The Bend SuperSprint (formally known as the OTR SuperSprint – The Bend) is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held at The Bend Motorsport Park in Tailem Bend, South Australia since 2018.[1] In 2020, after originally being intended to be an endurance race of 500km, the Tailem Bend races were re-purposed as two consecutive sprint race weekends in a revised calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]

Format

In 2021 the 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 110 kilometre race to follow. Sunday features two ten-minute qualifying sessions that set the grid for each of the day's two 110 kilometre races.

Other than the second 2020 event, all events have run on the 4.9km "International" configuration of the circuit.[3] The second 2020 event used the shorter "West" layout.[4] The event is also open to "wildcard" entries, allowing teams and drivers from the Super2 Series support category to take part in the top tier.[1]

History

Jamie Whincup at the 2018 event.

The Bend Motorsport Park, the first permanent circuit to be opened in Australia since Queensland Raceway in 1999, signed a memorandum of understanding to host a future Supercars race early in the construction process in 2015.[5] Following final approval from the Government of South Australia, the circuit was added to the 2018 calendar with an August date, the first time the state has held two championship events in a season since Adelaide International Raceway hosted two rounds in 1977.[6][7] The inaugural event was dominated by Triple Eight Race Engineering, with two poles and two race victories shared between Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.[8] The 2019 event was again dominated by a single team, with DJR Team Penske's Scott McLaughlin winning both races from pole position.[9]

From 2020, the sprint event was due to be replaced on the championship calendar by a new endurance race at the circuit.[10][11] The endurance event was then dropped in a shortened calendar due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] In a further revision to the calendar, caused by border restrictions, a double-header SuperSprint was added to the calendar to be held in September 2020 on consecutive weekends.[2] In the first of the two events the wins were again shared between Triple Eight and DJR Team Penske, with championship combatants McLaughlin and Whincup clashing in the first race of the weekend, resulting in a penalty for Whincup.[13] Fabian Coulthard won the round, with team-mate McLaughlin winning the second round, held for the first time on the circuit's West layout, and in doing so securing his third consecutive Supercars Championship.[14]

In 2021, the event became the only South Australian event following the demise of the Adelaide 500.[15] Ford won all three races over the weekend, including Andre Heimgartner's first career win, however Shane van Gisbergen won the round in Holden's final scheduled year in the championship.[16]

Winners

Year Driver Team Car Report
2018 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden ZB Commodore Report
2019 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT
20201 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT
2021 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden ZB Commodore
Notes
  • ^1 – The Bend Motorsport Park hosted two events of the 2020 Supercars Championship. The second event was the only event to date to use the circuit's West layout. All other events have used the International layout.

Multiple winners

By driver

Wins Driver Years
2 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin 2019, 2020
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen 2018, 2021

By team

Wins Team
3 DJR Team Penske
2 Triple Eight Race Engineering

By manufacturer

Wins Manufacturer
3 Ford
2 Holden

Event names and sponsors

  • 2018–onwards: OTR SuperSprint – The Bend
  • 20201: Repco SuperSprint – The Bend

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Supercars reveals 16 event 2018 calendar". Speedcafe. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b Chapman, Simon (30 August 2020). "Supercars confirms double-header at The Bend". Speedcafe. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Bend Motorsport Park confirms Supercars 2018 slot". Speedcafe. 3 October 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  4. ^ O'Brien, Connor (23 September 2020). "Overtaking, carnage tipped for new Bend circuit". Supercars. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  5. ^ Cook, Craig (14 June 2015). "Tailem Bend Motorsport Park: the plan for SA's second V8 race". The Advertiser. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  6. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 June 2017). "SA Government backs Tailem Bend Supercars event". Supercars.com. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  7. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (8 January 2018). "Tailem Bend buoyed by early ticket sales". Supercars.com. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  8. ^ Herrero, Daniel (26 August 2018). "Whincup wins, van Gisbergen takes points lead". Speedcafe. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  9. ^ Herrero, Daniel (25 August 2019). "McLaughlin equals Lowndes with 16th race win of 2019". Speedcafe. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  10. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (24 August 2019). "The Bend joins 2020 PIRTEK Enduro Cup". Supercars. Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  11. ^ Howard, Tom (28 August 2019). "Supercars drops QR, Phillip Island in revised 2020 calendar". speedcafe.com. Speedcafe. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Sandown Takes Traditional Spot on Newly Revised Supercars Calendar". Auto Action. 18 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  13. ^ Jenkin, Cara (20 September 2020). "Ford flyer's stunning comeback at The Bend". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  14. ^ Herrero, Daniel (27 September 2020). "McLaughlin clinches championship as Waters wins Race 30". Speedcafe. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  15. ^ "Date locked in for 2021 Bend SuperSprint". Supercars. 27 November 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  16. ^ Herrero, Daniel (9 May 2021). "Van Gisbergen does not feel like round winner". Speedcafe. Retrieved 9 May 2021.