It’s stability all round at DJR Team Penske, which has announced Shell will remain as the outfit’s naming rights sponsor for the 2018 Supercars Championship season.

Additionally, the team’s two Ford Falcon FGX entries will run with unchanged liveries and Pirtek Enduro Cup co-drivers. Alexandre Prémat will once again partner Scott McLaughlin, while teammate Fabian Coulthard will be paired up with Tony D’Alberto during the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 events.

The Queensland team, co-owned by Dick Johnson and Roger Penske, will be known as the Shell V-Power Racing Team “into the next decade”, according to a team media release.

“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 McLaughlin-Prémat pairing will be duo’s fourth stint together in the last five years; the two drivers also combined in 2014 and 2015 when McLaughlin raced for Garry Rogers Motorsport.

The two drivers have enjoyed success together, claiming a come-from-behind win in Race 2 of last year’s Gold Coast 600, as well as a runner-up finish in the Sandown 500.

Premat, McLaughlin, Coulthard, D'Alberto

Premat, McLaughlin, Coulthard, D’Alberto (L-R)

“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.”

Prémat added: “Being a part of Shell V-Power Racing Team in 2017 was fantastic, and I am very proud to be a part of such a professional organisation.

“Scott and I want to put our stamp on Bathurst history, and take victory in the Pirtek Enduro Cup.”

Coulthard and D’Alberto will combine for the third year in a row. The pair claimed a third-placed finish at last year’s Bathurst 1000.

“Tony is a talented, dependable co-driver; a guy that is level-headed, reliable and knows what he needs to do as a part of the Shell V-Power Racing Team,” said Coulthard.

“I’m pumped to have him back with me this year, and hope we can improve on our 2017 effort.”

D’Alberto added: “Being a part of this team’s driver line-up is something that I’m very proud of.

“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.”

2018 Australian Supercars Championship – Pirtek Enduro Cup Entry List
# Team / Entry Driver Co-Driver
1. Triple Eight Race Engineering Jamie Whincup Paul Dumbrell
2. Walkinshaw Andretti United Scott Pye Warren Luff
5. Tickford Racing Mark Winterbottom Dean Canto
6. Tickford Racing Cameron Waters James Moffat
7. Nissan Motorsport Ash Walsh
8. Brad Jones Racing Nick Percat
9. Erebus Motorsport David Reynolds Luke Youlden
12. DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Tony D’Alberto
14. Brad Jones Racing Tim Slade
15. Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly
17. DJR Team Penske Scott McLaughlin Alexandre Prémat
18. Charlie Schwerkolt Racing Lee Holdsworth Matthew Brabham
19. TEKNO Autosports Jack Le Brocq
21. Tim Blanchard Racing (BJR) Tim Blanchard
23. Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso
33. Garry Rogers Motorsport Garth Tander Chris Pither
25. Walkinshaw Andretti United James Courtney Jack Perkins
34. Garry Rogers Motorsport James Golding Richard Muscat
35. Matt Stone Racing Todd Hazelwood
55. Tickford Racing Chaz Mostert Steve Owen
56. Tickford Racing Richie Stanaway David Russell
78. Nissan Motorsport Simona de Silvestro
97. Triple Eight Race Engineering Shane van Gisbergen Earl Bamber
99. Erebus Motorsport Anton de Pasquale Will Brown
230. 23Red Racing Will Davison
888. Triple Eight Race Engineering Craig Lowndes Steven Richards

Images via DJR Team Penske and Keith McInness Photography

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
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