|2019 Supercars Championship|
DJR Team Penske
The 2019 Supercars Championship (known for commercial reasons as the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship) was the twenty-third running of the Supercars Championship and the twenty-third series in which Supercars have contested the Australian Touring Car Championship, the premier title in Australian motorsport. The 2019 championship also included the running of the 1,000th Australian Touring Car Championship race, which was contested at the Melbourne 400.
Scott McLaughlin contested the series as the defending driver's champion. McLaughlin successfully defended his championship title, and in doing so, he broke Craig Lowndes' 1996 record for the most wins in a championship year when he recorded his seventeenth win at Pukekohe Park.[a] His team, DJR Team Penske, won their second teams' championship. Ford secured the manufacturers' title at the Ipswich SuperSprint.
Teams and drivers
The following teams and drivers competed in the 2019 championship.
The sixth generation Ford Mustang, the Mustang GT, was homologated for the 2019 championship. The Mustang was a replacement for the FG X Falcon, which was used between 2015 and 2018. Tickford Racing and DJR Team Penske oversaw the development of the car, with Ford Performance providing additional technical support. Ford Australia provided financial support in developing the car, but no team was officially recognised as a factory team. The homologation process required modifications to the bodywork to fit the series' control chassis, but the car continued to use the V8 engine used by the FG X Falcon. The decision to return the Mustang to the series was made as Australia's domestic production of the Ford Falcon ceased in 2016. The Mustang's return marked the first time since 1990 that a Mustang has contested the premier class of Australian motorsport. The car completed the homologation process in December 2018 and was subsequently approved for competition by the Supercars Commission.
Nissan withdrew its factory support from the championship at the end of 2018 as the company elected to change its global motorsport strategy and focus on its Formula E entry. Kelly Racing—who raced under the Nissan Motorsport name between 2013 and 2018—continued to compete with the Altima L33 chassis under licence from the company. Nissan's decision to withdraw from the championship followed the Altima being withdrawn from sale in Australia in 2017.
The number of entries was reduced from twenty-six to twenty-four with both Tickford Racing and Triple Eight Race Engineering returning a Racing Entitlement Contract (REC) to the sport's management. 23Red Racing formed a partnership with Tickford Racing which saw it become a satellite team of Tickford. Matt Stone Racing upgraded from a VF Commodore to a ZB Commodore and are receiving technical support from Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Craig Lowndes and Tim Blanchard retired from full-time competition at the end of the 2018 championship. Both returned as endurance co-drivers with Triple Eight Race Engineering and Brad Jones Racing respectively. Blanchard's seat at Tim Blanchard Racing was filled by Macauley Jones. Jones made his full time début in the championship, after having previously entered as a wildcard at selected events in 2017 and 2018.
Mark Winterbottom and Richie Stanaway left Tickford Racing. Winterbottom moved to Team 18, replacing Lee Holdsworth. Holdsworth took Winterbottom's place at Tickford Racing, while Stanaway moved to Garry Rogers Motorsport to replace Garth Tander. Tander stepped down from full-time competition, joining Triple Eight Race Engineering as an endurance co-driver.
Richie Stanaway was withdrawn halfway through the Winton SuperSprint and missed the next three rounds, due to a neck injury. He was replaced for the remainder of the round, and the following Darwin Triple Crown by Chris Pither, who had already been nominated as Stanaway's partner for the endurance races. Michael Caruso stepped in for the Townsville 400 and Ipswich SuperSprint, returning to the team for the first time since 2012. Stanaway was stood down halfway through the Gold Coast 600, due to disciplinary reasons. Chris Pither became the main driver for the Sunday race while Super2 and TCR Australia driver Dylan O'Keeffe made his debut with the team.
The calendar was reduced to fifteen rounds in 2019, with the following events scheduled to take place:
The 2019 calendar underwent a radical revision compared to the 2018 calendar. The Sydney SuperNight 300 was removed from the calendar entirely and was replaced by a new night race at Barbagallo Raceway. The change was made with the long-term view to running the Sydney round in January 2020 as part of a proposed move to a "summer series" format that would see the championship run primarily in the summer months.
The Sandown 500 moved to a late-season slot in November, becoming the final round of the Pirtek Enduro Cup, to avoid clashing with the AFL and NRL finals series. The Auckland SuperSprint was brought forward to September, making the Sandown 500 the penultimate round of the championship. Changes to the Formula One calendar meant that the Australian Grand Prix was run earlier in the year than it was in 2018, and thus the Supercars support races was also moved forward. The Adelaide 500 was subsequently brought forward to remain the opening round of the season.
If a car was released from the pit bay before the fuel rig was decoupled from the car, the car had to be re-raised on its pneumatic jacks and the fuel rig removed before the driver can rejoin the race.
Results and standings
Points were awarded for each race at an event, to the driver or drivers of a car that completed at least 75% of the race distance and was running at the completion of the race. At least 50% of the planned race distance must be completed for the result to be valid and championship points awarded.
- Standard: Used for all SuperSprint and street races, including the Gold Coast 600.
- Bathurst: Used for the Bathurst 1000.
- Sandown: Used for the Sandown 500.
- Melbourne (long): Used for Race 1 and 3 of the Melbourne 400.
- Melbourne (short): Used for Race 2 and 4 of the Melbourne 400, and the qualifying races for the Sandown 500.
Results count toward the Enduro Cup.
– Denotes single-car team
Results count toward the Enduro Cup.
Champion Manufacturer of the Year
The Manufacturers award was won by Ford.
Pirtek Enduro Cup
- McLaughlin also broke Mark Donohue's record for the most wins in a championship year by a Team Penske driver.
- For points-scoring purposes, Tickford Racing was divided into two teams: one made up of car #5 and car #55, and a single-car entry for car #6.
- Fabian Coulthard raced as number 333 at the Townsville 400.
- 23Red Racing was a satellite team of Tickford Racing; 23Red Racing owned the Racing Entitlement Contract for car #23, while Tickford Racing ran the car and oversaw trackside activities on its behalf.
- Scott Pye raced as number 200 at the Phillip Island SuperSprint.
- Tim Blanchard Racing was a satellite team of Brad Jones Racing; Tim Blanchard Racing owned the Racing Entitlement Contract for car #21, while Brad Jones Racing ran the car and oversaw trackside activities on its behalf.
- Richie Stanaway was entered into Round 6 and contested Race 13, but was withdrawn from Race 14. Chris Pither was entered into Race 14 in his place. The same situation occurred at Round 13, with the switch taking place between Races 26 and 27.
- Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes raced as number 888 for the Enduro Cup.
- For points-scoring purposes, Kelly Racing was divided into two teams: one made up of car #3 and car #78, and another consisting of car #7 and car #15.
- Rick Kelly raced as number 100 at the Townsville 400.
- Scott McLaughlin qualified on pole, but was later stripped of the result when his engine was found to have breached the technical regulations. Chaz Mostert was recognised as the pole-sitter in his place.
- Pole position for the Sandown qualifying races is not recognised as an official pole position and does not count towards the driver's career statistics.
- "V8 Supercars confirm Virgin as primary backer". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Dale, Will (22 January 2019). "Supercars to Rack Up 1000th Race at Albert Park". v8sleuth.com.au. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Herrero, Daniel (10 November 2019). "Whincup/Lowndes win after SVG heartbreak, McLaughlin clinches title". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
- "Pukekohe Supercars: McLaughlin breaks win record in controversial race".
- "McLaughlin equals 51-year-old Penske record". 27 August 2019.
- "McLaughlin fined $13k for post-race celebrations". 28 July 2019.
- "Tickford signs Caruso for Enduro Cup". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
- Enduro Cup Co-Driver Recap V8 Sleuth 7 February 2019
- "DJRTP re-signs Premat, D'Alberto". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 11 February 2019.
- "Davison brothers to share Milwaukee Mustang". supercars.com. Supercars. 20 March 2019.
- "WAU keeps Pye and Courtney co-drivers". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
- "Canto gets CoolDrive call-up". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 22 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Erebus confirms enduro line-up for 2019". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 4 December 2018. Retrieved 4 December 2018.
- "Bathurst winners reunite at Team 18". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
- "Final piece of Bathurst grid locked in". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
- "BJR confirms enduro cup line-up". Speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
- Adam, Mitchell (23 May 2019). "GRM locks in enduro line-up". supercars.com. Supercars.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (27 October 2019). "Stanaway stood down for 'disciplinary reasons'". . Retrieved 28 October 2019.
- "Smith lands MSR Supercars enduro drive". Speedcafe. 18 July 2019.
- "Lowndes joins Whincup for PIRTEK Enduro Cup". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "Red Bull HRT signs Tander for Enduro Cup". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "Fullwood scores Kelly Racing co-drive". supercars.com. Supercars. 22 May 2019.
- "Wood rejoins Kely Racing". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- Howard, Tom (21 December 2018). "Supercars 2019 entry list to date". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
- Leeuwen, Andrew van (17 April 2018). "Ford revives works Supercars programme with Mustang for 2019". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
- Herrero, Daniel (9 January 2019). "Stanaway replaces Tander at new-look GRM". Speedcafe.com. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- "McLaughlin elects to stay with famous #17 for 2019". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 27 November 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
- Howard, Tom (14 December 2018). "Number changes for WAU, 23Red Racing in 2019". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
- "Blanchard set for Supercars return in Perth wildcard". 17 April 2019.
- "The Kostecki Wildcard". Auto Action. 7 June 2019. Archived from the original on 8 June 2019.
- "Caruso to replace injured Stanaway at Townsville". Speedcafe. Retrieved 26 June 2019.
- "Randle to pilot extra Tickford Mustang at the Bend". 28 July 2019.
- "Whincup/Lowndes to run #888 in enduros". Supercars. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
- "IndyCar's Rossi and Hinchcliffe to contest 2019 Bathurst 1000".
- van Leeuwen, Andrew (17 April 2018). "Ford revives works Supercars programme with Mustang for 2019". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Coch, Mat (18 April 2018). "All Ford teams set to switch to Mustang for 2019". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Coch, Mat (17 April 2018). "Ford Performance in partnership with DJRTP/Tickford". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- van Leeuwen, Andrew (18 April 2018). "Ford Performance offers first teaser image of Supercars Mustang". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 18 April 2018.
- Coch, Mat (26 April 2018). "Ford Performance focused on Supercars". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 26 April 2018.
- Coch, Mat (17 April 2018). "Tickford boss enthused by Ford's Supercars return". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Herrero, Dan (19 April 2018). "Story explains Mustang development process". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Herrero, Dan (17 April 2018). "Mustang Supecar to run with V8 engine". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Herrero, Dan (18 April 2018). "Ford announces Mustang for NASCAR Cup Series". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- Noonan, Aaron (5 April 2017). "Rewind: The Last Mustang". The V8 Sleuth. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
- Howard, Tom (12 December 2018). "Supercars Commission gives Mustang final approval". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
- Howard, Tom (15 May 2018). "Nissan to withdraw Supercars support, Altimas to continue". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- van Leeuwen, Andrew (15 May 2018). "Nissan to end works Supercars programme after 2018 season". autosport.com. Motorsport Network. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "Nissan axes Altima". Motoring.com.au. 5 April 2017.
- "Doubts over Stanaway future as Tickford works on 2019 plan". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 4 November 2018.
- "Burgess: Improving sustainability key for Supercars future". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 26 October 2018.
- "Triple Eight confirms two-car team for 2019". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- Tickford confirms 23Red Racing tie-up Speedcafe 30 November 2018
- Howard, Tom (13 August 2018). "Matt Stone Racing ditches Ford for Holden". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Heimgartner and Jacobsen set for Kelly Racing Speedcafe 6 February 2019
- Howard, Tom (6 July 2018). "Lowndes to retire at end of season". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- "Craig Lowndes announces retirement". abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Australian Associated Press. 6 July 2018. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- "Blanchard to step away from full-time Supercars racing". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (6 December 2018). "Jones replaces Blanchard in CoolDrive Holden". supercars.com. Supercars Championship. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Adam, Mitchell (10 December 2018). "Tickford and Stanaway split". Supercars.com. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
- "Whincup praises Winterbottom's big call". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. 2 November 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
- Adam, Mitchell. "Winterbottom's Holden switch confirmed for 2019". Supercars. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (21 December 2018). "Holdsworth secures Bottle-O Mustang drive". supercars.com. Supercars. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
- "Injured Stanaway withdrawn from Winton". Speedcafe. Retrieved 25 May 2019.
- Howard, Tom (11 October 2018). "Sydney dropped, Perth night race added in Supercars 2019 shake up". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
- Howard, Tom (29 November 2018). "Supercars scraps Gold Coast format change". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
- Howard, Tom (17 December 2018). "Twin-spring dampers banned as Supercars looks to trim costs". speedcafe.com. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
- Howard, Tom (18 December 2018). "Xtrac Supercars transaxle deal confirmed for 2019". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
- "Supercars introduces new pit stop rules for 2019". speedcafe.com. 16 February 2019.
- "DJR Team Penske cops $30k fine for Bathurst engine breach". 10 November 2019.
- "PIRTEK Enduro Cup". Supercars. Archived from the original on 27 September 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.