A KEY sponsor anniversary will see James Courtney switch numbers in this year’s Supercars Championship, as Walkinshaw Andretti United announces naming-rights backing.
The No.22, used by the team since 2004, will be replaced by the No.25 in honour of Mobil 1’s 25th season of sponsoring the Clayton-based squad.
Boost Mobile has also stepped up their presence, taking on joint title sponsorship of Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing and extending its backing to Scott Pye’s No.2 car, after featuring as primary sponsor of Courtney’s car since Phillip Island last year.
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“To announce Mobil 1™ and Boost Mobile as co-naming rights partners today is fantastic for the team,” team co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw said.
“Having Mobil as an integral partner to our team for a quarter of a century is a testament to the strength and integrity of our relationship. It’s been an amazing journey with Mobil so far. We have enjoyed a great deal of success together, so we are all absolutely delighted that our partnership is continuing in 2018, and they are remaining a co-naming rights partner.
“It’s great that they are joining Boost Mobile, a company that we formed an incredibly strong relationship with at the beginning of last year, to create Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing.
“We welcome back SharkBite Plumbing Solutions, VISA Global Logistics, and SP Tools who will continue their integral role with the team, and welcome Kawana, who have joined as a partner for the season ahead.”
The No.25 hasn’t been seen on the Supercars grid since the end of the 2009 season, the last for Jason Bright’s Britek squad, but the digits are most famously associated with the recently-retired Tony Longhurst.
1988 saw Longhurst switch mid-year to the No.25 as a tie-in to Benson & Hedges cigarette sponsorship, winning that year’s Bathurst 1000. He would use the number across a variety of Fords, BMWs and a Holden until shuttering his Supercars team at the end of the 1999 season.
The No.25 had already notched up a Bathurst win in 1983, the Marlboro Holden Dealer Team adopting the number for its second car throughout the early 1980s.
Coincidentally, the No.25 has been used by the Andretti Autosport IndyCar squad in the past, Walkinshaw Andretti United co-owner Michael Andretti’s son Marco using the number for a couple of seasons.
Walkinshaw Andretti United are expected to shake down a brand new Holden ZB Commodore at Winton next week ahead of the official pre-season test day at Sydney Motorsport Park on February 16.