Sparesbox Blog

Our Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar Power Rankings

By Brad Nash

Thu Mar 03 2016

Motorsport fans rejoice, for full-time racing is finally back! As this weekend’s Clipsal 500 rolls towards us, we thought we’d give you a little preview of the teams and drivers going into this year’s V8 Supercar season, which is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in years.

 

#11 – Charlie Schwerkolt/Preston Hire Racing

Charlie Schwerkolt Racing V8 Supercar
Image: Preston Hire Racing
Driver: Lee Holdsworth
Car: Holden Commodore
2015 result: 14th overall

 

Charlie Schwerkolt and his team are well and truly out on their own after splitting with Walkinshaw Racing (the team that owns HRT) at the end of last year

Following rumours of a technical partnership with both Red Bull AND Tekno Autosport both breaking down, the team and it’s lone driver in Lee Holdsworth will be hard pressed to make any real impact on the series.

 

#10 – Garry Rogers Motorsport

Garry Rogers Motorsport 2016 V8 Supercar
Image: Garry Rogers Motorsport
Drivers: Scott Mclaughlin, James Moffat
Car: Volvo S60
2015 Result: 7th overall

 

Garry Rogers Motorsport posted up just 2 podium finishes last year on the way to a 7th place finish in the overall team standings. Scott Mclaughlin returns to helm of the Volvo, while they’ve arguably strengthened their line up by replacing David Wall with James Moffat.

Aside from this though, despite the new livery and the introduction of a new Dunlop series program, it doesn’t appear all that much has changed at GRM. Not something that holds them in great stead going into this weekend’s first round.

 

#9 – Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport 2016 V8 Supercar
Source: Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport
Drivers: Nick Percat, Andre Heimgartner
Car: Holden Commodore
2015 Result: 10th overall

 

Debuting matching cars for the first time, Lucas Dumbrell’s team have added fresh blood to their driver line up, with the outgoing Tim Blanchard replaced with Andre Heimgartner, a product of the Prodrive-operated Super Black Racing team.

After a pretty poor showing in 2015 and a fresh coat of paint for their pair of Holdens which they appear to be especially proud of, they’ll be hoping to bounce back with some competitive results.

 

#8 – Tekno Autosports

Tekno Autosport 2016 V8 Supercar
Image: Tekno Autosports
Driver: Will Davison
Car: Holden Commodore
2015 Result: 9th overall

 

Tekno enter the 2016 V8 Supercars championship sporting a large, Shane Van Gisbergen-shaped hole in their make-up. Devoid of the recent Bathurst 12 Hour champ, Tekno is once again running a single Commodore (sourced from Triple Eight) this season, employing the talents of Will Davison in piloting their entry.

Nonetheless, they’ll surely be buoyed by their final triumph with SVG, with the Tekno McLaren taking out the 12-hour last month in brilliant fashion.

 

#7 – DJR Team Penske

DJR Team Penske 2016 V8 Supercar
Image: DJR Team Penske
Drivers: Fabian Coulthard, Scott Pye
Car: Ford Falcon
2015 Result: 13th overall

 

Team Penske have moved to a 2-car line up this year, injecting the talents of Fabian Coulthard into their mould in the second Ford Falcon alongside Scott Pye.

A strong enduro team has also been lined up for DJR, with a combined 25 Bathurst 1000 starts between the two secondary drivers. Expect a strong showing from them at this weekend’s round, at the very least.

 

#6 – Erebus Motorsport

Erebus motorsport 2016 v8 supercar
Image: Erebus Motorsport
Drivers: David Reynolds, Aaren Russell
Car: Holden Commodore
2015 Result: 11th overall

 

With a fresh pair of Holdens, a fresh driver line up and a classy looking… er, fresh, Penrite Livery, things are looking up for Erebus motorsport after a couple of relatively grey years running Mercedes Benz cars.

A new chapter beckons for Erebus, who claim to be aiming for a top 10 finish at this weekend’s Clipsal 500. With David Reynolds and Aaren Russell at the wheel, things are looking hopeful for the team.

 

#5 – Nissan Motorsport

Nissan Motorsport 2016 V8 Supercar
Image: Nissan Motorsport
Drivers: Rick Kelly, Todd Kelly, Michael Caruso, Dale Wood
Car: Nissan Altima
2015 Result: 5th & 6th overall

 

With the full force of NISMO behind them, all four Nissans that you see on this year’s V8 Supercar grid will be driven under the Nissan Motorsport banner.

Four strong drivers are also lined up to pilot them, with the Kelly brothers getting an Altima each, Michael Caruso stepping into one and Dale Wood recently completing a move from BJR.

 

#4 – Holden Racing Team

Holden Racing Team 2016 V8 Supercar
Image: Holden Racing Team
Drivers: James Courtney, Garth Tander
Car: Holden Commodore
2015 Result: 3rd overall

 

HRT’s team championship drought grows ever longer, as does their wait for a driver’s championship. Following a considerable downsizing which included splitting from Charlie Schwerkolt Racing, parent team Walkinshaw Racing streamlining their efforts into the two HRT cars. 2016 actually marks the final year of the partnership agreement between Walkinshaw and HRT, which could make for some interesting developments as the season progresses.

The usual suspects feature in their driver line up, with long time HRT Drivers Garth Tander and James Courtney also entering the final year of their contracts with the team. We’re feeling the retro-inspired livery though.

 

#3 – Brad Jones Racing

BJR
Image: Freightliner/Brad Jones Racing
Drivers: Jason Bright, Tim Slade
Car: Holden Commodore
2015 Result: 4th overall

 

Experience is key at BJR, who enjoyed a great championship last year and kicked off 2016 by topping the time sheets at the most recent Winton testing day.

With a great combo in the veteran Jason Bright and the ever-improving Tim Slade, they’re looking strong to build on their 4th place finish and challenge the big boys at HRT.

 

#2 – Prodrive Racing Australia

Prodrive Racing 2015 V8 Supercar
Image: Prodrive Racing Australia
Drivers: Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert (Rod Nash Racing), Cam Waters, Chris Pither (Super Black Racing)
Car: Ford Falcon
2015 Result: 2nd overall (Rod Nash Racing and Super Black Racing placed 8th and 16th respectively)

 

Fielding 4 seperate cars under 3 different team names, the flag of Prodrive is waving stronger than ever going into the new season. Only 150 points seperated Prodrive and Triple Eight at the end of last year’s standings, with the sudden return to form of Jamie Whincup proving the deciding factor at the final round.

Nonetheless, defending Drivers’ Champion Mark Winterbottom will be sporting new colours in the Bottle-O racing car, while young-gun Chaz Mostert (and his presumably robotic arm) will be returning after that horrific smash at Bathurst. The debut of Dunlop Series champion Cam Waters is also seriously exciting.

 

#1 – Triple Eight Race Engineering

Triple Eight Red Bull Racing Australia V8 Supercar
Image: Red Bull Racing Australia
Drivers: Jamie Whincup, Shane Van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes
Car: Holden Commodore
2015 result: 1st overall

 

Fielding easily the strongest driver line up and returning as reigning teams champion for this year’s series, Triple Eight come with the weight of both Red Bull Racing Australia (now with added Van Gisbergen!) and the 888 Vortex Racing car of Craig Lowndes behind them.

With the Holden looking stronger than ever too, it’s hard to look past Triple Eight as favourites to take out this year’s title.

 

Featured image: Speedcafe