Category Archives: V8 Supercars

An interesting precedent in the Supercars championship

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When the Supercars Championship visited Sydney Motorsport Park last month, no drivers tried a repeat of a bizarre incident took place last year. In 2015 Jason Bright was pushed off the track at Turn 4 but then took a 1km shortcut up an escape road to claim back his original position – something the stewards allowed. It will be interesting to see if any other driver treats this as a precedent at some point in the future to gain back positions they feel they lost unfairly.

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Craig Lowndes 104th victory was one of his absolute best

An extra pitstop during the first race V8 Supercar at Barbagello dropped Craig Lowndes to 22nd, half a minute behind the leaders, but with fresher tyres he went on a charge. Lowndes quickly reached 11th and then passed the top 10 cars in just 7 laps to take an amazing victory from nowhere. Stunning.

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V8SC: Mt Panorama without barriers is terrifying

Check out this video from the first lap of the 1978 Bathurst 1000. If you think the circuit is crazy now, just have a look at it without the barriers! It’s amazing to think that drivers once had nothing but a few pieces of guardrail spread around the circuit to stop them going into the trees.

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V8SC: Todd Kelly’s sweary outburst was picked up on live TV

Most athletes don’t need to worry about a microphone being shoved in their face during the heat of battle but motorsport is a little bit different. TV cameras picked up Todd Kelly’s sweary outburst in the recent V8 Supercar round at Queensland Raceway after his engine failed with only a few laps to go. His raw emotion was on display for everyone to see and there was no need for a transcript.

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V8SC: 100 wins isn’t the only incredible statistic about Craig Lowndes’ career

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100 V8 Supercar race victories is an incredible achievement, but it might not be the most amazing statistic about Craig Lowndes’ career. What’s arguably more impressive is that Lowndes has finished fourth or higher in the championship a massive fourteen times (and is likely to make it fifteen this year).

He might only have three titles to his name, but Lowndes has finished runner-up five times and has almost always been near the front. Fourteen seasons at that level is the sort of statistic only Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi can match in their respective fields. 100 race wins is great, but being consistently in championship contention for such a long period of time is arguably more impressive.

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V8SC: Craig Lowndes has taken his 100th race victory

Craig Lowndes took his 100th V8 Supercar race victory today, and although it’s like comparing apples to oranges, it’s interesting to see how that stacks up against record winners from other categories around the world. It’s a brilliant achievement.

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V8SC: A driver asked his team for the cricket score in the middle of a race

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Driving a race car requires immense concentration, but the best drivers are able to keep their minds free to think about strategy, car set-up, and to analyse their competitors. It also seems they can use that extra space in their brain to think about cricket. That’s exactly what Scott McLaughlin did during the most recent V8 Supercar race when he asked his engineers for the World Cup score. You can see the amusing video here.

McLaughlin is from New Zealand, so it’s probably best they didn’t tell him.

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V8SC: One camera – two amazing pieces of footage

Ever wondered what an out of control car heading towards you at 170kph would look like? Well, this cameraman found out. Twice. Two cars in two separate races crashed into the Turn 3 camera position at Adelaide on the weekend and both incidents produced amazing footage.

The full speed replay in the first video (from 1m 45s) is breathtaking. The super slo-mo in the second video with puffs of smoke, flicks of grass, and a crumpling car is simply captivating. Both drivers plus ‘Gerald’ the cameraman emerged unscathed.

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V8SC: Australian V8 Supercars are drawing massive crowds

The V8 Supercars start testing this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park and the single-day crowd is expected to top last year’s record of 17,600. That’s a lot of spectators when there’s no racing taking place.

It helps highlight just how big the Australian V8 Supercar crowds are in comparison to other events around the world. It’s amazing to think more people went to the Friday sessions of the Adelaide V8 round last year than the German Formula One Grand Prix, where a German won in a German car. Just imagine if South Australia had the same population as Germany (it’s 48 times smaller). The below table has a few more comparisons which make for interesting reading.

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It’s worth noting the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide is a marquee event and other V8 races don’t get that sort of crowd. However, 17,000+ to a test day and 229,000 over a weekend is mighty impressive for a domestic touring car series in a country with a relatively small spread-out population.

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V8SC: Marcos Ambrose’s comeback sets up a great narrative for 2015

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15 years ago Holden was the dominant force in V8 Supercars. Between 1998 and 2002 the manufacturer won 80% of the races along with every championship. Ford, their bitter arch rivals, needed a hero and they found one in the form of Marcos Ambrose. A young Ambrose had been racing in Formula Ford overseas, where he beat Kimi Raikkonen to the European championship, but had to return home to Australia when his budget ran dry. He immediately marked himself out as a man to beat in the V8 series and pushed Ford back into the winners circle with two championship victories. Unfortunately for Ford, Ambrose did not hang around long and left Australia for a second shot at success overseas.

Ten years have since passed and Ford needs another hero. The Red Bull Racing Australia team, currently backed by Holden, has won five of the last six championships and is on track for another title in 2014. Step in Marcos Ambrose. Just like he did all those years ago, Ambrose is returning home to Australia (this time to raise a young family) and is joining Ford to give them renewed hope of success. Not only that, but he is joining Ford’s oldest V8 team as it enters a new partnership with Team Penske. It’s a stunning combination.

Marcos Ambrose’s comeback gives the 2015 championship a great narrative and it’s one that will be keenly promoted. If he can end Holden’s winning streak a second time it will be an incredible sporting triumph.

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