HSV Dealer team pairing Rick Kelly and Paul Dumbrell will aim to start the season in competitive fashion as the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship season kicks off this weekend with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

Kelly heads to the event having recorded a time marginally behind 2007 V8 Supercar Champion Garth Tander in testing at Winton, despite some major off-season movements that saw his former team-mate leave the Dealer Team and major personnel changes.

Erik Pender is the new team manager at the Dealer Team while Alistair McVean will engineer the #15 car with a new look orange, black and silver design and Opes-Prime featuring prominently on the bonnet.

"I am thrilled to have these guys around me and we're all really keen to get on with the job and do well in the first round for the year," Kelly said. "I am with the same team and driving the same car that won Clipsal last year, so that is reassuring.

"We believe there are a few things that we can do a bit better and have already implemented those. We've pretty much got our set-up nailed to be honest, and we've been quick here in the last few years. Adelaide's generally about being consistently quick through the race and staying out of trouble."

New team-mate Dumbrell debuts for the HSV Dealer Team this weekend driving the #16 car in new Autobarn livery and he said he couldn't be better prepared for the season ahead.

"I just can't wait to get out there and have a crack. I feel like I am as well prepared as I could be," he said. "It's been a whirlwind couple of months. Over the summer months when you generally relax and think about anything other than the upcoming season, all I could think about was driving for the Dealer Team this year.

"Friday's practice session can't come quick enough!"