Photos Mark Walker June 30, 2022 (Comments off) (96)

HRT’s Awesome Brock Tribute

The Supercars throwback theme hasn’t always been a Sandown exclusive.

The 2015 Castrol Edge Townsville 400 saw the Holden Racing Team continue its 25th-anniversary festivities, with the event seeing the cars of Garth Tander and James Courtney don a livery with a hat tip to Peter Brock’s farewell scheme from 1997.

Prior to the seventh event of the ’97 Championship at Lakeside Raceway in June, Brock announced his first retirement from competition, in what was a successful season for the King of the Mountain: he won races from both the Symmons Plains and Oran Park weekends, as well as the Barbagallo Raceway round overall.

Partnered with Mark Skaife at Bathurst, Brock was prime to claim a tenth win in the 1000 until a mechanical failure sidelined the duo early.

Alongside Brock in the second car for the season was reigning Bathurst 1000 champion Greg Murphy, who won on his championship debut at Calder Park, with further race wins coming at Symmons Plains (two), Barbagallo Raceway, and Mallala (two), in the process capturing the Symmons, Mallala and Oran Park round victories.

Coming into Townsville 2015, the HRT duo were in the headlines after they came into contact with each other at the two lead-up events at Winton and Hidden Valley.

The event ultimately provided some solid results for the squad – Courtney, who was running car number 02 with a nod to Brock’s 05, claimed second in the Sunday race, while Tander finished fourth on Saturday.

Of note, the livery utilised the 2015-spec fluorescent pink on the flashes up the flanks of the VF Commodores, matching the standard colour of the wheels which were carried into the weekend.

Elsewhere on track at Townsville, it proved to be a Mark Winterbottom benefit, as the Ford driver extended his title lead with a pair of victories, drawing his advantage out to a sizeable 248 points – he ultimately claimed the title by 238 points eight rounds later at Sydney Olympic Park.

It was a costly one for some of his rivals, Craig Lowndes finished no better than ninth, Chaz Mostert could only muster a sixth, and Shane van Gisbergen left the round with results of tenth and 20th.

Winterbottom’s Prodrive teammate David Reynolds was next best with a second and a third, which followed on from a victory at the previous race at Hidden Valley, while Fabian Coulthard filled out the podium in the opener.

After Mostert won the Saturday pole, Scott McLaughlin claimed the top spot in qualifying on Sunday, his first for the year after he secured eight poles throughout the 2014 season.

However, the Volvo program was in the midst of suffering a sophomore slump, with the Sunday race converted into the now Indycar star’s fifth non-finish or non-start of the year.

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