Following the likes of the NRL and AFL, Supercars will dedicate their annual trip to Hidden Valley Raceway to celebrating Indigenous culture.
Being held across the June 19-20 weekend, the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown will play host to the celebration with teams encouraged to run Indigenous-themed liveries.
Queensland-based team Racing Together will showcase their Indigenous motorsport program on the main stage for the first time over the weekend for the Indigenous Round.
This pioneering Australian Motorsports program was designed and founded by Garry and Monique Connelly because of the noticeable gap in participation by Indigenous people in the sport.
The not-for-profit pilot program aims to provide a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teenagers into professional or recreational motorsport as either a driver or a member of a race team.
Racing Together’s Hyundai Excel will field in three Combined Sedans races by teenage team members, driver Braedyn Cidoni and mechanics Ayesha Burke and Locklan McHardy.
The program last week announced a three-year partnership with Viva Energy, licensee of Shell fuels and oils in Australia and sponsor of the Shell V-Power Racing Team in the Supercars Championship.
To mark the partnership Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustangs of Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale will wear Indigenous-themed livery designed by Braedyn Cidoni and will feature Racing Together branding.
Supercars chief operating officer Shane Howard said the celebration would be a significant way to introduce Indigenous people to the sport as well as supporting the Racing Together initiative.
“It’s a really solid relationship and I think they’re being innovative with their program and supports. And we want to support that with the Indigenous Round,” Howard said.
“We’d like to introduce Indigenous people to the event, to our sport, to the teams and work with the community.
“We want to bring awareness of the Indigenous people and help with sport.”
By Teisha Cloos