The Sydney SuperNight (formally known as the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight) is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held at Sydney Motorsport Park in Eastern Creek, New South Wales. The event has been a semi-regular part of the Supercars Championship—and its previous incarnations, the Australian Touring Car Championship, Shell Championship Series and V8 Supercars Championship—since 1992. Since 2018, this is the only active Supercars event held in metropolitan Sydney.[1]

In 2020, the event was known as the Sydney SuperSprint and was held twice due to calendar changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[2][3]

The event was scheduled to return in August 2021, however it was postponed to a TBC date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Format

The 2020 SuperSprint event was held over two days, from Saturday to Sunday. On Saturday, three practice sessions were held with the first being only for rookie drivers. A three-part knock-out qualifying session was then held, culminating in a top 15 shootout determining the grid for the 125 kilometre race to follow. Sunday features two fifteen-minute qualifying sessions that set the grid for each of the day's two 125 kilometre races.[4]

History

The start of a race during the 2005 event.
Shane van Gisbergen leading in wet conditions during the 2014 event.
The start of a race during the 2016 event.

1990s

Opened in 1990 as Eastern Creek Raceway, the circuit hosted non-championship events before its first official ATCC event in 1992. John Bowe won both races of the inaugural championship event, holding on in a close battle with Tony Longhurst in the first race. In 1994, Peter Brock scored the first race and round victories in the ATCC for the Holden Racing Team. The 1996 event was held on the shorter 'North' version of the circuit, enabling the third race of the event to be held at night. Craig Lowndes won the event, becoming the first driver to win an ATCC round on debut since David McKay won the very first ATCC round in 1960. Russell Ingall and Steven Richards also made their ATCC debuts on that weekend.[5] The event was dropped from the calendar in 1998 but returned in 1999, a year which began a four-event winning streak for Mark Skaife and the Holden Racing Team at the event.

2000s

In the first race of the 2001 round, Greg Murphy was credited with a race win despite finishing third, after top two Lowndes and Marcos Ambrose were given post-race penalties for separate incidents. Murphy himself was then penalised for a jump start in the second race giving Skaife the race and round victory.[6] Ambrose ended the Holden Racing Team streak by winning in 2003, the first of two championship events the circuit would hold in 2003 and 2004, the second being the season finale. was won by Marcos Ambrose, who secured his first championship win in the process. The 2003 event is perhaps best remembered for an incident between Russell Ingall and Mark Skaife, which has since been dubbed the "race rage" incident or the "shriek at the creek".[7] Ingall and Skaife made contact exiting Turn 9 which resulted in Skaife being spun into the wall. Having parked his damaged car on the other side of the track, Skaife remained next to his car, waiting for Ingall to return on the following lap. Skaife walked towards the edge of the circuit, shaking his fist at Ingall, and Ingall responded by swerving towards Skaife. Ingall was disqualified from the event and both drivers were fined.[5]

In 2004's first round, Rick Kelly broke the record for the lowest starting position from which an ATCC or Supercars round had been won, winning from seventeenth on the grid in wet conditions. Lowndes and Garth Tander, who completed the podium, started sixteenth and fifteenth respectively in a very wet race. In 2004's finale, Ambrose claimed his second successive championship title in race shortened due to heavy rain. In 2005, Lowndes took the first Supercars race and round win for Triple Eight Race Engineering, before the event dropped off the calendar again in 2006.[5] In winning the event in 2007, Skaife broke Peter Brock's long-standing record of 37 round victories in the ATCC and Supercars Championship, taking his 38th win which was also his final solo round win. His teammate Todd Kelly made it a one-two finish for the Holden Racing Team, while Jamie Whincup was disqualified from the third race for using illegal rear brake rotors. The event was held on the Queen's Birthday long weekend, with qualifying and the first race on Sunday and the final two races on the Monday. In 2008, Will Davison took his first Supercars round win and the first for Dick Johnson Racing since 2001. Eastern Creek was dropped from the calendar in 2009, with the Sydney event moving to the Homebush Street Circuit, known as the Sydney 500.[5]

2010s

After hosting the series' pre-season test day in 2011, the renamed Sydney Motorsport Park returned to the Supercars calendar in 2012 as a late addition.[8] As part of the renovation and name change, the layout was slightly changed, with the kink at turn 6 removed. The circuit was again removed from the calendar in 2013 before returning in 2014. The 2014 and 2015 events included rain-affected races, with the events won by Shane van Gisbergen and Chaz Mostert respectively.[9][10] In the 2016 event Jamie Whincup won his 100th championship race, defeating Craig Lowndes, who was driving in his record 600th championship race, in a race-long battle.[11] One year later, Whincup won his 106th championship race at the Sydney event, surpassing Lowndes' record of 105 wins.[12]

In 2018, the event format changed to feature a single 300 kilometre race at night, the first event under lights in the championship since the 2011 Yas V8 400 and the first in Australia since the 1997 Calder Park round.[13][14] It was originally planned to use the 2.8km Druitt circuit, similar to what was used for the 1996 night event, however after further testing of the lighting system, it was decided that the 3.9km Gardner Circuit would be used, like all other previous events at the circuit.[15][14] The race itself was won by van Gisbergen, who overtook Scott McLaughlin in a late race battle following a safety car.[16] The event was excluded from the schedule for the 2019 Supercars Championship, with an intention of returning to the calendar early in the 2020 season with permanent lights to be installed.[17]

2020s

As intended, the event was announced as part of the 2020 Supercars Championship, albeit retaining its previous August slot.[18] However, the event was then brought forward to June as the return race for the championship after it was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was run as a two-day daytime event run behind closed doors.[19] In addition to this, it was later announced the circuit will host a second event in 2020, as in 2003 and 2004. After the first of these was held, won by McLaughlin, a third day/night event at the circuit was scheduled for July 2020, to replace the Winton Super400 which was postponed due to further border restrictions caused by the pandemic.[3] The second 2020 event had dual tyre compounds which led to mixed race results, including the first championship race victory for Jack Le Brocq, due to high degradation and a limited tyre bank.[20] Despite the mixed results, McLaughlin again won the round.[21] The planned third event for the year was later cancelled.[22]

Winners

The Grand Prix layout used from 1992–95 and 1997–2008
Year Driver[5] Team Car Report
1992 Australia John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra RS500
1993 Australia Glenn Seton Glenn Seton Racing Ford EB Falcon
1994 Australia Peter Brock Holden Racing Team Holden VP Commodore Report
1995 Australia Mark Skaife Gibson Motorsport Holden VR Commodore
19961 Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Racing Team Holden VR Commodore
1997 Australia Glenn Seton Glenn Seton Racing Ford EL Falcon
1998 not held
1999 Australia Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VT Commodore Report
2000 Australia Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VT Commodore
2001 Australia Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VX Commodore Report
2002 Australia Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VX Commodore
20032 Australia Marcos Ambrose Stone Brothers Racing Ford BA Falcon
Australia Marcos Ambrose Stone Brothers Racing Ford BA Falcon
20042 Australia Rick Kelly Kmart Racing Team Holden VY Commodore
Australia Marcos Ambrose Stone Brothers Racing Ford BA Falcon
2005 Australia Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford BA Falcon
2006 not held
2007 Australia Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Report
2008 Australia Will Davison Dick Johnson Racing Ford BF Falcon Report
2009

2011
not held
2012 Australia Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore Report
2013 not held
2014 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Autosports Holden VF Commodore Report
2015 Australia Chaz Mostert Prodrive Racing Australia Ford FG X Falcon Report
2016 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore Report
2017 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard DJR Team Penske Ford FG X Falcon Report
2018 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden ZB Commodore Report
2019 not held
20203 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT Report
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT
Notes
  • ^1 – The 1996 event was held on the original North Circuit. All other years have been held on the Grand Prix (Gardner) layout.
  • ^2 – In 2003 and 2004, Sydney Motorsport Park (née Eastern Creek) also hosted a second round of the V8 Supercars Championship Series, the season finale.
  • ^3 – In 2020, Sydney Motorsport Park hosted consecutive rounds of the Supercars Championship, each known as the Sydney SuperSprint.

Multiple winners

By driver

Wins Driver Years
6 Australia Mark Skaife 1995, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007
3 Australia Marcos Ambrose 2003, 2003, 2004
Australia Craig Lowndes 1996, 2005, 2012
2 Australia Glenn Seton 1993, 1997
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen 2014, 2018
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin 2020, 2020

By team

Wins Team
7 Holden Racing Team
5 DJR Team Penske4
4 Triple Eight Race Engineering
3 Stone Brothers Racing
2 Glenn Seton Racing

By manufacturer

Wins Manufacturer
13 Holden
12 Ford
Notes
  • ^4 – DJR Team Penske was known as Dick Johnson Racing from 1980 to 2014, hence their statistics are combined.

Event names and sponsors

  • 1992–97, 1999–2005, 2007–08: Eastern Creek
  • 2003: VIP Petfoods Main Event
  • 2004: BigPond Grand Finale
  • 2012: Sydney Motorsport Park 360
  • 2014: Sydney Motorsport Park 400
  • 2015: Sydney Super Sprint
  • 2016–17: Red Rooster SuperSprint
  • 2018: Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300
  • 2020: BP Ultimate Sydney SuperSprint
  • 2020: Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint
  • 2021: Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight
  • 2021: Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight

See also

References

  1. ^ "Night racing here to stay, so where should the Supercars target next?". The Roar. 7 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Supercars announce changes to draft 2020 calendar". Supercars. 19 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b McAlpine, Heath (2 July 2020). "Supercars Confirm SMP, Night Racing and Crowd Return". Auto Action. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  4. ^ Chapman, Simon (6 June 2020). "Supercars reveals three-race format for Sydney SuperSprint". Speedcafe. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
  6. ^ Lacy, Justin (30 April 2001). "Ford snatches defeat from the jaws of victory". GoAuto. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  7. ^ Kirby, Cameron (25 August 2016). "Ingall and Skaife: Ford Falcon vs Holden Commodore final showdown". Wheels Magazine. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  8. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 April 2012). "Eastern Creek added to 2012 V8 Supercars calendar". Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  9. ^ Howard, Tom (23 August 2014). "Van Gisbergen does the double at SMP". Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  10. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (23 August 2015). "Chaz Mostert wins rain hit Sydney finale". Speedcafe. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  11. ^ Fogarty, Mark (28 August 2016). "Holden's Jamie Whincup wins to reach Supercars ton". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  12. ^ Howard, Tom (20 August 2017). "Whincup downplays Supercars milestone". Speedcafe. Retrieved 20 August 2017.
  13. ^ Howard, Tom (3 October 2017). "Sydney night race to join 2018 Supercars calendar". Speedcafe. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  14. ^ a b "SuperNight to run on full Sydney Circuit". supercars.com. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Short circuit for SMP Supercars night race". Speedcafe.com. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  16. ^ Herrero, Dan (5 August 2018). "Van Gisbergen wins Sydney SuperNight thriller". Speedcafe. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  17. ^ Adam, Mitchell (11 October 2018). "Calendar revealed for 2019 Supercars Championship". Supercars. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  18. ^ Howard, Tom (28 August 2019). "Supercars drops QR, Phillip Island in revised 2020 calendar". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  19. ^ O'Brien, Connor (16 May 2020). "Sydney to host first event back". Supercars. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  20. ^ van Leeuwen, Andrew (19 July 2020). "Percat and first-time winner Le Brocq take Sydney Supercars spoils". Autosport. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  21. ^ van Leeuwen, Andrew (22 July 2020). "McLaughlin unfazed by lack of formal round win". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  22. ^ Chapman, Simon (30 August 2020). "Supercars confirms double-header at The Bend". Speedcafe. Retrieved 30 August 2020.