Visit any Australian state, and you’ll find a V8 Supercar event there. In fact, V8 Supercar Racing is the only professional sport that boasts of being conducted in every state in Australia. Close to a quarter million visitors line up to each V8 Supercar race event.
V8 Supercar Racing Formats
Each racing series follows either a sprint race or an endurance race format; each format includes rounds for race qualification, practice and racing.
1. Race Type: Endurance Races
During endurance races (500 to 1000 kilometers), cars with fuel capacity of 120 liters are used. Pit stops are compulsory for tire, fuel and driver changes.
- 500 Kilometer Endurance Races: These were held at Sandown but were moved to Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. However, the race will be shifted back to Melbourne’s Sandown Raceway in 2012.
- 1000 Kilometer Endurance Race: These are conducted at Bathurst, NSW. They comprise 161 laps of the Mount Panorama circuit, driving through two long straights which contract with fast blind corners on the mountain top. The same rules of compulsory pit stops apply here too. 24 tires per car are granted for the weekend race format. The Bathurst 1000 is known as the “Great Race”. This race has been the standard for domestic motor racing in Australia for several years, even before the V8 Supercar category was developed.
2. Race Type: Sprint Races
For sprint races, pit stops are not compulsory anymore. However, all teams must spend at least 50 liters of fuel per race. Racing teams are granted 12 car tires for changes for the weekend sprint races.
Warm Up And Qualifying Rounds
- Warm Up: There’s usually a warm up session that takes 20 minutes before the start of an endurance race.
- Practice: Two 1 hour sessions of practice are the norm for sprint races. The practice sessions are shorter but many more for endurance races –two or four sessions of varying lengths.
- Qualification: Drivers have to complete two legs. The first leg takes 20 minutes, in which all 30 drives compete. The second leg takes 15 minutes and only 20 of the drivers compete. The top 10 drivers are identified, and are made to a lap each, where each driver sets his fastest time.
Weekend V8 Racing Australian Specials
Weekends see V8 Supercar sprints of 100 to 200 kilometers conducted on purpose-built racetracks and street circuits. In Sydney, two 250 kilometer sprint races are held over the weekend. On the Gold Coast, weekend races include two 300 kilometer sprints. Long distance endurance races ranging from 500 kilometers to 1000 kilometers are held at Philip Island and at Bathurst.
Adelaide is also home to the Clipsal 500, which is a shortened version of the Grand Prix Circuit that used to be held here formerly. The race takes on a carnival-like feeling, with stalls, banners, enthusiastic clothing, tattoos and a coming together of socialites, celebrities and screaming fans 200,000 strong.
Every Saturday and Sunday, two 250 kilometer races are conducted. The Clipsal 500 has made it to the V8 Supercar Hall of Fame, having won several awards.
The Australian International V8 Supercars Championship
This motor racing competition, open to Australia’s Touring Car category awards titles for Driver, Teams and Manufacturers. The 1000 kilometer endurance race at Bathurst has contributed to this championship’s results since 1999.
The Caterpillar Grand Finale
This race is held in late November at the Eastern Creek Raceway near Sydney. It is considered the crowning glory of the year’s races; it’s the final round of the entire season. It’s usually staged over a three day weekend, Friday to Sunday. The practice race is held on Friday, and after a qualifying race of 40 minutes on Saturday, three 120 kilometer races are held. The final race takes place on Sunday, and the winner is adjudged based on points accumulated in all three races.
V8 Supercar Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame was instituted in 1999 to conduct the end-of-year prize-giving ceremony. Drivers who have won various races over the year are awarded prizes based on points won. The V8 Supercar Hall of Fame was instituted in order to recognize and award past champions and prominent racing figures in the history of supercar racing in Australia.
Alicia has been writing about Adrenalin gift ideas for the past three years. Her favourite topics include V8 race experience, skydiving, hot air ballooning, and other adventures she has experienced for herself.