The 2016 Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint was a motor racing event for V8 Supercars, held on the weekend of 1 to 3 April 2016. The event was held at Symmons Plains Raceway in Launceston, Tasmania, and consisted of one race of 120 kilometres and one race of 200 km in length. It was the second event of fourteen in the 2016 International V8 Supercars Championship and hosted Races 4 and 5 of the season. The event was the 44th running of the Tasmania SuperSprint.
Defending series champion Mark Winterbottom started from pole position in both races, but was unable to take victory in either race. Triple Eight Race Engineering teammates Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup finished first and second in Race 4, ahead of Will Davison. Davison took victory in Race 5, passing both Van Gisbergen and Winterbottom in the closing laps after the latter pair went off the circuit due to oil dropped by Winterbottom's teammate Cameron Waters. Craig Lowndes finished second while Winterbottom recovered to take third. Van Gisbergen, after leading for most of the race, did not finish after getting stuck in a gravel trap. Davison's win elevated him to the championship lead, 15 points clear of Lowndes, with Whincup a further nine points behind in third.
The event was the first to feature the revised SuperSprint race format, which was introduced for the 2016 season. A single 120 km race was held on Saturday, with drivers required to make a pit stop to change tyres. The 120 km race replaces the pair of 60 km races which had been held on the Saturday of SuperSprint events in 2015. It was also the first event held at the circuit following upgrades which had taken place across December 2015 and January 2016, which included the installation of new concrete barriers on the inside of the circuit and the reconditioning of the gravel traps.
Following confusion over race start regulations at the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, the rules regarding race starts under control of the safety car were amended. Previously, if a formation lap had not been completed, the race would not officially start until the safety car returned to the pit lane. The new rules stated that the race would start once the cars left the grid behind the safety car, regardless of whether or not the formation lap had been completed.
The first one-hour practice session was held on Friday morning. James Moffat set a time of 51.8869 to be fastest ahead of Whincup and Craig Lowndes. Whincup noted the impact of the circuit upgrades on the track condition, saying: "The side effect of the recent works is some loose dirt which has blown across the track, but I’m certainly not going to complain about that." Mark Winterbottom was quickest in the second one-hour session, which was held on Friday afternoon. His teammate Cameron Waters was second fastest ahead of Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen and Lowndes. The cars of Whincup and Chaz Mostert both had precautionary engine changes overnight, ahead of the third and final practice session on Saturday morning, which was 15 minutes in duration. Winterbottom was again fastest, with a time of 51.0978. Scott McLaughlin was second quickest ahead of Fabian Coulthard.
|Practice 1||Friday||34||James Moffat||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Volvo S60||51.8869|
|Practice 2||Friday||1||Mark Winterbottom||Prodrive Racing Australia||Ford FG X Falcon||51.4225|
|Practice 3||Saturday||1||Mark Winterbottom||Prodrive Racing Australia||Ford FG X Falcon||51.0978|
Qualifying – Race 4
Qualifying for Race 4 took place on Saturday afternoon and consisted of a single 15-minute session. Winterbottom continued his form from the practice sessions to take pole position with a time of 51.1530, two one-hundredths of a second faster than Lowndes. Both drivers went off the circuit during the session, with Winterbottom going off at Turn 2 and Lowndes at Turn 6. Van Gisbergen was third ahead of Lee Holdsworth and Will Davison. Nick Percat spun at Turn 4 late in the session which affected several drivers' laps.
Race 4 was held on Saturday afternoon. McLaughlin's car experienced an engine problem prior to the start of the race, forcing him to start from the pit lane before repair work left him ten laps behind the leaders. Winterbottom held the lead from pole position ahead of Lowndes and Van Gisbergen. Holdsworth lost places in the early laps, while Whincup moved up to fifth place before being the first driver to make his compulsory pit stop at the end of lap 4. After other drivers made their pit stops in the following laps, Whincup emerged ahead of Van Gisbergen, Lowndes, Davison and Rick Kelly, while Winterbottom dropped back after a slow pit stop and going off the circuit to avoid Lowndes after he left the pit lane. Van Gisbergen passed Whincup for the effective race lead on lap 17.
Brad Jones Racing pitted their drivers later in the race, with Jason Bright stopping on lap 20 and Tim Slade on lap 28. Tim Blanchard was the final driver to take his pit stop on lap 32, leaving Van Gisbergen in the lead ahead of Whincup, Lowndes, Davison and Rick Kelly. Davison passed Lowndes for third on lap 34, while Bright and Slade were taking advantage of their younger tyres to make up positions. Van Gisbergen went on to take victory over Whincup by nine tenths of a second, with Davison finishing another two tenths behind. Rick Kelly was able to pass Lowndes for fourth, while Bright made it up to sixth place. Waters finished seventh ahead of Slade, with Winterbottom and Mostert completing the top ten. Van Gisbergen's win was the 500th for Holden in the combined history of the Australian Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercars Championship.
Qualifying – Race 5
A single 20-minute qualifying session, held on Sunday morning, was used to determine the grid for Race 5. Davison set the fastest lap time during the session, but was given a two-place grid penalty for blocking James Courtney. As a result, pole position was awarded to Winterbottom, who set the second fastest time. Davison was unaware that he had impeded Courtney, saying: "I had no idea he was there." Van Gisbergen was third fastest, which would see him start from second on the grid, while Whincup was fourth ahead of Holdsworth and Mostert.
Race 5 took place on Sunday afternoon. The race regulations required each car to take on at least 120 litres of fuel during the race. Winterbottom and Van Gisbergen battled for the lead in the opening laps, with Van Gisbergen taking the lead on lap 3. Whincup took advantage of Van Gisbergen's pass to move into second place. On lap 5, Percat and Chris Pither made contact on the exit of Turn 4, which sent Pither spinning into the wall, severely damaging his car. The safety car was deployed while Pither's car was retrieved and all of the drivers made their first pit stop, with the exception of Lowndes and Rick Kelly who had pitted on lap 1. Whincup lost multiple positions as he had to wait for Van Gisbergen's car to be serviced before he could complete his own pit stop. Van Gisbergen emerged in the lead ahead of Winterbottom, Rick Kelly, Lowndes and Mostert, while Whincup had dropped to 13th place.
Van Gisbergen and Winterbottom continued to battle after the safety car returned to the pit lane, but Van Gisbergen was eventually able to build a lead. The safety car was called for the second time on lap 40, when Whincup became stuck in the gravel trap at Turn 4, having run wide following his second pit stop. All of the other drivers came into the pit lane to take on their remaining fuel requirement. Waters' car was taken into the garage with an engine problem which left him several laps off the lead. Shortly after the safety car period ended, Rick Kelly began suffering from brake problems, which slowly worsened and eventually forced him to retire from the race on lap 57. Blanchard retired from the race on lap 74, when his front splitter collapsed under the front of the car and caused him to go off the circuit at Turn 6 and become stuck in a gravel trap.
Van Gisbergen looked set to take victory until lap 80, when Waters' car, which had returned to the circuit, suffered an engine failure on the run into Turn 4, depositing large amounts of oil onto the track. Andre Heimgartner and Whincup, immediately behind Waters, both went off the circuit and made heavy contact with each other. Heimgartner was beached in the gravel trap but Whincup was able to continue, while Moffat also spun. Van Gisbergen and Winterbottom both slid on the oil, with Van Gisbergen getting stuck in the gravel trap with his car against the barrier. This allowed Davison and Lowndes through into the top two positions, while Winterbottom recovered and assumed third place. Davison held on to take victory ahead of Lowndes and Winterbottom, with McLaughlin and Mostert completing the top five. Tander and Courtney finished sixth and seventh, having started 18th and 19th respectively.
The result saw Davison assume the championship lead ahead of Lowndes and Whincup, while Van Gisbergen dropped to seventh place, having led the points standings after Race 4.
Championship standings after the event
- After Race 5 of 29. Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
- Davison was given a two-place grid penalty for impeding Courtney during qualifying for Race 5. As such, Winterbottom was officially recognised as having taken pole position.
- "V8 Supercars 2016 calendar change". V8 Supercars. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
- "V8 Supercars confirms format changes for 2016". Speedcafe. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (29 March 2016). "New look Symmons Plains ready for V8 action". Speedcafe. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- Gadeke, Kassie (22 March 2016). "Brand new start". V8 Supercars. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (1 April 2016). "Moffat tops tight opening Symmons practice". Speedcafe. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (1 April 2016). "Prodrive trumps T8 in Symmons practice". Speedcafe. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (2 April 2016). "Winterbottom stays on top in final practice". Speedcafe. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (2 April 2016). "Winterbottom beats Lowndes to Race 4 Pole". Speedcafe. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
- Gadeke, Kassie (2 April 2016). "500 up for Holden". V8 Supercars. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (2 April 2016). "SVG scores Holden's 500th win in Race 4". Speedcafe. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
- "Davison penalty hands Winterbottom pole". Speedcafe. 3 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (3 April 2016). "Davison wins after late drama at Symmons". Speedcafe. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
- Gadeke, Kassie (3 April 2016). "Davison steals the show". V8 Supercars. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
2016 Clipsal 500 Adelaide
|2016 Supercars Championship||Next race:|
2016 WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint
2015 Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint
|Tasmania SuperSprint||Next year:|
2017 Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint