Walkinshaw Andretti United has revived the famous lion and helmet logo for the retro livery which it will race at this weekend’s Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
The former Holden Racing Team has wound the clock back 20 years to commemorate its one-two finish in the Sandown round of the 1999 Australian Touring Car Championship with Mark Skaife and Craig Lowndes.
At what was then a sprint event, HRT dominated with a Lowndes-led front row lockout after qualifying and three one-two finishes in as many races, including two wins to Skaife.
Lowndes went on to take his third and final championship title that year despite his spectacular rollover at Calder Park which saw him miss the following round due to injury.
HRT as a whole claimed eight round wins out of 13 and 21 race wins out of 33, including the first 10 of the season.
While Winning Appliances branding occupies the side the #2 ZB Commodore of Scott Pye/Warren Luff and Appliances Online the side of #22 of James Courtney/Jack Perkins, the contemporary WAU cars feature Mobil 1’s logo on the bonnet just as the 1999 versions did.
The return of the iconic lion and helmet logo comes after it had been retired when Holden transferred factory team status from Walkinshaw Racing (as WAU was then known) to Triple Eight Race Engineering at the end of 2016.
“The 1999 livery is iconic, it’s a big piece of our history, and it’s absolutely amazing to see it replicated on-track this weekend,” said WAU Director, Ryan Walkinshaw.
“I could talk for days about how good it looks, but I think the fan response to this is going to speak volumes. It’s not only our loyal fans, who have stood by us for years and years, that are going to love this, we think the entire Supercars fan base will.
“The lion and helmet means so much to so many, including my family, and to have it back reminds people of who we are, and what we stand for.
“To have Mobil 1 in their true position on the bonnet speaks volumes about their support over the journey, and their commitment to our team, but it’s also fantastic to see new partners like Winning Appliances and Appliances Online on such an amazing livery, which they work so well with.
“1999 was an incredible year for the team, and a perfect weekend at Sandown, let’s hope we can replicate that this weekend.”
Cars #2 and #22 sit fourth and fifth respectively in the Pirtek Enduro Cup ahead of its conclusion this weekend, after Courtney/Perkins got WAU’s first podium of the season at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that both Courtney and Pye will be departing the team at the end of the season, with Chaz Mostert widely tipped to be taking over one of the seats.
Practice at Sandown starts with the first co-driver only session tomorrow at 1035 local time/AEDT.