Issue #132 on sale now!

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #132, featuring Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds and James Courtney on the cover, is on sale now from our online store in print and digital forms.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #132.

CLICK HERE for the digital edition of issue #132.

The cover story for issue #132 looks at the veterans on the 2024 Supercars, battling it out with the newer generation.

Issue #132 includes the following:

FORD PARITY ANALYSIS: What’s changed for 2024 and what is next for the Blue Oval.

2024 TEAMS: The cars and stars of the Supercars Championship.

THE BENCHMARKS: The seasoned veterans ready to fight against the new generation.

THE MAN IN THE HAT: Allan Grice on his path from popular driver to politician.

MELLOWED ENFORCEMENT: From relative unknown to cult hero, Russell Ingall tells his story.

TAKE A BOWE: John Bowe looks back on his illustrious career.

THE SETON PEDIGREE: The last owner/driver champion, in his own words.

LIVING HIS DREAM: Tony Longhurst on his career.

SupercarXtra 2024 Repco Supercars Championship guide

After a season of change with the switch to Gen3 in 2023, it’s the drivers that are the focus of the changes in the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.

SupercarXtra Magazine‘s free online season guide is your companion to the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship, featuring team and driver profiles, event guides and more – see the season guide below.

With 2023 champion Brodie Kostecki suddenly splitting with Erebus Motorsport and three-time champion Shane van Gisbergen leaving for NASCAR, the door is open for a new champion in 2024.

The amount of entrants is reduced from 25 to 24 with Tickford Racing downsizing from four cars to two cars after selling two of its Teams Racing Charters (TRC), one of which was purchased by Blanchard Racing Team who will expand to a two-car team.

The 2024 Repco Supercars Championship will be contested over 12 rounds, starting with the Bathurst 500 in place of the cancelled Newcastle 500. Taupō International Motorsport Park will host a Supercars event for the first time, marking the return of an event in New Zealand.

Percat’s reset at Matt Stone Racing

Nick Percat is one of many drivers moving teams for the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship, looking for a career reset at Matt Stone Racing (MSR) after a difficult spell at Walkinshaw Andretti United. SupercarXtra Magazine chatted with Percat ahead of the move in issue #131.

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

Percat and Matt Stone had not spoken other than exchanging the odd pleasantries in pitlane prior to their post Tailem Bend meeting following the 2023 OTR SuperSprint. Despite MSR eyeing a number of drivers for the seat vacated by Erebus Motorsport-bound Jack Le Brocq, Percat made no pitch. He went with a more personal approach.

Percat had decided he was content. If he didn’t get another full-time drive in Supercars, he wasn’t going to be upset. He was happy with what he had achieved and felt privileged to have had the opportunity to be on the grid. He had planned for life after Supercars; already running his own karting team.

After asking Stone for a visit to the MSR workshop following Tailem Bend, the 2011 Bathurst 1000 winner boarded a plane bound for the Gold Coast seeking to learn more about the team that he will now be driving for in 2024.

“I didn’t want it to be a secret that I was coming up; I wanted the crew to be there and just doing their day-to-day work,” said Percat.

“I wanted to get a feel for the place. I think I had only been there for 10 minutes and looked at Matt and said, ‘Yeah, I think we need to make this fit, make this happen.’ I really enjoyed the feel of the workshop. The crew and the culture they’ve built there is really cool.”

Percat said the deal came together pretty quickly after the discussion with Stone, and some assistance from “people in my corner.”

“I just asked him [Stone] to give me a run through the team and he took me through all the different departments,” revealed Percat.

“We sat down at the end and had a coffee and spoke more about what he’s trying to achieve. And that’s what got me excited… it was a pretty easy negotiation. I think he appreciated that I didn’t come up there and promise the world. The pitch was more just getting to know each other as people. It’s probably a little bit of a different way of going about it, but I was keen on making sure I’m working with the right people.”

Who goes where in 2024

The Repco Supercars Championship grid will look very different in 2024 with a host of driver moves in the off-season, after one of the most active silly seasons in recent years.

When Shane van Gisbergen won on the streets of Chicago in his NASCAR debut in July, it set the wheels in motion for one of the silliest silly seasons in Supercars.

With van Gisbergen stating his intention to make a full-time move to NASCAR, the scramble began for one of the most prized seats in Supercars. And, as a result, the domino effect spread throughout the rest of the pitlane with most teams making changes for next season and drivers from youngsters to veterans set for a moves.

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131 looks at how each team is shaping up for the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

All told, there will be 24 full-time entries in 2024 – 14 Chevrolet Camaros and 10 Ford Mustangs. Bring on 2024!

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship in review

It was a season of drama and controversy, of new talent taking on the established drivers, and new cars changing the complexion of the championship. SupercarXtra Magazine looks at how the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship played out in issue #131.

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

The Gen3 era started with the controversial disqualification of the first and second-placed Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaros of Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney. The pair dominated the opening race of the new era in Newcastle, but the team had installed a second driver cooling system in the car, which was deemed a technical breach of the new and much tighter rules.

That left Cameron Waters as the winner of the first race of 2023 in his Tickford Racing Ford Mustang, a nice mark for the record books. Brodie Kostecki hinted at what would come with a podium from pole position, with Chaz Mostert putting the first-ever Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford into second place.

The Sunday race had David Reynolds on pole in the Grove Racing Mustang, and he ran to the flag in third behind van Gisbergen and Mostert. Waters was flying when an innocuous touch with the wall damaged the steering on his Mustang and robbed him of the chance of another win. With James Courtney hitting the wall in the Shootout and Declan Fraser slamming into the wall on the start, Tickford Racing was getting plenty of experience repairing the new race cars.

Looking back at the 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000

The 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000 was a race weekend of many parts. SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131 features an extensive review of the event.

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

The first was a political battle before a wheel had even turned in anger. It turned into a young championship leader with an underrated co-driver, both with blinding speed and a catch-us-if-you-can mentality. Finally, it turned to race day with one story of redemption and another a dominant possible farewell. Let’s start with the first.

Ford went to Bathurst believing its seventh generation Mustang was battling from behind. The data was pretty clear, albeit debatable; only once on the track in 2023 had a Mustang taken the chequered flag first. That was once in 23 races.

It was said it was slower in a straight line and had an aero imbalance that made for a narrow set-up window and gave it more rear tyre wear. If you got the car in the window, qualifying was okay, but then, when the racing began, the Camaro took over.

The counter-argument from most of the Chev teams, except for the championship leading Erebus Motorsport team, said the cars were okay, and that maybe even the Fords had an advantage, they just weren’t doing a good enough job. But, in the end, no amount of data, evidence or debate would change a thing. The only way a change for Bathurst could come about was for every owner of a Teams Racing Charter to vote for it. That wasn’t going to happen and didn’t happen. So the cars raced as they did at Sandown.

Triple Eight’s Shane van Gisbergen and Richie Stanaway controlled the race pretty much from the first safety car. Triple Eight made all the right calls for this car, while the other one had done an amazing job to even be in podium contention when it struck trouble. Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki just didn’t have the speed to combat them and left relatively content with second place, which also kept the championship in his control.

For van Gisbergen, it was his third win in four years in possibly his last run at Bathurst as he prepares to head to the US to start his NASCAR career. His racing nous and connection with engineer Andrew Edwards proved the key to the win, along with the drive of Stanaway.

For the co-driving Kiwi, this was redemption. A star in everything he had ever raced, Stanaway struggled in his first run in Supercars. Some said he wasn’t supported and the teams weren’t professional, but he didn’t help himself.

But the 2023 Stanaway differs from the 2019 version that walked away from motorsport. After his run at Bathurst last year with Greg Murphy, he returns to the sport with a new maturity. Some claim credit for his apparent transformation, but it is down to him and we look forward to seeing what he can do at Grove Racing next year.

He didn’t have to star this weekend; he just had to do his job, and the discipline of the Triple Eight team worked with him on that. He’s quiet, and a bit like van Gisbergen in that respect, but he got the job done and has now climbed the highest ground in Australian motorsport.

It would be easy for Kostecki to be disappointed with second place. The speed from that car in the lead-up had it as the car to beat, but on race day, there were two cars quicker, so second was a good outcome. Erebus would have been disappointed not to have two cars up there, especially after the blistering opening stint by Will Brown, but it was happy to bag good points for both cars and to run away and think about cleaning up both titles.

The Gen3 racers held up despite dire warnings. That both first and second limped home with ailments was not too surprising, and in the end, there was only one DNF to a mechanical issue, although there were plenty of running repairs.

The 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000 won’t go down as a classic but it will historically record the first race of the new era as a tense battle and possibly the last win for a NASCAR-bound van Gisbergen and a weekend where a bitter class war threatened a divide. He leaves with three titles, and Triple Eight’s 10th draws it to the top of the tree on its own.

In the days after the race, Triple Eight revealed that van Gisbergen’s gear lever mount was broken too, and it could have been only seconds from complete failure. Perhaps proving once again, that the Mountain chooses its master.

SVG goes NASCAR

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.

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.

The Adelaide 500 legacy

Ahead of the 2023 Supercars season finale and the event’s 25th anniversary celebrations in 2024, we look back on what makes the VAILO Adelaide 500 so special – the history, track and legacy in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

CLICK HERE to purchase SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131.

A new era began for the Adelaide 500 in 2022. Its much-anticipated return saw the event move from the start to the end of the Supercars season. With a champion now crowned in Adelaide, the event took on an extra dimension. This is how the Adelaide 500 became such a success; setting a template that Supercars replicated across Australia and New Zealand.

What we now know as Supercars looked very different before the arrival of the Adelaide 500. The 1998 championship wrapped up on the first weekend of August, with the Bathurst 1000 a non-championship round. And there were no street circuits across the 10-round championship.

The introduction of the Adelaide 500 set a new template for Supercars – a marquee street circuit event combining on-track action with off-track festivities. It was a big step forward for Supercars, with its arrival and the inclusion of Bathurst into the championship both happening in 1999.

Four years after the loss of the Australian Grand Prix, the Adelaide 500 saw the famed Adelaide Street Circuit come back to life. The circuit was slightly shortened, creating what became one of the most challenging corners on the track, the fast sweeper that is Turn 8, and leaving little rest time for drivers.

The format was and remains two 250-kilometre races, one each on the Saturday and Sunday. After the challenge of driving in the heat and humidity for close to two hours, drivers would need to back it up and do it all again the following day.

Driver fitness became crucial, after a number of drivers struggled to cope over the course of the race distance in those early years. Supercars itself also moved to longer races as a result, bringing pit strategy and the teams more into the equation.

The event was well supported from day one and kept growing, from an initial 162,000 spectators over three days in 1999 to 291,4000 over four days a decade later in 2008. The event became the Supercars season opener in 2002 and increased to four days in 2003. After a long off-season, drivers and teams were thrown in the deep end with Adelaide first up.

The event saw some historic performances over the years, with greats such as Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife, Marcos Ambrose, Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin not only amongst the winners but also producing some of their career-best performances in Adelaide.

Lowndes and Skaife both stormed through from the rear of the field to take come from behind wins in 1999 and 2000 respectively. They then crashed into each other in Adelaide in 2001, in the year Lowndes defected from Holden to Ford.

Skaife and the Holden Racing Team were the dominant forces in the early 2000s. In addition to championship and Bathurst doubles in 2001 and 2002, Skaife also went back-to-back in Adelaide in 2002 and 2003.

There was a changing of the guard in the mid-2000s with the rise of Ambrose and Stone Brothers Racing, swinging the pendulum from Holden to Ford. Ambrose won in Adelaide in 2004 and 2005, off the back of two championship wins, before moving to NASCAR.

Who would replace Ambrose as the next dominator emerged in 2006, when Whincup, in his first round with Triple Eight Race Engineering, surprised many with victory in Adelaide. Whincup would go on to win a record-breaking seven championships, often kickstarted with wins in Adelaide. He remains the most successful driver in the history of the Adelaide 500 with four round wins – 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011.

Van Gisbergen also scored a win on debut with a new team in 2013. After a shock departure from Stone Brothers Racing and talk of a premature retirement, he reappeared at Tekno Autosports and claimed the win in Adelaide. His performances at Tekno Autosports led to a drive at Triple Eight Race Engineering, as eventual successor to Whincup with three championship wins and two more Adelaide 500 titles.

McLaughlin took the fight to Whincup in a famous last-lap battle in Adelaide in 2014. McLaughlin was a star on the rise with his performance in Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Volvo Polestar S60, confirming his potential. He became a dominant force in Supercars with DJR Team Penske, winning three championships and two Adelaide 500s before moving to IndyCar.

Broc Feeney became the latest driver to make his mark in Adelaide, with his first win in 2022 a sign of what’s to come for the Triple Eight Race Engineering rising star.

Who will write their own history in 2023? The Adelaide Street Circuit awaits.

The SupercarXtra Magazine-produced 2023 VAILO Adelaide 500 official program is on sale in newsagents in South Australia and will be on sale at the event. CLICK HERE for store locations in South Australia.

Issue #131 on sale now!

SupercarXtra Magazine issue #131, featuring Brodie Kostecki, Will Brown and Broc Feeney on the cover, is on sale now from our online store and in newsagents across Australia.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #131.

CLICK HERE for the digital edition of issue #131.

The cover story for issue #131 looks at the generation change in Supercars, with the rise of the likes of Kostecki, Brown and Feeney over the last 12 months.

There are also features on Shane van Gisbergen’s move to NASCAR, the Gen3 cars, the Adelaide 500, who goes where in 2024, a review of the 2023 Supercars season and Bathurst 1000 and more.

There is also a double-sided pullout poster featuring the Supercars class of 2023 and the Adelaide 500 promotional poster, with issue #131 included in the 2023 VAILO Adelaide 500 official program that will be on sale at the event and in newsagents in South Australia.

Issue #131 includes the following:

Season in review: A look back at the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

Generation now: The generation change that’s happened over the 2023 season.

SVG goes NASCAR: Shane van Gisbergen’s winning debut and move to NASCAR.

The new look Supercar: How the Gen3 cars rolled out in 2023 and the impact it had on Supercars.

Who goes where in 2024: A team-by-team look at the driver changes on the Supercars grid in 2024.

Hometown hero: Nick Percat on racing on home soil in Adelaide and his team move in 2024.

The Adelaide 500 legacy: The importance of the Adelaide 500 to Supercars.

Bathurst in review: A look back at the 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000.