V8 Supercar champions unveil 2009 challenger and preview season ahead Defending V8 Supercar drivers' and teams' champions, TeamVodafone pulled the covers off their all-new 2009 racer and previewed a challenging season of competition at the...
V8 Supercar champions unveil 2009 challenger and preview season ahead
Defending V8 Supercar drivers' and teams' champions, TeamVodafone pulled the covers off their all-new 2009 racer and previewed a challenging season of competition at the Museum of Sydney today. Champion Jamie Whincup and teammate Craig Lowndes showed off a sleek new livery, with subtle evolutions upon the fan-favourite 2008 design.
The car retains its customary Vodafone fluorescent rocket red and chrome base, smoothly extending over an updated body which sits flatter on the road but retains its aggressive looks with a musclier front and more defined lines.
The livery incorporates two new major partners who will share the 2009 journey with TeamVodafone - Norton from Symantec and Hog's Breath Cafe. Details of the Norton sponsorship will be announced at a press conference in Melbourne on Wednesday (March 4).
No stranger to the V8 Supercar paddock, Hog's Breath Cafe heightens its involvement with the champion team of the world's premier touring car category in 2009. Eyes will be immediately drawn to the racecar's badging within the front grill, which features 'Hogster', the Hog's Breath Cafe mascot. 'Hogster' will hit the grid alongside the team at each round of the series in 2009, providing that little bit of extra grunt that Whincup and Lowndes need to challenge for the title. The team retains the support of major partners Vodafone, Nokia, Toshiba, Dexion and Komatsu in 2009.
Addressing guests present at today's launch, 2008 champion Jamie Whincup (Car #1) declared his intentions for what he predicted would be the toughest season of V8 Supercar competition yet.
"I've enjoyed my break but am absolutely itching to get back into racing," said Whincup. "The crew has been working very hard over the break to build and prepare completely new cars for Craig and myself and the attention to detail of the finished product is amazing."
"Fans will recognise a similar livery to 2008 which carries over very well onto the new spec cars that have a much more aggressive stance on the road." He said a raft of new rule changes would keep competitors on their toes in 2009. "There have been numerous changes, some minor and some major. The qualifying changes combined with a new tyre compound are sure to shake things up."
"The team that best manages these changes will really shine -- I believe TeamVodafone is capable of recording back-to-back championships with our camp enjoying very few personnel changes over the break," he explained.
Teammate Craig Lowndes (Car #888) said he had been personally inspired by the efforts of the crew to prepare his new-spec V8 Supercar for the new season.
"The guys have been working long hours to make these cars as good as possible, it really is amazing to see what they have achieved in such a short time," said Lowndes. "I'm looking forward to a new season of challenges - this is the first time we've seen such a dramatic overhaul of the championship.
"Add two new tracks into the mix and you have the makings of an enthralling series, I can't wait to get started on the streets of Adelaide in a few weeks' time," Lowndes concluded.
Team Principal and co-owner of Triple Eight Race Engineering, Roland Dane said the team had set an incredibly high benchmark with their 2008 success but believed it could be bettered this season. "We were dominant last season but there is still room for improvement, we are constantly striving to be the best and still have a number of events to conquer," said Dane. "The off-season has been our busiest yet. The new workshop has been a hive of activity, with the crew not only building and preparing our own new cars but also building new cars for Dick Johnson Racing, Paul Cruickshank Racing and Team IntaRacing."
"There's plenty of changes to tackle but if anyone can adjust to what is required, it is us."
The 14-round V8 Supercar Championship opens with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 19-22.