The Supercars Championship, formerly known as V8 Supercars, stands as one of the premier touring car racing series in Australia. Established in 1997, the championship has evolved into a high-octane spectacle that showcases powerful, modified production cars battling it out on iconic tracks across the country.
This year’s season drew to a close when Brodie Kostecki, the lead driver at Erebus Motorsport won the Adelaide 500, the final race of the season. It was a first for Kostecki and possibly wouldn’t have happened had Shane van Gisbergen, the previously reigning champion, not been forced to retire on the opening lap. Despite this, there’s no doubt Kostecki performed extremely well given the fact that it was only his third full season, winning six races and staying right on Gisbergen’s tail throughout the action.
As the 2023 season wrapped up, many fans were already thinking ahead, speculating about next year’s championship and what it will look like. For those who don’t know what’s really involved in the championship, this article discusses what makes it so special. And read on for some details on what’s to come in next year’s championship.
What is the Supercars Championship?
At the heart of the Supercars Championship is the commitment to a unique and competitive racing format. The series predominantly features modified sedans based on production models from manufacturers such as Ford and Holden, ensuring a connection between the racing machines and the cars seen on Australian roads. These cars undergo significant modifications to enhance their performance, with a focus on aerodynamics, suspension, and, of course, powerful engines.
The signature element of the Supercars is the V8 engine that roars under the hood. These engines produce a distinctive and thunderous sound that resonates with motorsport enthusiasts. The combination of powerful machines, skilful drivers, and the thunderous soundtrack creates an electrifying atmosphere at each race, drawing fans from around the globe.
The championship consists of a series of rounds, each held at different tracks, ranging from street circuits to traditional racing circuits. The diverse array of venues adds an extra layer of excitement, as drivers must adapt their strategies and skills to the unique challenges presented by each track.
Throughout the season, drivers and teams accumulate points based on their finishing positions in each race. The championship intensifies as the season progresses, with the coveted title going to the driver and team that consistently demonstrates skill, strategy, and resilience across the various tracks.
The Supercars Championship has become more than just a motorsport series; it’s a cultural phenomenon in Australia. The races draw large crowds, and the championship has produced legendary rivalries and memorable moments that are chronicled in motorsport news every year.
With its mix of speed, strategy, and raw power, the Supercars Championship continues to capture the imagination of enthusiasts, making it a thrilling and essential part of the global racing calendar. Whether it’s the iconic Bathurst 1000 or the exhilarating street races, the Supercars Championship delivers a motorsport experience that is as uniquely Australian as it is universally exciting.
2024 Supercars Championship
Next year’s season will be the 26th running of the Supercars Championship and the 65th season of touring car racing in Australia. There are expected to be twelve teams racing under two different manufacturers – Ford and Chevrolet, and two different car models – the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1-1LE and the Ford Mustang GT.
With two drivers to each team, there will be one less entrant next year than there was in 2023, as Tickford Racing will be downsizing from four cars to two cars after selling off one of its Teams Racing Charters. This was sold to the Blanchard Racing Team who will expand to a two-car team.
In relation to the drivers, Shane van Gisbergen will no longer be making an appearance in the world of Supercars as he has moved to the United States to work with Trackhouse Racing. His seat will be taken by Will Brown who left this year’s winning team, Erebus Motorsport. His spot there has been replaced by Jack Le Brocq who departed Matt Stone Racing. That team will replace Le Brocq with Nick Percat who left Walkinshaw Andretti United and Super2 Series graduate Ryan Wood is set to take that open seat.
David Reynolds who represented Grove Racing will be moving to Team 18 for the 2024 season after Scott Pye left to join Triple Eight Race Engineering. Richie Stanaway is set to move into Reynolds’ spot after his two-year hiatus from full-time racing.
Finally, we’ll see no more of Jack Smith in the driver’s seat, as he announced his retirement from full-time driving at Brad Jones Racing after this year’s season.
The 2024 season will be comprised of twelve races, commencing at Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 500 on February 23rd to 25th. The championship will also make a return to New Zealand with Taupō becoming the 35th different venue to host a championship round. The full calendar is as follows:
- Bathurst 500: February 23-25
- Melbourne SuperSpring: March 21-24
- ITM Taupo Super400: April 19-21
- Perth SuperSprint: May 17-19
- Betr Darwin Triple Crown: June 14-16
- NTI Townsville 500: July 5-7
- Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight: July 19-21
- NED Whiskey Tasmania SuperSprint: August 16-18
- Penrite Oil Sandown 500: September 20-22
- Repco Bathurst 1000: October 10-13
- Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500: October 25-27
- VAILO Adelaide 500: November 14-17
Interestingly, the Perth, Darwin and Tasmania events will change to timed races of 60 minutes each instead of laps. There will also be a change of format for the Taupo and Sydney events. They’ll come under the Super400 style which will feature two 200km races.
There’s no doubt that these changes and improvements will make for an exciting championship and plenty of interesting supercars news throughout the year. Remember that you can follow all the action on Australia’s motorsport news providers.