The Supercars competition is expected to have a different look in 2018 and let us hope that one of the main differences is tyres that do not shred under the pressure of racing.
Veterans have retired. Gone are Jason Bright and Todd Kelly.
Dale Wood and James Moffat are gone.
Those four men collectively supplied almost 1500 Supercars races to the competition, so that sort of experience will be missed in 2018.
The field is now full, as of the announcement by Tekno that Jack le Brocq has filled the last vacancy in the 26-car field for the season coming.
Five rookies will be in the drivers’ seats. Rookies not in the sense of racing experience, but in the sense of previous Supercars driving.
Todd Hazelwood, the reigning Super2 champion comes in from his role in the developmental series, as does Anton De Pasquale and James Golding.
Richie Stanaway, a New Zealander with one-time Formula 1 aspirations, does have a smidge of Supercars experience resulting from his win of last year’s Sandown 500 as the co-drier to Cam Waters.
Tekno had a slot to fill when Will Davison left to join 23Red Racing, one of the one-car teams that makes for some compelling Supercars drama.
A big change will be the new cars coming out of Holden. There will be 14 of them, dubbed the ZB Commodores. Ford representation grows by two cars, one for 23Racing and one for Hazelwood.
Not exactly a stop-the-presses thing, but Jamie Whincup, after winning his seventh Supercars championship last season, is changing his livery to sport the number one on his car.
The new season gets underway in Sydney on February 15, which will be a pre-season test day. The first true race of 2018, the Adelaide 500, runs from March 1 to March 4.
For those who appreciate the familiar, Holden is still the top manufacturer, with 14 cars, followed by the eight of Ford and four from Nissan.