TeamVodafone reveal 2011 racecars and enduro drivers
Sydney's Barangaroo precinct played host to TeamVodafone's 2011 V8 Supercar season launch today, with the fit and focused pairing of Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes revealing a new look and livery to sponsors, corporate guests, media and fans.
Two icons filled the frame. In the foreground sat the newest evolution of the TeamVodafone Supercar, one of Australia's most recognised touring cars. The background was filled by Sydney's Harbour Bridge, one of Australia's most recognised landmarks.
Another Australian icon was present - mateship. Eager to ease the burden of the devastating floods in Queensland, the Brisbane-based team had pulled out all stops to build a motor racing track on the development's shoreline, giving charity auction winners the ultimate V8 Supercar experience in the brand new 2011 racecar.
Whincup and Lowndes met with the 10 highest bidders before taking them each for an unforgettable ride around the purpose-built precinct.
The rides, which raised $8,047.00 were the first of a series of online auctions to raise money for the Queensland Flood Appeal. A further $7,000.00 was donated by the NSW Government's Baranagaroo precinct, which is being developed as one of the most ambitious and significant waterfront projects anywhere in the world.
The new livery builds on the TeamVodafone brand first introduced in 2007, and evolving ever since. Rocket red and chrome wash over the VEII Commodore from front bumper to rear bar, with black detailing setting off an aggressive overall stance.
Drivers Lowndes and Whincup were pleased with the look of their new ride but were eager to change the #888 and #88 stickers by season's end.
"2010 was an exemplary year for the team," said last year's runner up, Whincup. "We won the most races and dominated the enduro's to be crowned team's champions, but came up short in the driver's stakes by a small margin.
"Both Craig and myself are confident that, after a full season in the Commodore, we are ready to challenge for the title once again and get that #1 back on one of the TeamVodafone Holdens."
Lowndes agreed with his teammate and said the team had worked incredibly hard during the off-season to build two potential race-winning cars.
"We have the hardest-working team in V8 Supercars and it's the consistency within our organisation that will ensure we are contenders in 2011," said Lowndes.
"Our goal in 2011 is to re-claim the driver's title and I believe that Jamie and myself will be in the running."
John Casey of Vodafone Australia looked forward to another successful season with the team as it seeks to take back top ranking.
"2011 is going to be another incredible year of racing for TeamVodafone," said Casey. "It's been fantastic to have been part of the growth of the team over the last five years, and we are proud to continue this great partnership as it continues to go from strength to strength.
"This year will see Vodafone bringing bigger, better and bolder ideas to life for the fans and our customers. We are committed as ever, to delivering new and exciting ways for TeamVodafone fans to get in on the action."
The team's endurance driver lineup was also revealed today. Mark Skaife will re-unite with Craig Lowndes in the #888 Holden Commodore following their incredible victories at Phillip Island and Bathurst last year.
"Teaming up with Craig last year was an absolute pleasure and I could not have predicted that we would walk away with two enduro wins," said Skaife.
"The team is extremely professional in every aspect and I feel privileged to be returning to the endurance race co-driver role in what is sure to be a very strong car come September."
Though the 'Legends' loom large, the 'Guns' pairing is eager to play a part.
Andrew Thompson will partner Jamie Whincup in car #88, and the young charger is more determined than ever to prove his worth in the series after battling with uncompetitive drives in seasons past.
"It's a huge opportunity for me and I feel extremely lucky to have been given this chance," said Thompson.
"I have a lot of work to do to repay the faith but I am really looking forward to getting the year underway and proving what I can do."
One of the team's newest faces, Adrian Burgess, is settling in well after two weeks in the workshop and is eager to get the season underway in his role as Team Principal.
"The team has been hard at work in preparing for 2011 and we're very focused on the goal of bringing back the driver's championship," said Burgess.
"2010 saw the team build plenty of momentum in its first season with the Holden Commodore, which we feel will serve us well heading into the season opener next month."
The 2011 V8 Supercar season gets underway this weekend with the official test to be held at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway.
The first round will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi from February 10-12.