Russell moves to PremiAir Nulon Racing

PremiAir Nulon Racing has announced that David Russell will partner James Golding in this year’s Repco Supercars Championship endurance events at Sandown and Bathurst.

The veteran co-driver joins the team after three years alongside Brodie Kostecki at Erebus Motorsport, with two podium finishes at Bathurst across that spell.

Russell and Erebus Motorsport had confirmed they would continue working together for 2024 following last year’s Bathurst 1000, before the fallout from the uncertainty of Kostecki’s future with the team.

“I am thrilled to finally announce that I am joining PremiAir Nulon Racing,” said Russell.

“Jimmy’s performance at Bathurst earlier this year was outstanding, and I am eager to partner up for some fantastic outcomes in the endurance races this September and October.”

Golding added: “I am looking forward to driving alongside Dave. He has a lot of experience that will add great value to our team.

“I haven’t worked or driven with him previously, so I am interested to see how he goes about it.

“Everyone is different because of the experiences they have had, so there is always something to learn from one another.”

Team owner Peter Xiberras added: “We are very pleased to finally be able to announce that David is joining our team for our 2024 endurance campaign.

“He has won at Bathurst in basically everything except a Supercar, where he has come oh-so-close with a second place at the 2023 event alongside 2023 champion Brodie Kostecki.

“There is no doubt he is highly experienced when it comes to the Mountain and to Supercars, and we are very excited to see what he and Jimmy can do in the #31 this year.”

With Russell leaving Erebus Motorsport, Jayden Ojeda looks set to join Todd Hazelwood as the team’s endurance co-drivers for 2024.

Kostecki to return to Erebus in New Zealand

Reigning Supercars champion Brodie Kostecki will return to Erebus Motorsport alongside Jack Le Brocq for the third round of the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship at Taupo in New Zealand.

After sitting out of the first two events of the season following what appeared to be a permanent split from the team, Kostecki will undertake a test day at Winton this week in preparation for his racing return in New Zealand.

“‘m excited to be back behind the wheel again. I needed some time away to prioritise my health,” stated Kostecki.

“I’m grateful for the support, privacy and time Betty, Barry, and the team have given me.”

Erebus CEO Barry Ryan added: “On behalf of Betty and the team, we are pleased Brodie is ready to drive again. Having Brodie back to work alongside Jack as he becomes more familiar with our cars will be a positive for our entire team.”

Todd Hazelwood, who is set to co-drive for Erebus at the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000, filled in for Kostecki at the season-opening Bathurst 500 and Australian Grand Prix events.

“A big thanks to Todd; he performed brilliantly under considerable pressure and scrutiny, so hats off to him,” said Ryan.

“We look forward to having him at the test day this week and back in the seat for the enduros later in the year.”

Supercars’ return to New Zealand set to sell out

Supercars has announced that the Saturday and Sunday of April’s ITM Taupō Super400 have sold out, with limited tickets remaining for the Friday.

The event taking place April 19-21 will be Supercars’ inaugural visit to Taupō and the championship’s first in New Zealand since 2022, with general admission and grandstand seating for Saturday and Sunday already sold out.

“The uptake and interest in our first-ever event in Taupō has been incredible,” said Supercars COO Tim Watsford.

“And we can now confirm that we have sold out of grandstand and general admission tickets for both Saturday and Sunday of the event.

“There are still tickets available for Friday, which will be special in itself when Supercars hit the track in Taupō for the very first time. We will also hold a full-field signing session so fans can meet their favourite drivers, and all of our support categories will also be on-track in an action-packed and historic day.

“The response to this event has been overwhelming, and we are beyond excited to head across the ditch in a few short weeks for what will be a very special inaugural ITM Taupō Super400.”

Alongside the Repco Supercars Championship, the one-make Porsche Carrera Cup series will also make the trek across the Tasman, while locally-based series’ in Central Muscle Cars, the Toyota 86 Series NZ and Formula Ford NZ will also compete.

Reigning Repco Bathurst 1000 winner Richie Stanaway is the lead Kiwi in the championship, the Tauranga-native sitting sixth ahead of 21-year old teammate and fellow countryman Matt Payne in seventh. They will be joined on the grid by fellow New Zealanders Jaxon Evans, Andre Heimgartner and Ryan Wood, giving local fans five homegrown heroes to support.

Brown wins Larry Perkins Trophy in Camaro sweep of Melbourne

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Will Brown has won the Larry Perkins Trophy and taken the championship lead following four sprint races at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, as Ford’s challenge came unstuck with some friendly fire across the event.

Brown and teammate Broc Feeney won three of the four races in Melbourne – two to Feeney and one to Brown – but Brown prevailed in the race for the Larry Perkins Trophy with a more consistent run across the weekend.

Nick Percat overcame the Triple Eight challenge in the fourth and final race of the weekend, taking victory for the first time with Matt Stone Racing.

The Chevrolet Camaro remained undefeated in 2024 with six wins from six races, as Ford entrants cost themselves the chance of victory with a series of incidents in Melbourne.

Matt Payne and Cameron Waters made contact at the final corner in the early stages of the third race of the weekend while battling for the lead, sending both cars into the fence.

Payne was leading in the fourth race when he was hit in the rear by Chaz Mostert, with both Mustangs falling down the order. Payne did score two podiums in the first two races, with Mostert third in the third race. Also scoring a podium was Mark Winterbottom with second in the second race.

Brown now leads the championship by 17 points from Feeney with Mostert, Percat and David Reynolds rounding out the top five.

The next event on the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship calendar is the ITM Taupō Super400 on April 19 to 21 – Supercars’ return to New Zealand.

New format to crown Darwin Triple Crown winner

Supercars will update the format and track schedule for June’s Darwin Triple Crown to ensure if a driver is to win the title they must be fastest on track across all three days of the event.

The new format will see Boost Mobile Qualifying for Saturday’s race shift to a Friday afternoon session.

To win the 2024 Darwin Triple Crown a driver must now be fastest in the Friday qualifying session and win both Saturday and Sunday races at the famous Hidden Valley circuit.

The original 90-minute practice slated for Friday will now drop to a 60-minute session before Friday’s qualifying, while a new 30-minute practice will be added to Saturday morning’s program, prior to Saturday’s Boost Mobile Top 10 Shootout.

The race format will remain the same, two 137km races with one compulsory pitstop and at least two tyre changes per race per car.

Supercars general manager of motorsport Tim Edwards said: “By moving the Qualifying session to Friday afternoon, there’s something to drive for every day of the event, which is what fans want to see.

“Darwin is one of our marquee events on the calendar and we think this format adds another dimension to the on-track product.”

The Triple Crown has proved elusive to win since being introduced in 2006, in fact it has only ever been won twice. Scott McLaughlin (2019 – Saturday race win, Sunday pole position, Sunday race win) and Jamie Whincup (2020 – most points accumulated from three races) remain the only two drivers to have ever won the Triple Crown.

Date change for Sandown 500

Supercars has announced that the 2024 Sandown 500 will be brought forward a week to September 13 to 15.

In a statement Supercars said: “The Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) has recently advised Supercars that Sandown cannot meet the operational needs of a Supercars event at the date originally announced as part of the 2024 calendar.

“Supercars while working with the MRC have agreed to bring the 60th celebrations of the Sandown 500 forward a week to September 13-15.

“The date change provides the greatest opportunity for Supercars to deliver the best possible event that showcases the rich history of the Sandown 500.”

Erebus confirms Hazelwood for Melbourne

Todd Hazelwood will continue in the #99 Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet Camaro in place of Brodie Kostecki at the Melbourne SuperSprint.

Erebus Motorsport confirmed Hazelwood will continue driving the entry for the second event of the 2024 season, after debuting with the team at the season-opening Thrifty Bathurst 500.

Hazelwood was announced as Kostecki’s stand-in for the Bathurst event prior to the first test day of the season.

“Erebus Motorsport remains firmly committed to respecting Brodie’s privacy and we are unable to provide further updates at this time,” an Erebus statement reads.

“Todd Hazelwood will continue to represent the team in car 99 at the Australian Grand Prix event.

“We would also like to express our thanks for the support we’re received in recent weeks. Your messages mean the world to us.”

Triple Eight dominates Bathurst season opener

Triple Eight Race Engineering topped every session of the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship season opener, the Thrifty Bathurst 500, with a win apiece for Broc Feeney and new recruit Will Brown.

The win in Race 1 was Feeney’s seventh career victory. He was followed across the line by his new teammate Brown. Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert was best of the rest and leading Ford entry in third.

Behind the top three was defending Repco Bathurst 1000 champion Richie Stanaway on debut with Grove Racing. Fifth was Matt Stone Racing’s Cameron Hill, the best result of his career, while Hill’s new teammate Nick Percat was sixth ahead of Brad Jones Racing’s Bryce Fullwood, Team 18 debutant David Reynolds and the Kiwi duo of Andre Heimgartner and Matt Payne, who rounded out the top 10.

After an early-race tangle that led to a penalty in Race 2, Feeney was forced to settle for third with Brown taking the victory ahead of Mostert.

Tickford Racing’s Thomas Randle was in fourth place ahead of Golding with Reynolds, Payne, Erebus Motorsport new recruit Jack Le Brocq, Percat and Will Davison rounding out the top 10.

Tickford’s Cameron Waters endured a torrid weekend with a wheel falling off in Race 1 and a lowly 16th place in Race 2.

The full-time rookies also suffered at Bathurst with a double retirement for Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Ryan Wood, while the Blanchard Racing Team’s Aaron Love made contact with the wall in both races.

“Yeah, it means a lot, first round with the new team. To get a win, to get a pole position this weekend, absolutely stoked,” said Brown after his first event with Triple Eight.

“It’s a long year ahead. All these guys are driving great. So we’ll see where we end up.”

The second round of the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship will be the four-race Melbourne SuperSprint as part of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix from March 21 to 24 .

Boost Mobile new backer for Supercars’ pole award

Supercars has expanded its partnership with Boost Mobile for the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship season, with Boost Mobile backing an increased prize pool for pole winners to $100,000.

The official telecommunications partner of the Repco Supercars Championship and naming-rights sponsor of the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 has become the naming-rights sponsor of Supercars and Dunlop Series qualifying.

Starting with the Thrifty Bathurst 500, qualifying sessions for Supercars and Dunlop Series will be known as Boost Mobile Qualifying, with the pole sitter to be awarded the Boost Mobile Pole and a cash prize for topping the time sheets.

As an added incentive to drivers, the cash prize for the driver who claims pole position will increase considerably this season, with pole sitters for the two Supercars races at this weekend’s Thrifty Bathurst 500 receiving $5000.

The pole position winner of the Repco Bathurst 1000 will in 2024 receive a new $15,000 cash prize and the end of season Boost Mobile Pole Champion will receive $25,000.

“Boost Mobile’s expanded presence in Supercars reflects our commitment to delivering unparalleled experiences for the fans and support for the world class talent of the Supercars drivers,” said Jason Haynes of Boost Mobile.

“Excitement, adrenaline, and speed are traits that are aligned to Boost Mobile and Supercars, and we plan to continue pushing the envelope when it comes to showcasing the best in this great sport.

“We are very excited to sponsor Boost Mobile Qualifying, and I am looking forward to handing out the first Boost Mobile Pole cheque this weekend to our first pole sitters of 2024.”

New-look Erebus Motorsport breaks cover

Erebus Motorsport has revealed its new look for the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship, announcing TFH Hire Services as primary partner.

Following the controversy around the split with Brodie Kostecki and departure of title sponsor Coca-Cola, Erebus Motorsport is the last team to reveal its new look for 2024 ahead of the season-opening Thrifty Bathurst 500.

The team also confirmed Todd Hazelwood will run the #99, after running the #1 in testing.

The two cars will also carry backing from BIC, Grays, Pedders Suspension and Brakes, Lincoln Electric, Oz Wide Hire, and the Australian Army.

“The support of TFH coming into the Bathurst 500 has been invaluable and really lifted spirits,” said Erebus team principal Brad Tremain.

“We’re stoked Brett and everyone at TFH Racing not only share our passion for the sport but believe we can go out there and continue where we left off in 2023.”

TFH Hire Services CEO Brett Thomas added: “We’re pumped to add Supercars to that list, especially to be working with the awesome crew at Erebus Motorsport.

“We can’t wait to support Jack, Todd, and the whole team here at the Mountain as they show Supercars fans they’re here to race.

“We’re hoping this is just the start of a long and successful partnership. The cars look mega and we can’t wait to get both Jack and Todd out there on track.”