The Tasmania SuperSprint (formally known as the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint) is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held at Symmons Plains Raceway in Launceston, Tasmania. The event has been a regular part of the Supercars Championship—and its previous incarnations, the Australian Touring Car Championship, Shell Championship Series and V8 Supercars Championship—since 1969.
Behind Sandown Raceway, which has most commonly hosted the Sandown 500 and Sandown Challenge, Symmons Plains has hosted the most events in championship history with 47 as of 2019. The only hiatus for the event was between 2000 and 2003 during which the circuit received a A$3 million upgrade. The event is seen as one of Tasmania's largest sporting events, providing a variety of benefits to the local economy.
The event is staged over a three-day weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Two thirty-minute practice sessions are held on Friday, with twenty minute sessions being held on each Saturday and Sunday. Friday also features a thirty-minute practice session exclusively for additional drivers, mostly co-drivers from the Enduro Cup. Saturday features a three-stage knockout qualifying session which decides the grid positions for the following 120 kilometre sprint race. Sunday features a repeat of the Saturday qualifying format with a longer 200 km race distance following.
When the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) was first held over a series of races in 1969, Symmons Plains was included on the calendar as the final race of the series. The race would decide the championship that year, as Alan Hamilton could take the title from Ian Geoghegan if he won the race and Geoghegan failed to score. Geoghegan's car failed to start at the one-minute signal and his pit crew push started the car. This was not allowed under the regulations of the time and Geoghegan was disqualified. Hamilton ended up finishing the race in second place behind Norm Beechey, losing the title to Geoghegan by a single point. After again hosting the final round in 1970, Symmons Plains became the home of the opening round, hosting the first event of the ATCC every year from 1971 to 1981. Allan Moffat and Peter Brock were the most successful drivers at the event in this period, taking seven of the eleven possible victories between them. John Harvey also scored his only two ATCC victories at the event, winning in 1976 and 1979.
In 1985, Robbie Francevic won his and Volvo's first round victory, winning again in 1986. Between 1988 and 1990, Dick Johnson joined Moffat as the only two drivers to win three consecutive rounds at the circuit. In 1993, 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones won his first ATCC round, despite a clash with Mark Skaife which led to a confrontation after the race. In the late 1990s, Holden Racing Team dominated the event with four consecutive round wins from 1996 to 1999. During this period, the Symmons Plains event remained in the early part of the ATCC calendar until 1999, when it was moved to August. The Government of Tasmania didn't renew the event's contract after 1999 and the race dropped off the calendar in 2000.
Following the completion of a circuit upgrade in 2004, which included the construction of permanent pit lane facilities and a resurfacing of the track, a new deal was struck to bring the event back onto the calendar in November of the same year. Tasmanian driver Marcos Ambrose went into the 2004 event attempting to seal a back-to-back championship victory, until an engine failure in the third and final race of the weekend delayed his coronation as champion. David Besnard and three other drivers benefited from a fortuitous late-race safety car to jump to the front of the field, before the four drivers were then demoted to the back of the field at a subsequent safety car due to confusion regarding the standings. Several days later, Besnard was credited with the win, the only win for WPS Racing. Initially on its return, the event was generally held towards the end of the season, often as the penultimate event, until a move to the early stages of the championship calendar in 2012.
Between 2007 and 2015, Jamie Whincup and Triple Eight Race Engineering dominated the event with six wins. This has seen Whincup surpass Brock as the most successful driver in the event's history. In 2013, Fabian Coulthard won Brad Jones Racing their first championship round, winning two races with team-mate Jason Bright winning the other. In 2017, the Saturday race was suspended after two laps due to a twelve car pile-up in wet conditions. While the race later briefly restarted under safety car, no championship points were awarded due to the short distance completed, however Shane van Gisbergen was still credited with a race victory. In 2018, a three-stage knockout qualifying system was introduced to the championship at Symmons Plains to reduce the risks of traffic. Craig Lowndes won the round, his last round win as a solo driver, and his first at the circuit since 1998.
|7||Jamie Whincup||2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2021|
|5||Peter Brock||1974, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984|
|4||Allan Moffat||1971, 1972, 1973, 1977|
|Dick Johnson||1981, 1988, 1989, 1990|
|3||Craig Lowndes||1996, 1998, 2018|
|2||John Harvey||1976, 1979|
|Robbie Francevic||1985, 1986|
|Mark Skaife||1994, 1999|
|Garth Tander||2005, 2006|
|Will Davison||2009, 2016|
|Fabian Coulthard||2013, 2017|
|9||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|7||Holden Dealer Team|
|6||DJR Team Penske1|
|5||Holden Racing Team|
|3||Allan Moffat Racing|
|2||Glenn Seton Racing|
|HSV Dealer Team|
- ^1 – DJR Team Penske was known as Dick Johnson Racing from 1980 to 2014, hence their statistics are combined.
Event names and sponsors
- 1969–85, 1987–99, 2004: Symmons Plains
- 1986: A.N.L. Cup
- 2005–06: Ferodo Triple Challenge
- 2006: Ferodo Tasmania Challenge
- 2007–12: Falken Tasmania Challenge
- 2013: Tasmania Microsoft Office 365
- 2014: Tasmania 400
- 2015–19: Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint
- 2021: Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint
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- "Symmons Plains". RacingCircuits.info. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (4 April 2018). "Flashback: Symmons Plains' unlikeliest winner". Supercars. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
- van Leeuwen, Andrew (8 April 2017). "Massive shunt halts Supercars race in Tasmania". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
- "Supercars Revise Qualifying Format for Short Tracks". Auto Action. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- Geale, Hamish (8 April 2018). "Lowndes breaks drought with Symmons Plains domination". The Examiner (Tasmania). Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- "Supercars postpones three events, launches Eseries". Supercars. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
- Chapman, Simon (17 May 2020). "Supercars releases revised 13-round 2020/21 calendar". Speedcafe. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
- Chapman, Simon (30 August 2020). "Supercars confirms double-header at The Bend". Speedcafe. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
- Chapman, Simon (2 December 2020). "Supercars reveals long awaited 2021 calendar". Speedcafe. Retrieved 3 December 2020.