Penske extends Shell deal, re-signs co-drivers

DJR Team Penske has confirmed that it has extended its naming rights deal with Shell with a new deal that runs 'into next decade', as well as re-signing endurance co-drivers Alex Premat and Tony D'Alberto.

Penske extends Shell deal, re-signs co-drivers
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford, Fabian Coulthard, DJR Team Penske Ford
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford
Car of Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske
Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske
Podium: Race winners Alexandre Prémat, Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske
Race winners Alexandre Prémat, Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske
Tony D'Alberto, Team Penske Ford, Alexandre Prémat, Team Penske Ford
 Podium: third place Tony D'Alberto, Team Penske Ford, Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Alex Premat, Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske Ford
Tony D'Alberto, Fabian Coulthard, DJR Team Penske Ford
Fabian Coulthard, DJR Team Penske Ford

While in keeping with Penske tradition and not revealing the specific length of the new sponsorship deal, the announcement confirms that it runs until at least 2020.

It continues a 50-plus year association between Shell and the former Dick Johnson Racing outfit, and comes at the beginning of the second year of both DJRTP Fords running major Shell V-Power signage.

“Partnership with Shell is a part of the very fabric of this team. It has always been there, and we’ve shared some of our greatest moments with the Shell logo on the doors,” said team principal Ryan Story.

“To know that we have that backing for years to come is exciting and motivating all at once. We intend to bring much success to this partnership and will push harder than ever to keep Shell at the front of the pack.”

The new deal hasn't been commemorated with a new livery, though. The Penske Fords are set to run a near-identical colour scheme to last year when the season kicks off in Adelaide this week.

“We’re definitely heading into 2018 with an ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mentality,” added Story.

“We haven’t spent time changing liveries on cars, or stickers on trucks or completely re-designing our uniforms. Our team partners are ecstatic with the look of the car, and the coverage they’ve received as a result.

“Our supporters also seemed to like it, with us being voted Best Presented Team for the first time since 2009 – we take our presentation very seriously, so that is an award we are extremely proud of and humbled to receive.

“What we have done is make some changes where they were necessary. Some are obvious, others far less so but it all comes back to that credo – unfinished business. We have focused only on what was required to correct the things that did not go to plan in 2017. Everything that works is coming into 2018.”

Co-drivers back for 2018

The continuity continues in the Penske camp with the re-signing of both of the team's 2017 long-distance drivers.

That means Frenchman Alex Premat returns for Sandown, Bathurst, and the Gold Coast to partner Scott McLaughlin.

“Alex is a good mate, and a known quantity in Supercars racing," said McLaughlin.

"I’ve known him for many years, and have driven with him across the Pirtek Enduro Cup for most of my full-time career.

"His drive on the Gold Coast last year set us up for that sensational win coming from 13th on the grid. Hopefully we can take the big one at Bathurst together."

Fabian Coulthard, meanwhile, will once again be partnered by Tony D'Alberto, who heads into his third-straight enduro campaign with the Penske outfit.

“Being a part of this team’s driver line-up is something that I’m very proud of," said D'Alberto.

"Knowing that you have the very best equipment and team around you is extremely exciting as a driver, so to be getting my third opportunity to drive for them is fantastic.

"Now we just need to hit fast forward so it’s time for the Pirtek Enduro Cup."

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