The Winton SuperSprint is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held at Winton Motor Raceway in Winton, Victoria. 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 1985.

The event was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is scheduled to return in 2022.[1][2]

Format

The event is staged over a two-day weekend, from Saturday to Sunday. Saturday features two practice sessions, the first of which a thirty-minute session exclusively for additional drivers, mostly co-drivers from the Enduro Cup. The second forty-minute practice session is open to primary drivers. Saturday then features a three-stage knockout qualifying session which decides the grid positions for the following 120 kilometre sprint race. Saturday features a repeat of the Friday qualifying format with a longer 200 km race distance following.[3]

History

Jim Richards won the first two Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) events at Winton in 1985 and 1986. The 1985 event marked the only time in the history of the ATCC that a Holden did not compete in the race. Richards won the race by a lap over his teammate Neville Crichton, both in BMW 635CSis, while Kevin Bartlett finished third in a Mitsubishi Starion. Richards' 1986 win came only after the Nissan Skyline of Gary Scott was excluded for using oversized front brake caliper pistons.[4] Nissan would go on to dominate the event, winning every year from 1989 to 1992. George Fury's win in 1989 ended a fifteen-race winning streak by the Ford Sierra RS500, which had won every ATCC race in 1988 and the first six races of 1989.[4] The race was run in wet conditions and featured various leaders, including Peter Brock in a Sierra, Fury and Mark Skaife in Skylines and Allan Grice in a Holden Commodore. Brock finished in second despite a spin while Skaife took his first ATCC podium finish.[5]

The circuit was extended in 1997 and Larry Perkins took his first and only ATCC pole position at that year's event. His teammate Russell Ingall won all three races during the weekend to take overall victory ahead of Perkins and Glenn Seton.[4] In the second race of the 2000 round, Seton took his final career race victory, and was leading the third race until a sudden chain of events saw Seton and four other drivers in the leading pack have incidents in the space of two corners. Eventually Jason Bargwanna held off Paul Radisich in the closest race finish in the event's history, and in doing so won his second consecutive Winton round.[6] In the 2003 event, Greg Murphy was given a controversial drive-through penalty. Craig Lowndes lost the rear of his car going through the fast turn five and, as he applied the brakes to try to regain control, was hit by Murphy. The penalty was criticised by television commentator Neil Crompton and Lowndes said that Murphy "had been treated harshly".[7]

There was more controversy in 2004, when Cameron McConville passed Rick Kelly for the lead at the penultimate corner on the final lap. Brad Jones' car was stopped on the straight before the corner, with yellow flags being displayed and passing being disallowed as a result. Kelly was animated after the race, claiming that McConville had passed him in the yellow flag zone, but it was found that the pass had been made just as the two cars left the yellow flag zone and McConville kept the victory.[8] The race dropped from the calendar in 2005 and would only return in 2006 as a late replacement for the cancelled V8 Supercars China Round.[9] In wet conditions in 2007, Jamie Whincup moved from 20th on the grid to win the first race of the weekend, going on to win the round and breaking the then-record for the lowest starting position to win a round.[4] The 2009 event saw the introduction of the Dunlop soft tyre, the first time that the tyre company had provided two different slick tyre compounds since becoming the control tyre supplier in 2002.[10]

The 2013 and 2014 events saw some success for Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volvo, the manufacturers which had entered the series under, what was then known as, the Car of the Future V8 Supercar rules in those two seasons. Trialling a new blend of fuel, James Moffat, driving a Kelly Racing Nissan Altima L33, took his first career victory in the first race of the 2013 event,[11] while Lee Holdsworth gave Mercedes-Benz its first Supercars race win in the second race of the 2014 event.[12] Scott McLaughin took his first career pole position driving a Volvo S60 in 2014.[13] Chaz Mostert crashed out of a comfortable lead in the 2015 event, gifting team-mate Mark Winterbottom with victory. In 2016, Tim Slade took his first two career race wins to win the event, also giving local team Brad Jones Racing their first event win at the circuit.[14] In 2018, Rick Kelly won the Saturday race only days after Nissan announced they would be withdrawing their factory support of both Kelly Racing and the championship at the end of the season.[15] The 2020 event was postponed three weeks before being held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was later cancelled altogether.[1] Its date was replaced by an additional event at Sydney Motorsport Park.[16] The 2021 event was then postponed only two days prior to the event after another COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, before later being once again cancelled altogether.[17][18]

Winners

The original 'Club' layout used from 1985 to 1995.
Tim Slade during practice for the 2010 event.
Year Driver[4] Team Car Report
1985 New Zealand Jim Richards JPS Team BMW BMW 635CSi
1986 New Zealand Jim Richards JPS Team BMW BMW 635CSi
1987 not held
1988 Australia John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra RS500
1989 Australia George Fury Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R
1990 New Zealand Jim Richards Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline HR31 GTS-R
1991 New Zealand Jim Richards Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
1992 Australia Mark Skaife Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
1993 Australia Glenn Seton Glenn Seton Racing Ford EB Falcon
1994 Australia Glenn Seton Glenn Seton Racing Ford EB Falcon Report
1995 Australia John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford EF Falcon
1996 not held
1997 Australia Russell Ingall Perkins Engineering Holden VS Commodore
1998 Australia John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford EL Falcon
1999 Australia Jason Bargwanna Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden VT Commodore
2000 Australia Jason Bargwanna Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden VT Commodore
2001 Australia Russell Ingall Perkins Engineering Holden VX Commodore Report
2002 Australia Jason Bright Holden Racing Team Holden VX Commodore
2003 Australia Marcos Ambrose Stone Brothers Racing Ford BA Falcon
2004 Australia Cameron McConville Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden VY Commodore
2005 not held
2006 Australia Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford BA Falcon Report
2007 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford BF Falcon Report
2008 Australia Garth Tander Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Report
2009 Australia Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford FG Falcon Report
2010 Australia James Courtney Dick Johnson Racing Ford FG Falcon Report
2011 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore Report
2012 Australia Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore Report
2013 Australia James Courtney Holden Racing Team Holden VF Commodore
2014 Australia Mark Winterbottom Ford Performance Racing Ford FG Falcon Report
2015 Australia Mark Winterbottom Prodrive Racing Australia Ford FG X Falcon Report
2016 Australia Tim Slade Brad Jones Racing Holden VF Commodore Report
2017 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore Report
2018 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard DJR Team Penske Ford FG X Falcon Report
2019 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske Ford Mustang GT Report

Multiple winners

By driver

Wins Driver Years
4 New Zealand Jim Richards 1985, 1986, 1990, 1991
3 Australia John Bowe 1988, 1995, 1998
Australia Craig Lowndes 2006, 2009, 2012
Australia Jamie Whincup 2007, 2011, 2017
2 Australia Glenn Seton 1993, 1994
Australia Jason Bargwanna 1999, 2000
Australia Russell Ingall 1997, 2001
Australia James Courtney 2010, 2013
Australia Mark Winterbottom 2014, 2015

By team

Wins Team
6 Triple Eight Race Engineering
DJR Team Penske1
4 Gibson Motorsport
3 Garry Rogers Motorsport
Holden Racing Team
2 JPS Team BMW
Glenn Seton Racing
Perkins Engineering
Prodrive Racing Australia2

By manufacturer

Wins Manufacturer
14 Ford
12 Holden
4 Nissan
2 BMW
Notes
  • ^1 – DJR Team Penske was known as Dick Johnson Racing from 1980 to 2014, hence their statistics are combined.
  • ^2 – Prodrive Racing Australia was known as Ford Performance Racing from 2003 to 2014, hence their statistics are combined.

Event names and sponsors

  • 1985, 1988–95, 1997–2004, 2006–10, 2012: Winton
  • 1986: Lusty-Allison Winton Roundup
  • 2011: Winton 300
  • 2013: Winton 360
  • 2014: Winton 400
  • 2015: NP300 Navara Winton Super Sprint
  • 2016: Woodstock Winton SuperSprint
  • 2017–18, 2021: Winton SuperSprint
  • 2019: Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Chapman, Simon (30 August 2020). "Supercars confirms double-header at The Bend". Speedcafe. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  2. ^ Chapman, Simon (2 December 2020). "Supercars reveals long awaited 2021 calendar". Speedcafe. Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  3. ^ "Supercars Operations Manual 2019 - Division "A" - Administration Rules" (PDF). Supercars. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "The Top 10 Aussie Touring Car races of all time – Part two". Auto Action. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Fast Facts - Winton SuperSprint". Supercars.com. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  7. ^ "The Devil racer does it again, this time at Winton". Motorsport.com. 27 May 2003. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Race Flashback: Cam's Last Corner Pass". V8Supercars.com.au. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Winton replaces Shanghai on V8 calendar". Drive.com.au. 21 February 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Dunlop to introduce its new V8 Sport Maxx "Sprint" tyre at Winton". Jax Quickfit Tyres. April 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Moffat leads Nissan one-two at Winton". Speedcafe. 24 August 2013. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Holdsworth hands Erebus maiden V8 Supercars win". Speedcafe. 5 April 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  13. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (6 April 2014). "McLaughlin scores first V8 Supercars pole". Speedcafe. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  14. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 May 2016). "Slade and BJR do the double at Winton". Speedcafe. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  15. ^ Herrero, Dan (19 May 2018). "Kelly snatches emotional win after late Safety Car". Speedcafe. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  16. ^ McAlpine, Heath (2 July 2020). "Supercars Confirm SMP, Night Racing and Crowd Return". Auto Action. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  17. ^ Chapman, Simon (27 May 2021). "Winton SuperSprint postponed". Speedcafe. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Supercars statement regarding planned Winton SuperSprint". Supercars. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.