A number of V8 Supercars teams have added ANZAC tributes to their liveries for this weekend’s ITM 500 Auckland at Pukekohe.
The opening 100km heat on Friday will mark the first time that the category has held a race on ANZAC day, which commemorates the joint Australian-New Zealand effort in World War I.
V8 Supercars is promoting the meeting under the tagline of ‘Close friends, fierce rivals’ in reference to the relationship between the two countries.
An ANZAC day service is expected to take place at the circuit prior to opening practice on Friday.
Last year’s Pukekohe meeting fell within a fortnight of the landmark date and saw the Holden Racing Team sport an ANZAC-themed livery.
As previously unveiled, the factory Holden squad has continued the theme this year, where it will be joined by significant tributes from several others.
The Erebus Motorsport, Ford Performance Racing, Dick Johnson Racing entries and have all received ‘Lest We Forget’ stickers ahead of the weekend.
The gesture from Erebus sees the ANZAC ‘Rising Sun’ symbol and corresponding poppy on the roof of its two E63s.
FPR meanwhile adds its mark of respect to a pre-existing link with the Royal Australian Navy, which has seen marine technicians work with the race team.
“Racing on ANZAC Day is very special for the team, especially given our relationship with the Royal Australian Navy,” said FPR team principal Tim Edwards.
“We are proud to play a small part in representing the men and women that defend our country and this weekend we take great pride in honouring their sacrifice.”
Although his car has arrived at the circuit in unchanged Supercheap Auto hues, Tim Slade says that the weekend will be particularly special for him.
The South Australian’s late grandfather, Herbert Frank, was a Flight Lieutenant with the Royal Australian Air Force during WWII, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross for ‘exceptional valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy’.
“While it’s a race meeting, and will be flat out, we will have to remind ourselves what ANZAC day is all about,” Slade said.
“It’s always meant something to me because my grandpa fought in the war, but it’s also important to remember those who risked their lives for everyone back home in Australia.
“Of course, seeing the tribute to the Spirit of the ANZACs on the Holden Racing Team Commodores is also very special – and makes me proud of what people like my grandfather did for our country.”
See below for Speedcafe.com’s ITM 500 Auckland Form Guide