Australia Supercars: DJR Team Penske unveils longterm deal with Shell

(Photo courtesy DJR Team Penske)
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The Virgin Australia Supercar Championship series (formerly Australian V8 Supercars) partnership between Dick Johnson Racing and Team Penske – known as DJR Team Penske – continues to evolve as it prepares to enter its third season in 2017.

News came out of Australia on Tuesday that both DJR Team Penske Ford Falcons in the Supercars series will carry primary sponsorship from Shell V-Power in a new multi-year deal.

The new livery signage will debut at this weekend’s Bathurst 1000 – known as Australia’s “Great Race” – and will carry on through the entire 2017 racing season and beyond on DJR Team Penske’s No. 12 and No 17 Fords.

“Our number 17 and number 12 Fords will proudly carry the Shell V-Power primary branding for the foreseeable future,” team co-owner Roger Penske said in a media release. “With a strong driver line up we believe our third year in the Supercars Championship will continue our move up the grid.

“The increased partnership from Shell with DJR Team Penske means the Shell brand will once again have a significant presence in Australian motorsport, so it is only fitting we announce this partnership as we head to Bathurst, Australia’s most iconic motorsports event.”

Penske will be in Australia this weekend to attend the Bathurst 1000.

Johnson has been involved with Shell in his native Australia for 50 years and this partnership further expands that relationship, and also making it the first time Shell V-Power has served as primary sponsor for a DJR team.

It also adds to a similar relationship Shell has had for several years with Team Penske in the United States, particularly serving as primary sponsor along with Pennzoil of Joey Logano’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford Fusion.

Viva Energy became the exclusive licensee of the Shell brand in Australia in 2014, and will oversee the new and expanded sponsorship behind the race team.

“The history between Shell, DJR Team Penske and now Viva Energy goes beyond sponsorship, being trusted partners on and off the track, technically with the race team and commercially with the Penske businesses,” said Viva Energy Australia’s CEO, Scott Wyatt. “We look forward to seeing the innovation and performance gains translate on track under the new Shell V-Power Racing team, as we see the best of Shell V-Power and DJR Team Penske culminate in this exciting partnership.”

Click here to see a video of the new partnership.

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Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.