MELBOURNE, Victoria, Australia – official release — Mark Horsburgh photo —
Monster Energy will make a long awaited return to the V8 Supercars Championship via a strategic alliance with James Courtney and the Holden Racing Team.
The Holden Racing Team has subsequently revealed a unique, darker testing livery ahead of next month’s sydney.com SuperTest at Sydney Motorsport Park, signalling its intentions for a season-long celebration for its 25th anniversary.
The team’s tough, one-off look for its HRT Commodores provides the first taste of its new partnership with Monster Energy – which has also signed a personal deal with 2010 V8 Supercars Champion Courtney.
The testing livery is part of a number of exciting, unique schemes planned for the team’s milestone season, including its traditional ANZAC livery that this year commemorates the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, and other one-off activations. HRT’s regular season livery will then be officially unveiled at the season-opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on the team’s birthday, Wednesday, Feb. 25.
Following a 12 month hiatus from V8 Supercars, Monster Energy believed the timing was right and the Holden Racing Team the perfect fit for a partnership set to shake up the series.
“I think the Monster brand is a great fit for not only me, but for V8 Supercars. It’s fast, aggressive, exciting and brings a lot of color,” said Courtney. “After all the work we’ve put in last year and over the previous years I’m definitely ready to win this thing. Its been killing me seeing the other guy up there winning so much. So for us to take it down would be pretty special. We’ve done it before, he’s not unbeatable, we’ll do it again.”
Holden’s official factory racing team, founded in 1990, remains one of the great Australian sporting success stories – with its long-term relationship with iconic manufacturer Holden not only the longest in Australian motorsport, but also its most successful.
GM Holden Motorsport and Sponsorship Manager Simon McNamara said Holden is proud of its long-time relationship with the official factory team.
“HRT is a real source of pride for all of us at Holden – and you only need to look back through history to see the incredible things this team has achieved over a quarter of a century,” McNamara said. “With all the ingredients in place, we fully expect the legend to continue with more race wins and championships.”
HRT Managing Director Adrian Burgess said the milestone year for the team was a good omen for additional success on-track, and welcomes the Monster Energy claw and ethos back to the V8 Supercars paddock.
“Our team has been working tirelessly in the off season to continue improving on our results to give all our fans and partners something to celebrate,” said Burgess. “Our focus is not only to win more races, but the championship for 2015. We are so proud to be partnering with an incredible global brand like Monster Energy.”
“Their belief in us is testament to our team’s commitment to winning and their involvement will help bring another dimension to our own brand, that we are incredibly excited about sharing with our fans,” Burgess added. “This is a special year for HRT, with 25 years of incredible history to celebrate – but we’ve also been working hard through the off-season to ensure we’re at the sharp end of the field to give the fans even more to celebrate.”
“It’s also fantastic to see our new partnership with Monster Energy take effect, with the famous claw marks adorning our HRT Commodores.”
The team enters the new season with an unchanged primary driver line-up featuring Courtney, as well as 2007 V8 Supercars Champion and three-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander. Both have their sights locked on the front of the field, with race wins and HRT’s seventh ATCC/V8SC title the goal.
“I’ve been training very hard over the off-season, and can’t wait to get back in my HRT Commodore and take the fight to the front of the grid,” Tander said. “This year is HRT’s 25th anniversary, and there would be no better way to kick things off than with a win in Adelaide and build momentum from there. I’ve won the event twice, and HRT’s taken six Clipsal victories – so we know how to blast-off in style.”
“We exist to win – races and championships – and this year we expect to be at the front consistently,” Courtney added. “We’ll be working tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the first race to ensure that the HRT Commodore comes out of the transporter quick – and then we’ll turn up the heat to ensure we stay there.”
The V8 Supercars officially kick off at the Championship opener in Adelaide with the Clipsal 500, where Courtney won the final race on Sunday in 2014.
“Going back to Clipsal this year as the reigning champion, definitely gives you a little bit more confidence when you roll in there,” Courtney said. “I love street races, so can’t wait to get out there and get the street fight on.”
CREDIT: Holden Racing Team/V8 Supercars