The Enduro Cup (formally known as the Pirtek Enduro Cup for sponsorship reasons), was an award given out to the highest points scorers over the three endurance events in Supercars; the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and the Gold Coast 600.

Format

Qualifying for the Sandown 500 involved a twenty-minute session followed by a pair of 60 km "qualifying races" held on Saturday.[1] The grid for the first race was based on the qualifying session; the grid for the second race was based on the results of the first. The results of the second race determined the grid for the main race on Sunday. Co-drivers were mandated to compete in the first of the qualifying races with the main driver in the second.[2] The Bathurst 1000 featured a single forty-minute qualifying session on Friday afternoon followed by a top ten shootout on Saturday. The Gold Coast 600 had two thirty-minute qualifying sessions, one each on Saturday and Sunday, with the Saturday session followed by a top ten shootout. The Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 both had a twenty-minute warm-up session on Sunday morning.[1]

The Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000 featured single races held on Sunday, at 500 km and 1000 km in length respectively. The Gold Coast 600 consisted of two 300 km races with one held on Saturday and one on Sunday.[1] For each of these races, each driver in every car was mandated to drive at least one third of the total race distance.

Background

From 1981 to 1986 and in 1990 and 1991, the Australian Endurance Championship was held for touring cars over several races per year, however unlike today was not a part of that year's Australian Touring Car Championship. As per the Enduro Cup, the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 regularly featured as championship rounds, and some years also had an event on the Gold Coast, at Surfers Paradise International Raceway. Allan Moffat and Jim Richards were the only two-time championship winners in this era.

The Pirtek Enduro Cup was launched in 2013 as a way to link together the series' three two-driver endurance events.[3] These races are Australia's traditional two endurance races, the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000, and the Gold Coast 600, which switched to a two-driver, two-race endurance format in 2010. From 2010 to 2012, the Gold Coast 600 required teams to use an international driver to accompany the local series regulars. In 2013, this requirement was dropped and teams could now pick the same driver for all three events.[3] To accompany this, the Enduro Cup was introduced, as a championship within a championship. The award is sponsored by Pirtek, who had previously sponsored the successful Stone Brothers Racing as a title sponsor from 1998 to 2005.[4] A collection of Pirtek hose fittings were used to create the trophy awarded to the winners.[4]

History

Triple Eight Race Engineering, pictured in 2014, have won five Enduro Cups.

In 2013, Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff won the Enduro Cup, despite winning only the first race of the Gold Coast 600. In 2014, Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell won the Enduro Cup, again for Triple Eight Race Engineering, winning both the Sandown 500 and the second race on the Gold Coast in the process. In 2015, Luff became the first driver to win the Enduro Cup on more than one occasion, this time driving with Garth Tander for the Holden Racing Team. Tander and Luff did not win any of the four races in the endurance season, with consistent results of two third and two fourth places instead accumulating enough points to win the trophy. In 2016, the all-international pairing of Shane van Gisbergen and Alexandre Prémat won the trophy, with three second-place finishes and one win amounting to the most dominant performance in the Enduro Cup era.[5] In 2017, Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen won the first Enduro Cup for Ford, with one win at the Gold Coast 600.[6]

The 2018 winners were Craig Lowndes, who joined his 2013 co-driver Luff as a two-time winner, and Steven Richards driving a Holden Commodore ZB for Triple Eight Race Engineering. Lowndes and Richards became the first winners of the Enduro Cup to have also won the Bathurst 1000 in the same year, while in the second Gold Coast 600 race they were under investigation for two separate infringements, prior to the race being abandoned due to bad weather.[7] Lowndes retired from full-time Supercars competition after 2018, but went on to win the Enduro Cup again in 2019 as co-driver to Jamie Whincup.[8] The 2019 series also featured the first shift in the endurance calendar since the cup's inception with the Sandown 500 moving from the first to the last of the three endurance events. The qualifying races at Sandown also became points-paying races, contributing to the Enduro Cup results.[9]

Demise

The Sandown 500 was scheduled to drop out of the Enduro Cup in 2020, to be replaced by The Bend 500 at The Bend Motorsport Park.[10] In a reshuffled calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the Gold Coast 600 and The Bend 500 were cancelled and the 2020 Bathurst 1000 was the only endurance event held.[11] No Enduro Cup was awarded for this single event, and the 2021 Supercars Championship was again scheduled to contain only one endurance event, without an Enduro Cup.[12]

Points system

Points were awarded as follows at the Enduro Cup events. Each of the three events were worth 300 points in total, with both drivers earning the total points awarded to the finishing position of the car. As the Gold Coast 600 was a two-race event, the 300 points was divided across each race with the winners taking 150 points.[13]

Event Position, points per race
1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th
Sandown and Bathurst 300 276 258 240 222 204 192 180 168 156 144 138 132 126 120 114 108 102 96 90 84 78 72 66 60 54 48
Gold Coast 150 138 129 120 111 102 96 90 84 78 72 69 66 63 60 57 54 51 48 45 42 39 36 33 30 27 24

Winners

Year Drivers Team Car
2013 Australia Craig Lowndes
Australia Warren Luff
Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF
2014 Australia Jamie Whincup
Australia Paul Dumbrell
Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF
2015 Australia Garth Tander
Australia Warren Luff
Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VF
2016 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
France Alexandre Prémat
Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF
2017 Australia Chaz Mostert
Australia Steve Owen
Rod Nash Racing Ford Falcon FG X
2018 Australia Craig Lowndes
New Zealand Steven Richards
Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore ZB
2019 Australia Jamie Whincup
Australia Craig Lowndes
Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore ZB

Multiple winners

By driver

Wins Driver Years
3 Australia Craig Lowndes 2013, 2018, 2019
2 Australia Warren Luff 2013, 2015
Australia Jamie Whincup 2014, 2019

By team

Wins Team
5 Triple Eight Race Engineering

By manufacturer

Wins Manufacturer
6 Holden

References

  1. ^ a b c "Radical changes to V8 Supercars race formats". Speedcafe. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  2. ^ "10 Fast Facts: Wilson Security Sandown 500". V8 Supercars. 9 September 2013. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b "V8 Supercars Announces Prestigious Endurance Cup". 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b Lomas, Gordon (31 July 2013). "Pirtek to sponsor V8 Supercars Enduro Cup". Speedcafe. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Internationals clinch Pirtek Enduro Cup". Supercars. 23 October 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  6. ^ "Mostert/Owen win Pirtek Enduro Cup". Speedcafe. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  7. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 October 2018). "'Luck of the Irish' in Lowndes/Richards win". Supercars.com. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
  8. ^ O'Brien, Connor (10 November 2019). "Whincup/Lowndes win, McLaughlin secures title". Supercars. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  9. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (4 November 2019). "Sandown 500 format changes explained". Supercars. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  10. ^ Howard, Tom (28 August 2019). "Supercars drops QR, Phillip Island in revised 2020 calendar". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  11. ^ van Leeuwen, Andrew (30 August 2020). "Official: 2020 Supercars season will end at Bathurst". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  12. ^ Fogarty, Mark (25 November 2020). "BATHURST 1000 WILL BE ONLY TWO-DRIVER RACE IN 2021". Auto Action. Retrieved 26 December 2020.
  13. ^ "2014 V8 Supercar Operations Manual Division D" (PDF). V8 Supercars. 24 January 2014. Archived from the original (pdf) on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2015.