We buckled up recently to select some of our favourite Indigenous liveries from the betr Darwin Triple Crown Supercars Indigenous Round.
It was a wild ride, as the teams have wheeled out some really cool designs.
Last year’s event in June was particularly special, with all 26 cars sporting stunning liveries designed by Indigenous artists.
Each car carried different stories and motifs to celebrate and showcase First Nations culture, making for a spectacularly colourful grid, where horsepower met cultural power.
After much debate, these four liveries were the ones jostling for top spot on our list of favourites.
Red Bull Ampol Racing │ Triple Eight Race Engineering
All the thrills and spills of a Supercars driver’s racing career were at the heart of the design for the Red Bull Ampol Racing Indigenous livery.
Based on the artwork by proud Warumungu artist Brock Compton, The Spirit of the Driver, kangaroo tracks represented the different paths and challenges of a driver’s career, from the early days to the successes of the Supercars Championship.
Meeting circles throughout the design signified the driver and their families, showing how belief and encouragement helped the driver on the road to success.
Brock, who is a student of Brisbane’s Ambrose Treacy College and a member of the school’s Clontarf Academy, worked with his Clontarf schoolmates on the special livery, which was emblazoned across the #88 and #97 Chevrolet Camaros.
“Seeing all of the boys (Clontarf Academy classmates) smiling, cheering and clapping when they saw the cars for the first time made me feel amazing. I’m really proud of how they turned out,” said Brock, who was named after Australian motorsport icon Peter Brock.
Driver Broc Feeney, who raced #88 to victory in Race 14 of the betr Darwin Triple Crown Indigenous Supercars Round, said he “loved the artwork” on the car.
“I always like change; the matte, the white, it came together well. I remember how special it was showing the kids through the design on the car.”
CoolDrive Racing │ Blanchard Racing Team
Saltwater crocodiles were central to Darwin artist Melissa Yaram Tipo’s striking design for the CoolDrive Racing Indigenous livery.
Her stunning artwork, Three Generations, featured three crocodiles and five large circles of significance, and was wrapped on Blanchard Racing Team driver Todd Hazelwood’s #3 Ford Mustang.
Representing strength, power and masculinity, the crocodiles signified three generations of the Blanchard racing family, who have passed their knowledge down.
The design was balanced out by blue, which signified water. The artwork was also a celebration of the 2023 NAIDOC Theme ‘For Our Elders’.
“Dots around the motifs represented the generations of people that came before and are still looking over and guiding us,” Melissa said.
“It was a recognition of our ancestors, and the strength and knowledge they have passed down. My name ‘Yaram’ also means generation after generation.”
The five large circles each represented a core value of the Blanchard Racing CoolDrive team: Work Together, Show You Care, Act Fairly, Aim to Inspire and Embrace Change.
Shell V-Power Racing Team │ Dick Johnson Racing
The striking livery design for the Shell V-Power Racing Ford Mustang GTs was by contemporary Aboriginal artist Zoe Raymond.
Inspired by the 2023 NAIDOC Week theme, ‘For Our Elders’, the songlines in the artwork represented the passing on of knowledge at Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) by former racing driver Dick Johnson and other motorsports mentors over the years.
The central design on cars #11 and #17 represented the DJR workshop as a gathering place for the crew and their families, fans and partners.
The meeting place symbols highlighted the different race events and milestone moments (more than 40 years and 1,000 races) in the history of DJR, with the legacy of past teams and the present crew also acknowledged.
Zoe, who is a proud Yindjibarndi/Pinikura woman born in Perth and raised in Queensland, said it was a rare and special opportunity to work on the design for the Indigenous liveries.
“Not many people can say they have their design on a V8 Supercar, so to be able to do this was so cool and unique. I was really proud to see how it all came together,” said Zoe, who lives and works on Turrbal/Jagera country in Brisbane.
“Celebrating Indigenous culture in any capacity is really important, and having an Indigenous Round in sport is a great way for us to share our knowledge and culture through a platform all Australians love.”
Penrite Racing │ Grove Racing
Stories of the freshwater crocodile and wild honey country were the inspiration behind the Penrite Racing Indigenous livery design.
Darwin-born artist Lorraine Kabbindi White provided two artworks, Ankung Kunred – Wild Honey Country and Modjarrki – Freshwater Crocodile, for the special design on Penrite’s two Ford Mustang GTs and Troy Herfoss’s Honda superbike.
The wild honey country depicts Lorraine’s family’s Mok clan country in Arnhem Land, which extends over the upper catchment of the Liverpool River and encompasses a large body of water.
“Many honey dreaming sites run along the river with the white colour representing the bees,” she said.
The significance of freshwater crocodiles was also captured. “We use two names for the freshwater crocodile – Kumoken and Modjarrki. Modjarrki is the long-nosed crocodile, different from the short-nosed Kinga saltwater crocodile.
“The Modjarrki are seen in the flowing water high in the stone country. They formed part of the traditional diet and don’t bite people.”
The Indigenous liveries were designed in partnership with Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITT), where Lorraine was a former educator.
MITT CEO Edward Tutor said the liveries looked incredible. “It’s a really special way to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together to learn more about each other,” he said.