Supercars retro round should inspire other motorsports

Jawad Yaqub Roar Guru

By Jawad Yaqub, Jawad Yaqub is a Roar Guru

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    Themed rounds for sports may be just a novelty for some, but for most they are a welcome change of atmosphere and a distinctive look at the sports that we are used to in one form.

    Take the theme of ‘retro’, for example, which is quite popular. The celebration of certain pastimes and eras creates a sense of nostalgia and gives people of younger generations the chance to experience the culture that came before them.

    The Supercars championship in 2016 transformed the annual start to the Enduro Cup at the Sandown 500 into ‘retro round’ and has sought to continue the tradition for this year’s event.

    With Supercars being ensconced in rich history, the retro round is an apt celebration of the sport’s iconic past.

    From retro liveries on the cars competing in the 500-kilometre endurance race to historic car displays and fans dressing up in classic attire – you’d almost expect the television coverage to be presented in the 4:3 aspect ratio.

    An online fan vote determined the design of Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen’s #55 Supercheap Auto Racing car, with it being decided that the famous colours of 1999 would be resurrected by the retailer.

    “Retro round is a great concept and it is nice to be able to recognise a bit of Supercheap Auto’s 20-year history in the sport this weekend at the Sandown 500,” said Mostert about the selected livery for his car.

    “We ran one of their retro liveries last year, which was a lot of fun and got a great fan response, so hopefully the fans really like what we’ve got this year. John Briggs played a big role in Supercheap Auto’s entry to the sport so hopefully we can do him proud.”

    Similarly DJR Team Penske have celebrated 50 years with fuel giant Shell by reviving the logo that team owner Dick Johnson first used in 1967.

    Several of the Holden outfits have paid tribute to the marque’s successful history in Australian touring cars, with the Red Bull Holden Racing Team evoking memories of the original Holden Dealer Team and with Erebus Motorsport recreating the livery saw that saw Team Brock triumph at Sandown in 1976.

    A piece of Supercars history in his own right, Craig Lowndes once again sees his #888 Team Vortex Commodore bare the colours run by the successful Colin Bond in the 1980s.

    (Image: POLESTAR Volvo)

    While for the HSV Racing Team, their transformation on James Courtney and Jack Perkins’ #22 Commodore marks the tenth anniversary of former driver Garth Tander’s title triumph in 2007.

    Car #2 revives another of Peter Brock’s classic liveries, with Scott Pye and Warren Luff running the iconic blue and white colours from 1994.

    Nissan Motorsport, meanwhile, have utilised their international heritage to present one of their Sandown 500 challengers, with Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore’s #23 Altima taking the manufacturer’s famous ‘Calsonic’ livery on board.

    “Nissan has achieved a lot in global motorsport and there are so many great liveries to choose from,” said Caruso ahead of Sandown.

    “The Calsonic livery is one of Nissan’s most famous and perfectly represents its racing heritage.

    “The original Calsonic GT-R was so successful on the track. A perfect record is unheard of in motorsport, so this definitely elevates this car to legendary status.”

    The retro round isn’t only about reviving liveries on cars for a sense of nostalgia; it is an acknowledgement of a sport’s history that is highlighted through an event like this.

    The Nissan example illustrates how deep motorsport is internationally and, of course, the immense diversity across multiple categories.

    Formula One is a sport that ought to embrace a retro round. With such an illustrious past there would be an incredible wealth that could be resurrected and put on display for fans and viewers alike.

    Liberty Media, who are the new commercial rights holders for the premier open-wheel category, have clearly dictated their desire to increase the Formula One fan base, whether it is trackside or through viewing on a screen.

    Turning back the clock at a heritage venue such as Silverstone and with classic teams such as Ferrari, McLaren and Williams reviving some of their most inspiring liveries for the event would be such a sight for Formula One.

    Supercars’ effort for the Sandown 500 are one to be applauded. As tacky as some retro themes can be, it would be great for any and all sports to dedicate one small portion of their season to reviving retro.

    Time has seen an advancement in the technologies that go into motorsport, but it is great to see at the Sandown 500 that the spirit and sheer passion for racing from the past is well and truly alive.

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    The Crowd Says (3)

    • Roar Guru

      September 15th 2017 @ 8:59pm
      Bayden Westerweller said | September 15th 2017 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

      So long as the concept isn’t abused and reaches saturation point, it certainly has a place in global categories. It needs to retain relevance to each outfit in respect to its past, rather than representing a shameless marketing exercise. The ’08 Tander HSV livery on Courtney’s entry is stretching it a little, there needs to be tight parameters for whichever categories adopts the concept.

      • Roar Guru

        September 16th 2017 @ 9:37am
        Jawad Yaqub said | September 16th 2017 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Not at all, just keep it as a one-off every year at one event. It would be as you say, be reaching saturation point if a themed round was implemented at every single race. A single retro round would suffice, but the parameters would be tight.

    • September 16th 2017 @ 7:00pm
      Garry Edwards said | September 16th 2017 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

      The retro is required by Sandown it’s a big event, but! It has no soul, delivers no emotion, it’s like a politician lacks empathy. People don’t relate to Sandown as being a big event because of this and SC’s have realised this and decided to give it an identity … enter the Retro Look.
      With the Iconic look the Sandown 500 will be remembered and spoke of and, dare I say it, more people not necessarily motorsport enthusiasts will also remember the race, the weather conditions, the drivers and teams and the employed strategy and most of all, who won.
      As for Bathurst, well, Bathurst there is no other and as such has an aura of it’s own it’s unique and as they say: If we take Bathurst today, tomorrow we take the world. Bathurst sold cars back in the 60’s/70’s and too be honest every engineer who worked for Holden, Ford or Chrysler in that period knew the start point for the design of a new model was the: FIRST GEAR RATIO… Fact! Stop press. Then the diff, engine and finally the body design. End of story. End of E. Green too!
      The Gold Coast….uummm yeah well it’s the GC that’s it’s. A simple claim but historically it’s the GC everybody wants to be at the GC. That in itself is a retro statement!……..
      Finally all the other races merely make the calendar as championship rounds save, Melb. and it’s money draining F1 round. no sarcasm intended.
      But on a more emotive note: What was interesting was to see the liveries and their relationship to a by gone era and oddly enough the winning design or retro look as presented was awarded to the S. Pye Holden initially driven by G. Tander but for me, the high point being if you looked in the top left corner of that particular presentation comparison on Fox Sports there was the ultimate winningest car of all time the Allan Moffat #9 .Coca-Cola Ford Mustang with the Peter Molloy engineered Boss 302! Now that’s nostalgia and should Ford decide to run the Mustang in 18 months, regardless of team, who will be awarded the privilege? James? If he can make the cut after this year with a front running Ford team, maybe?…… I know, I know…. I’m dreaming, at this stage a bridge well beyond reach, planets moons, stars and Ford teams never ever align.
      But as you say parameters must be in place but therein lies the disappointment in so far as Nissan international has been retroed, sports sedans have been retroed, Auscars have been retroed, etc. etc. etc. nonetheless the doors have been opened and disappointment is an inherent part of entertainment, look at the Wallabies!.
      And yes the retro look will appear on the newly acquired soon to be raced Thunder 5000’s, can’t wait. Maybe we’ll see a retro Max Stewart (the Jolly Green Giant) Lola T440, Maybe a retro John McCormack Lola T400, or maybe a John Goss Retro Flat Crank F5000 and best of all an Allan Jones Saudi Air Lola T330 phew man that was an unbelievable drive at Oran Park.
      Oh! for the good ‘ole days. As you can see I’m all for the retro…. at Sandown and for most other watchable, high powered categories to get involved but…….parameters, before disappointment please.
      Anyway back to dreaming, zzzzzzzzzzzoooooossss, zzzzzzoooooosssssss.

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