2021 Supercars Championship
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Dick Johnson Racing (Pictured in 2019 as DJR Team Penske) will enter the series as the defending teams' champion

The 2021 Supercars Championship (known for commercial reasons as the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship) is a planned motor racing series for Supercars. It is due to be the twenty-fifth running of the Supercars Championship and the twenty-fifth series in which Supercars have contested the Australian Touring Car Championship, the premier title in Australian motorsport. It is the first year Repco to be official new title sponsors after Virgin Australia took over in a five year partnership.

Dick Johnson Racing will enter the series as the defending teams' championship, Ford will enter the series as the defending manufacturers' championship.

Teams and drivers

The following teams and drivers are under contract to compete in the 2021 championship. Unless confirmed otherwise, car numbers and chassis types are presumed to carry over from 2020.

Championship entries Enduro Cup entries
Manufacturer Model Entrant No. Driver name Ref. Co-driver name Ref.
Ford Mustang GT Tickford Racing 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth [1] TBA
6 Australia Cameron Waters [2] TBA
44 Australia James Courtney [3] TBA
Kelly Racing 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner [4] TBA
Dick Johnson Racing TBA Australia Anton de Pasquale [5] New Zealand Scott McLaughlin [6]
17 Australia Will Davison [7]
Tim Blanchard Racing TBA TBA [8] TBA
Holden Commodore ZB Walkinshaw Andretti United 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood [9] TBA
25 Australia Chaz Mostert [10] TBA
Brad Jones Racing 8 Australia Nick Percat [11] TBA
14 Australia Todd Hazelwood [12] TBA
TBA Australia Macauley Jones [13] TBA
Erebus Motorsport 9 Australia David Reynolds [14] TBA
99 Australia Will Brown [15] TBA
Team 18 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom [16] TBA
20 Australia Scott Pye [4] TBA
Triple Eight Race Engineering 88 Australia Jamie Whincup [17] Australia Craig Lowndes [18]
97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen [19] TBA

Team changes

In February 2020, Holden's parent company General Motors announced it would retire the Holden name by the end of 2020.[20] The Commodore ZB will continue to be raced in 2021, albeit with no factory support.[21]

Team Penske sold its majority shareholding in DJR Team Penske at the end of 2020, reverting the team name to Dick Johnson Racing, which was last used in 2014.[22]

Tim Blanchard Racing will cease to be a customer of Brad Jones Racing and take its Racing Entitlement Contract (REC) to become a stand alone team with an ex 23Red Racing Ford Mustang. To allow it to continue fielding four cars, Brad Jones Racing purchased 23Red Racing's REC that was leased to Tickford Racing in 2020.[8]

Driver changes

Dick Johnson Racing will field an all new line-up for 2021. Scott McLaughlin will not defend his title, leaving the series to race in the IndyCar Series with Team Penske.[22] This is the first time the champion has not returned to defend his championship since Craig Lowndes did not defend his 1996 title. He will continue with the team as an endurance co-driver. Fabian Coulthard left the team at the end of 2020. Anton de Pasquale – who left Erebus Motorsport[23] – and Will Davison will drive for the team. For Davison, he will return to the team he last raced with from 2006 to 2008.[5]

Super2 Series driver Will Brown will graduate to the series, with Erebus Motorsport.[15]

Rick Kelly retired from full time racing at the end of 2020.[24]

List of planned races

The following venues are under contract to host a round of the 2021 championship:

Event Circuit Location Ref.
Auckland New Zealand Pukekohe Park Raceway Pukekohe, Auckland Region
Bathurst 1000 New South Wales Mount Panorama Circuit Bathurst, New South Wales
Darwin Triple Crown Northern Territory Hidden Valley Raceway Darwin, Northern Territory [25]
Gold Coast 600 Queensland Surfers Paradise Street Circuit Surfers Paradise, Queensland [26]
Newcastle 500 New South Wales Newcastle Street Circuit Newcastle, New South Wales [27]
Sydney SuperNight New South Wales Sydney Motorsport Park Eastern Creek, New South Wales
Sandown Victoria (Australia) Sandown Raceway Springvale, Victoria [28]
Tasmania Tasmania Symmons Plains Raceway Launceston, Tasmania [29]
The Bend SuperSprint South Australia The Bend Motorsport Park Tailem Bend, South Australia [30]
Townsville Queensland Townsville Street Circuit Townsville, Queensland [26]

Calendar Changes

The Adelaide 500 will not appear on the calendar for the first time since 1998, with the South Australian Tourism Commission withdrawing its financial support citing the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and dwindling attendances as key factors.[31]

Auckland, Sandown, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Perth, Tasmania and Winton are due to return to the calendar after they were cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[32]

The season will commence with a sprint round at Mount Panorama after the Bathurst 12 Hour was cancelled due to the ongoing travel restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.[33]

Broadcast changes

A new five-year broadcast deal will commence in 2021. Fox Sports will continue to show all rounds while the Seven Network will take over from Network Ten as the free to air broadcaster, showing six rounds, including the Bathurst 1000.[34]

References

  1. ^ "Tickford confirms new multi-year deal for Holdsworth". Speedcafe. 21 November 2019. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019.
  2. ^ Waters secures future with multi-year deal Supercars 3 October 2019
  3. ^ "Courtney locked in at Tickford for 2021". Supercars.com. 17 October 2020. Retrieved 18 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b How the 2021 grid currently stands Supercars
  5. ^ a b O'Brien, Connor (5 November 2020). "DJR unveils 2021 driver line-up". Supercars Championship. V8 Supercars Holdings Pty Ltd. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Dick Johnson Racing commits to Supercars in 2021". Speedcafe. 24 October 2020. Retrieved 25 October 2020.
  7. ^ Davison in 17 again Race.news 6 November 2020
  8. ^ a b Munday confirms sale of REC to Jones, Mustangs leased to Blanchard Speedcafe 17 November 2020
  9. ^ O'Brien, Connor (14 October 2020). "Fullwood wins WAU contract extension". Supercars.com. Retrieved 14 October 2020.
  10. ^ Chapman, Simon (23 February 2020). "CONFIRMED: No Commodore for WAU in 2021". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  11. ^ Howard, Tom (19 January 2020). "Percat extends BJR contract". Supercars.com. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  12. ^ Brad Jones Racing set to stick with Hazelwood Speedcafe 29 October 2020
  13. ^ Macauley Jones gets drive with BJR Speedcafe 19 November 2020
  14. ^ Howard, Tom (12 September 2019). "Reynolds signs 10-year Erebus deal". speedcafe.com. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  15. ^ a b Howard, Tom (11 December 2019). "Brown set to graduate to Supercars in 2021 with Erebus". Speedcafe.com. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Winterbottom scores new long-term deal". Supercars.com. 16 October 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  17. ^ Howard, Tom (19 January 2020). "Whincup extends Triple Eight Racing contract". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Craig Lowndes extends Triple Eight Supercars enduros deal to 2021". Autosport. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  19. ^ Chapman, Simon (21 February 2020). "SVG signs multi-year deal with Triple Eight". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  20. ^ Sutton, Malcolm (18 February 2020). "Holden vs Ford rivalry delivered a 'death' blow at Supercars Adelaide 500 after Holden exit". abc.net.au. ABC News. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  21. ^ Triple Eight to bring Camaro to Supercars Triple Eight Race Engineering
  22. ^ a b "TEAM PENSKE WILL NOT RETURN TO SUPERCARS IN 2021". Team Penske. 24 October 2020.
  23. ^ O'Brien, Connor (5 November 2020). "Erebus confirms De Pasquale departure". Supercars Championship.
  24. ^ Supercars, .com (26 October 2020). "Rick Kelly retires from full-time driving". Supercars Championship.
  25. ^ "Northern Territory Government Newsroom". newsroom.nt.gov.au.
  26. ^ a b "Future of Supercars secured for Queensland". teq.queensland.com.
  27. ^ "Five-year, $57 million Newcastle Supercars deal confirmed". au.motorsport.com.
  28. ^ "2020 Supercars calendar revealed". Supercars.
  29. ^ "Symmons Plains secures new Supercars deal". Supercars.
  30. ^ "Seamer responds to The Bend cancellation criticism". 19 June 2020.
  31. ^ Herrero, Daniel (29 October 2020). "SA Tourism Commission confirms Adelaide 500 axing". Speedcafe.
  32. ^ "Supercars releases revised 13-round 2020/21 calendar". Speedcafe. 17 May 2020.
  33. ^ Supercars to hold 2021 season opener in NSW Speedcafe 19 October 2020
  34. ^ Supercars signs $200m five-year broadcast deal with Foxtel and new FTA partner Seven Mumbrella 24 September 2020