Volvo retro colours to remain for Bathurst
Garry Rogers Motorsport will continue to field its two Volvos in retro colours at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The team ran Volvo’s 1986 Australian Touring Car Championship winning livery across both of its S60s at the recent retro-themed Wilson Security Sandown 500.
Supported by sponsors Wilson Security and Valvoline, GRM’s tribute to Volvo’s past came amid legal action against the manufacturer over its decision to quit the team at season’s end.
GRM’s Barry Rogers says that the positive response to the livery at Sandown has triggered a desire to continue for Bathurst, which has received sign-off from Volvo.
“It was a combination of a request from our sponsor group and the reaction from the fans,” Rogers told Speedcafe.com of the decision.
“We’ve had people that weren’t at Sandown but will be at Bathurst ringing and emailing telling us how much they wanted it to continue on.
“We made a request to Volvo Australia to allow it to continue and they’ve given their approval, so it will stay for Bathurst.”
Rogers estimates that its Sandown retro program, which included a change of livery and new crew apparel, cost up to $25,000.
While a number of teams adopted throwback colours, the Melbourne-based GRM was widely considered to have best executed the concept.
Supercars has indicated that it would like to make Sandown an annual retro-themed event, embracing the history of the race that was recently secured for three more years.
Although downplaying the cost of the exercise, Rogers is apprehensive about the prospect of backing up with another retro round in 2017.
“Personally, I think as a one-off it was fantastic but I’m not sure if it will work every year,” he said.
“The cost side works if the sponsors are enthusiastic and want to get it done.
“But we don’t want to be pulling out liveries for the sake of it if they don’t mean anything.
“So if it can be done every year or once every five years or something like that, I’m not sure.”
GRM has meanwhile completed the rebuild of the chassis that James Golding crashed heavily on the opening lap at Sandown.
The #33 Scott McLaughlin/David Wall and #34 James Moffat/Golding S60s will be dispatched to Mount Panorama on Sunday as scheduled.