Craig Lowndes won’t be the only V8 Supercars driver in Caltex colours this season, with the fuel giant also signing up as the major backer of Renee Gracie’s Dunlop Series entry.
Caltex replaces Fujitsu, which after starting its association in karts had been Gracie’s primary supporter through two seasons of Carrera Cup and last year’s Dunlop Series foray.
Gracie finished 18th in her inaugural Dunlop Series season, scoring a best race result of 12th aboard a Paul Morris Motorsport-run Ford.
The 21-year-old’s management is yet to conclude a deal with a team for this year, but it is thought likely that she will return to the Norwell-based operation and Triple Eight built Falcon.
Gracie worked alongside Lowndes as Caltex ambassadors last year and say she’s excited to continue to learn from the six-time Bathurst 1000 winner in 2016.
The new deal includes part-sponsorship of Gracie’s Harvey Norman Supergirls Bathurst wildcard, which will return for a second attempt at the big race in October.
“It’s fantastic to know I have Australia’s leading fuel company putting their full support behind me and I am extremely proud to be receiving this level of backing from Caltex,” Gracie said.
“My racing hero has always been Craig Lowndes and to know that both he and I will be sponsored by Caltex for the year ahead is fantastic.
“Craig and I did some appearances together last year and he’s a great guy, and a genuine benchmark when it comes to fan engagement.
“Hopefully I can look forward to learning more from him as part of this relationship.”
Caltex last appeared as a primary sponsor in the main series in 2007 and has not had a car in the second tier since 2000, where David Besnard won the final two rounds in the company’s colours.
“This year is a big year for Caltex in the V8 Supercar series – we’re excited to not only support elite drivers, but also the grassroots of V8s in a bigger way through Team Caltex and Renee,” said Caltex’s Executive General Manager Commercial, Bruce Rosengarten.
“Renee did us proud last year and we’re looking forward to a successful year with her in 2016.”
Gracie’s Dunlop Series entry will sport the #98, with a livery to be unveiled in the lead-up to Adelaide’s March 3-6 season opener.