the son of long-time racer and the grandson of 1987 Bathurst 1000 winner Peter. The 18-year-old
Nissan Altima driver finished third in his first full-time season of the Dunlop Super3 Series.


• Barry Sheene Medal: Chaz Mostert
• Repco Supercars Champion: Brodie Kostecki
• Dunlop Team Champion: Coca-Cola Racing (Erebus)
• Drivers’ Driver: Brodie Kostecki
• Mike Kable Young Gun Award: Cameron McLeod
• Dunlop Super2 Series Champion: Kai Allen
• Dunlop Super3 Series Champion: Jobe Stewart
• Dunlop Super2 Series Champion Team: Eggleston Motorsport
• ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award: Brodie Kostecki
• ARMOR ALL Dunlop Super2 Series Pole Position Award: Ryan Wood
• Champion Manufacturer: Chevrolet
• Fans Choice – Best Presented Team: Red Bull Ampol Racing Team
• Fans Choice – Most Popular Driver – Shane van Gisbergen
• Best Event of the Year: VAILO Adelaide 500
• Best Volunteer Group: Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500
• Supercars Media Award: Mark Larkham

Ford finally happy with Gen3 parity

As Ford closed out the Supercars season with four straight wins in the final two rounds, attention turned to ending the Gen3 parity debate once and forever with aero and engine tests in America.

Aussie-spec Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang racers are in the States for definitive wind tunnel aero measurement starting late next week.

The latest Speedcafe Newscast podcast has all the details of when, where and how the parity busting will happen. Listen here:

Ford bounced back at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 and season-ending VAILO Adelaide 500, sweeping all four 250 km races following a long-awaited aero upgrade.

Supercars heavyweights, technical staff, and DJR and Triple Eight homologation team engineers are heading to the States for the three-day session at the Windshear wind tunnel in Mooresville, North Carolina from December 8-10.

The hugely expensive exercise will generate the data to fully equalise the aero performance of the Camaro and Mustang, disputed by Ford until a parity review was triggered after Chev’s Bathurst 1000 walkover.

Speedcafe Newscast hears from senior Ford figures on their hopes that the wind tunnel comparison in America – plus pending transient dyno engine tests – will end the parity debate by the time the Supercars field reassembles for next year’s season-opening Bathurst 500.

Post-season equalisation efforts dominated discussion in the immediate wake of Erebus Motorsport’s upset of longtime Supercars powerhouse Triple Eight.

Brodie Kostecki clinched the drivers’ championship as Coca-Cola Racing wrapped up the teams’ title. Eccentric rich-lister team owner Betty Klimenko opens up to Speedcafe about her barrier-busting title double.

As well, Speedcafe Newscast reveals the bold plans to make next February’s Bathurst 12 Hour the biggest ever.

It’s all in the latest Speedcafe Newscast, hosted by racing authority Mark Fogarty.

Payne scores first win as Erebus secures teams’ title

Grove Racing’s Matt Payne dominated the final race of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship, scoring his first win at the VAILO Adelaide 500.

Payne started alongside new champion Brodie Kostecki on the front row and led into the opening turns. From there he wasn’t headed throughout the 78-lap race, becoming the 10th different driver to win a race in 2023.

It marked the second time in two years that a rookie won the Adelaide 500, with Triple Eight Race Engineering driver Broc Feeney winning the same race in 2022.

Youngsters Payne and Feeney led home veteran David Reynolds in Race 28, who added to his Saturday podium with third on Sunday. It was the fourth consecutive win for Ford drivers from the final four races of 2023.

“I’ve got to thank Penrite Racing for the fast car, it was such a jet,” said Payne. “Everyone’s been working so hard here, to crack a win with Dave at the Gold Coast was amazing, and now finally I get to get my first win in Adelaide. So stoked, so proud of everyone.”

After sealing the title yesterday, Kostecki officially celebrated his maiden Supercars championship in front of thousands of fans on the streets of Adelaide. The West Australian rounded out the season with another title as Erebus Motorsport claimed its first-ever teams’ championship following Kostecki and outgoing teammate Will Brown’s stellar season in their Chevrolet Camaros.

Kostecki is the 26th winner of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars Championship winner and ends 2023 with six victories, his first ever ARMOR ALL Pole Award with 10 pole positions and 18 podium finishes from 28 races.

It was a heartbreaking end to full-time Supercars competition for Shane van Gisbergen, who didn’t see the chequered flag for the second day running after being forced into the lane with issues caused by tyre build-up on his #97 Camaro.

With van Gisbergen scoring no points, and with champion-elect Kostecki and Will Brown eighth and 14th, Erebus added a maiden teams’ championship to its drivers’ title. The end margin between Erebus and Triple Eight was 176 points, having been 161 heading into Sunday. Kostecki’s title-winning margin was 323 points, with van Gisbergen failing to score all weekend.

Supercars’ generation change

A new generation of drivers has risen to the top of Supercars, with the likes of Brodie Kostecki, Will Brown and Broc Feeney stepping up to replace the likes of Shane van Gisbergen at the top of the championship, as we examine in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

When Feeney crossed the line to win the Adelaide 500 in 2022, it was a case of history repeating. Sixteen years earlier, his team boss and endurance co-driver Jamie Whincup crossed the same finish line to win in his first round with Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2006. The 2022 win may have been at the end of Feeney’s first season with the team, as opposed to the start of the season for Whincup, but there were some obvious parallels. In both cases, it represented a generation change in Supercars.

Feeney was only 18 years of age when he was hand-picked to replace the retiring Whincup at Triple Eight for 2022 and beyond. After a meteoric rise that included Super3 and Super2 championship wins, Feeney had big shoes to fill with Whincup rewriting the record books on his way to seven championship wins. Ending his rookie season with a such a convincing win on the punishing streets of Adelaide set the tone for what was to come in 2023, with a changing of the guard amongst the driver ranks.

Before 2023, just three drivers had won the championship dating back to 2016 – Shane van Gisbergen, Whincup and Scott McLaughlin. By the end of 2023, all three would have moved on, accelerating the generation change in Supercars. With Whincup’s retirement and van Gisbergen and McLaughlin’s departures to North America, the likes of Feeney were in prime positions to step up.

Helping the generation change was the introduction of the new Gen3 cars in 2023. Younger drivers with less experience in the different previous generation Supercar weren’t as disadvantaged as previously. Amongst the drivers who took their opportunity with the new cars were Erebus Motorsport’s Kostecki and Brown.

It was seen as a risk when Erebus Motorsport banked on youth and promoted its young endurance co-drivers Kostecki and Brown into full-time drives for 2021. The duo rewarded the team with pole positions, podiums and race wins, stepping up into championship contention in the new cars in 2023.

After three full-time seasons with Erebus Motorsport, Brown will head to Triple Eight to team with Feeney in place of the NASCAR-bound van Gisbergen in 2024. The Feeney-Brown inter-team rivalry shapes as one of the most intriguing for next season.

Feeney and Kostecki were the latest drivers to come off the Norwell Motorplex driving school production line of talent, under the tutelage of former Bathurst 1000 winner and championship regular Paul Morris.

Like with Brown, a diverse background in racing a variety of cars and mastering their techniques with regular training and coaching seems to be paying dividends. Just as Whincup raised the bar back in the mid-2000s, so too are the new generation in terms of how to achieve success.

Kostecki crowned 2023 Supercars champion

Brodie Kostecki wrapped up the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship in the penultimate race of the season in Adelaide.

After his closest rival Shane van Gisbergen retired on the the opening lap of Saturday’s race at the VAILO Adelaide 500, the 26-year-old West Australian finished in sixth place to seal the title.

Van Gisbergen made contact with Kostecki’s teammate Will Brown after the latter went into the wall following a touch with Anton De Pasquale, meaning the title race was over on the opening lap.

Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters won the race from David Reynolds and Thomas Randle in an all-Ford podium, though the focus was on Kostecki who crossed the line as the new champion.

Kostecki is the 26th different driver to claim the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars Championship crown in the sport’s 63-year history.

In just his third year of full-time racing in the Supercars championship, Kostecki becomes the youngest winner of the title since Scott McLaughlin won it as a 25-year-old in 2018.

He is the first West Australian to win the title since Garth Tander claimed the drivers’ championship in 2007 and first Australian-born driver to win the drivers’ crown since Jamie Whincup in 2017.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,” Kostecki said post-race.

“You don’t want to win a championship when your other contender is knocked out of the race but it’s been a whirlwind of a year, we’ve worked so hard to do what we’ve done today. 

“Betty [Klimenko] started this venture 13 years ago. For myself to deliver her first championship is something that I’m never going to forget.”

With the driver’s title now wrapped up, the focus turns to the teams’ championship with Erebus Motorsport holding a 131-point lead over Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Burgess to lead Team 18 from 2024

Team 18 has announced the appointment of Adrian Burgess as its new team principal, effective from February 2024.

It’s a reunion between Burgess and team owner Charlie Schwerkolt, rekindling their successful partnership that led to a championship at Dick Johnson Racing with James Courtney in 2010.

Burgess made his foray into the Australian racing scene in 2006, collaborating with Schwerkolt at Dick Johnson Racing. Following his tenure their, Burgess assumed the role of team manager at Triple Eight Race Engineering, overseeing Jamie Whincup’s three consecutive championships from 2011 to 2013, including the 2013 Bathurst 1000.

After stints at Walkinshaw Racing and Tekno Autosports, Burgess became the head of motorsport with Supercars in 2018 until 2023.

“It’s exciting to get the band back together with Charlie,” said Burgess.

“We’ve achieved a lot together in the past and we both know we would like to achieve those heights again. I’m not underestimating the size of the task, the competition is incredibly fierce and it’s one of the most competitive championships in the world.

“Team 18 overall is in a great shape, it showed that this year in Darwin. I’m looking forward to getting on deck, continuing their great culture and working cohesively with everyone to focus on aiming for podiums and consistent performances every weekend and ultimately get ourselves in a position where we can fight for championships, that’s the goal.”

Schwerkolt added: “It’s incredibly exciting to welcome Adrian Burgess as team principal commencing early next year.

“I’m really pleased to reunite with Adrian, our history together goes back as far as 2006 a highlight being the championship success we celebrated together in 2010.

“This appointment is a great coup for the team and Adrian will be a valuable leader with the skills and experience to bring the results we are all striving for.

“There is a massive amount to achieve at Team 18 moving forwards, and I believe Adrian will be able to take the team to a new level and best position us for greater success in the years to come.”