Team 18 has drawn on major sponsor Irwin Tools’ successful NASCAR history in designing its retro livery for this weekend’s Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
The #18 ZB Commodore, to be driven by Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards, will carry a look similar to that which Kurt Busch raced with for half of his title-winning NASCAR Cup Series campaign in 2004.
Among the details are the large #18 on the front door, which is accompanied by a smaller ‘85’ in an apparent nod to the year in which Irwin was founded, and NASCAR-style placement of logos for Irwin’s sub-brands behind the front wheels.
“It’s really cool to race with a livery that has a lot of history, this is the first time I’ve raced with Irwin in Supercars but it shows they’ve been in global motorsport for a long time,” said Winterbottom, himself a two-time Sandown 500 winner.
“To replicate the Kurt Busch championship winning car and see how good it looks and to then even drive with it is really special, it looks very NASCAR and it’s cool to carry some history with us.
“Richo and I will try our best to do the colours proud and try and get the best result we can, we are really looking forward to it and a change of colour can make the car go quick so we will see how it goes.”
Richards added, “Irwin Tools has a pretty rich history in racing in the US and in Australia over the past 10-15 years, so it’s great to be able to pay homage to that.
“The livery looks really cool, I think it is fantastic and I’m looking forward to getting our NASCAR on and running it at Sandown.”
Winterbottom/Richards finished sixth in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 but slipped to 11th in the Pirtek Enduro Cup after coming home 19th in each race on the Gold Coast.
Practice 1 at Sandown, for co-drivers only, starts on Friday at 1035 local time/AEDT.