Red Bull Racing Australia’s Holdens will sport a new look at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Described by the team as a ‘special edition’ livery, the new scheme will be unveiled at the Mount Panorama Circuit on Wednesday morning.
The move will mark the first time that Triple Eight has made an in-season livery change since taking on primary sponsorship from the energy drinks firm at the start of last year.
The team previously rolled out several one-offs in its TeamVodafone guise, including Red Dust, McGrath Foundation and GECKO defence force charity looks, as well as its Marlboro retro scheme of Bathurst, 2012.
CLICK HERE to see all of Triple Eight’s Vodafone liveries
Although giving little away ahead of the launch, the squad has confirmed that the Bathurst livery will be part of a Red Bull promotion, rather than another retro effort.
The rebranding is expected to include new team uniforms, with associated merchandise to be sold at the circuit.
Red Bull heads to Bathurst as heavy favourites this year following a dominant run from Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell at the Sandown 500.
Whincup currently enjoys a 275 point championship lead over team-mate Craig Lowndes, who finished fourth at Sandown alongside new-for-2014 co-driver and reigning Bathurst winner Steven Richards.
Whincup is typically downplaying his chances this year, citing the circuit’s new surface as a major curveball for all competitors.
“The big challenge this year is the resurfacing of the track as it’s dramatically going to change the feel and setup of car,” he said.
“It’ll be the first time that I see the circuit since the resurfacing (and), to be honest, we’re unsure of what our pace will be like.
“We’ll be going up there with a level playing field and just trying to make the car as quick as possible on Thursday and Friday.”
Lowndes has been largely out-gunned by Whincup at Bathurst over the last two years and sees the resurface as an opportunity to steal a march on his team-mate.
The 40-year-old and his race engineer Jeromy Moore teamed up at Maranello Motorsport for February’s Bathurst 12 Hour, where they won on the new surface.
“I think that we’ve got to get a good set-up early in the practice sessions,” said Lowndes, who admitted that there is “no doubt” that Whincup will head to the event as favourite.
“If you make a good start to the weekend you grow confidence and can keep chipping away at it.
“We should have a good car there but we’ve just got to make the most of it.”
Moore expects the surface to be around two seconds faster than last year, where Whincup took pole with a 2:07.88s lap.
“All the bumps are still there, it’s not really any smoother, it’s just that the track grip has been increased,” he said.
“Overall we won’t look to be changing the car too much, other than accounting for a bit more track grip.
“We enjoyed a bit of insight into the track (at the 12 Hour) and hopefully it gives us a bit of a leg up.”
Moore stresses that qualifying is increasingly vital even in the endurance races, with poor early track position hurting the #888 against its sister entry over recent years.
“I think we’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said of recent Bathurst performances.
“A lot of it has been about track position on the Sunday and we’ve been fast in fresh air but behind people, we’ve struggled.
“We’ve qualified not as well as the other car in the last couple of endurance races and not only does that compromise your strategy, you find yourselves stuck behind people.
“If anything I think we need to work on our qualifying.”
V8 Supercars qualifying will again be held over a 40 minute Friday session this year, with the Top 10 Shootout scheduled to get underway at 1710 the following day.