The engines are fired up, adrenaline rush is felt in the air, and the track is set! Yes, the 2020 Supercars Championship is here.
If you are not familiar with the Supercars Championship, worry not. After reading this article, you will no doubt be clued up on it.
The Supercars Championship, also known as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, is a supercars racing series held in Australia. This year’s event is the 24th edition. It also marks the 24th time supercars are going in for the premier title in Australian motorsport—the Australian Tour Car Championship.
It’s a Holden vs Ford Show
In rather shocking news, General Motors revealed that they would be entirely scrapping the Holden brand in Australia and New Zealand by 2021. It is not all bad news, though, the 2020 series remains unaffected.
Since Nissan has dropped out, this year’s series only features Ford and Holden, with the DJR Team Penske as the reigning team champion.
In the manufacturer’s field, Ford is the reigning champion whereas Scott McLaughlin is the current defending driver’s champion.
2020’s championship will have 14 rounds (1 less than we saw last year) totalling to 28 races. You will also notice that the order of these races in this year’s edition has been shuffled.
There are several other changes in the calendar. After last year’s absence, the Sydney SuperNight is back. Sydney Motorsport retains hosting rights. The Gold Coast 600 will be a night race taking place under floodlights. The Auckland Super400 will be held in Hampton Downs Motorsport Park this year.
Among those removed from the calendar include Phillip Island SuperSprint and Ipswich. The Sandown 500 will be replaced by the Bend 500.
The Super400, Darwin Triple Crown and SuperNight events will now be 200km from last year’s 120km. The Melbourne 400 has also been affected by the new format changes. It will consist of four 100km races compared to last year’s two 70 and 130km races. Each of the new 100km races includes a compulsory pit stop.
The new changes mean that the total race distance in this year’s championship will be more than last year’s albeit with a reduction in individual races. The title SuperSprint has been renamed to Super400 to indicate longer race distances.
2020 V8 Supercars Schedule
|1||22-23/02||Adelaide 500||Adelaide Str. Circuit||Adelaide, S. Australia|
|2||13–15/03||Melbourne 400||Albert P. Circuit||Melbourne, Victoria|
|3||4-5/04||Tasmania S. 400||Symmons P. Raceway||Launceston, Tasmania|
|4||15-16/04||Launceston, Tasmania||Hampton Downs||N. Waikato, New Zealand|
|5||16-17/05||Perth S. Night||Wanneroo||Neerabup, W. Australia|
|6||6-7/06||Winton S. 400||Winton Raceway||Benalla, Victoria|
|7||27-28/06||Townsville 400||Townsville St. Circuit||Townsville, Queensland|
|8||18-19/07||Darwin Crown||Hidden Valley||Darwin, N. Territory|
|9||29-30/08||Sydney S. Night||Sydney Park||Eastern Creek, N S Wales|
|10||20/09||The Bend 500||The Bend MS Park||Tailem Bend, S. Australia|
|11||11/10||Bathurst||Mt Panorama||Bathurst, N S Wales|
|12||31/10-1/11||Gold Coast||Surfers Paradise||Surfers Paradise, Queensland|
|13||21-22/11||Sandown||Sandown Raceway||Springvale, Victoria|
|14||5-6/12||Newcastle||Newcastle St.||Newcastle, N S Wales|
Teams & Drivers
2020 has seen several changes both in drivers and teams. Here are the significant changes in both areas.
Tekno Autosports moved to Western Sydney and is now a two-car operation under Team Sydney. The Brad Jones Racing team will now have three cars after it acquired a REC previously belonging to Britek Motorsport.
On the other hand, Kelly Racing which will now race Mustang GT, was reduced to two cars from four. This is after Charlie Schwerkolt, and Matt Stone Racing acquired two of its RECs.
Scott Pye and James Courtney left the Walkinshaw Andretti United team. As a result, the team will be fielding new drivers. Rookie recruit Bryce Fulwood will replace Scott Pye while Chaz Mostert has taken Courtney’s seat.
Courtney now dons Team Sydney. Charlie Schwerkolt Racing signed his former driver colleague Scott Pye.
Jack Le Brocq switched from Tekno Autosports to Tickford Racing replacing Mostert. After three years out, Chris Pither returns on a full-time basis joining Team Sydney.
Having graduated from Super2 series, Zane Goddard and Jake Kostecki join the Matt Stone Racing team. In line with the SuperLite program, they will be sharing a car. Elsewhere, Todd Hazelwood joins Brad Jones after leaving Matt Stones replacing Tim Slade. The latter joins DJR Team Penske.
After the team’s decision to withdraw out of the championships, Richie Stanaway and James Golding both left Garry Rogers Motorsport. Going different paths, Richie chose to retire from motorsport while James joined the Charlie Schwerkolt Racing.
The decision to cut down the team’s number to two cars meant that Simona de Silvestro and Garry Jacobson were stripped off their seats in the Kelly Racing Team. Jacobson remained in the Supercars Championship on the Matt Stone Racing ticket. De Silvestro, on the other hand, joined Formula E championships with Porsche.
The #22 will now be under Team Sydney from Walkinshaw Andretti United. In its place, Walkinshaw will take #25.
Here are the complete teams and drivers that will take part in the series.
|Ford||Ford Mustang GT||Tickford Racing||5||Lee Holdsworth|
|55||Jack Le Brocq|
|Kelly Racing||7||Andre Heimgartner|
|DJR Team Penske||12||Fabian Coulthard|
|23 Red Racing||23||Will Davison|
|Holden||Holden ZB Commodore||Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||18||Mark Winterbottom|
|Team Sydney||19||James Courtney|
|Brad Jones||8||Nick Percat|
|Erebus Motorsport||9||David Reynolds|
|99||Anton de Pasquale|
|Tim Blanchard||3||Macauley Jones|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||2||Bryce Fulwood|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||88||Jamie Whincup|
|97||Shane van Gisbergen|
|Matt Stone Racing||35||Garry Jacobson|
Changes in Technical Regulations
The number of engines per team has been cut down to 3 from last year's 4 to reduce costs. All cars in this year's championship have a downforce reduction of up to 12%. The change is an attempt to encourage overtakes while improving racing. Every car will also have to be fitted with LED panels.
Results and Standings after Event 1
This year's first event already took place between 22 and 23 February. Here are the results:
|POLE POSITION||WINNING DRIVER||FASTEST LAP||WINNING TEAM|
|Jamie Whincup||Jamie Whincup||Chaz Mostert||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|Shane van Gisbergen||Scott McLaughlin||Shane van Gisbergen||DJR Team Penske|
Event 1: Adelaide 500 Race-Two Results:
- Scott McLaughlin - Ford
- Chaz Mostert - Holden
- Cameron Waters - Ford
- Will Davison - Ford
- Jamie Whincup – Holden
Current Supercars Championship Standings:
- Scott McLaughlin - 288 pts. (Ford)
- Jamie Whincup - 261 pts. (Holden)
- Chaz Mostert - 234 pts. (Holden)
- Cameron Waters & Will Davison - 231 pts. (Ford)
There is more to come as this year’s Supercars Championship progresses into the second round. Bookmark Carpart.com.au to get up to speed with the latest on the Supercars races and other automotive events.