V8 Supercars

V8 Supercars

Infobox motorsport championship

pixels = 220px
caption =
category = Touring car racing
inaugural = 1997
drivers = 29
teams = 17
constructors = 2
tyres = flagicon|UK Dunlop
engines =
country/region = flagicon|AUS flagicon|NZ flagicon|Bahrain
folded =
champion driver = flagicon|AUS Garth Tander
champion team = Toll HSV Dealer Team
manufacturer = Holden
current_season = 2008 V8 Supercar season
website = [http://www.v8supercar.com.au V8Supercars.com.au]

V8 Supercars is a touring car racing category operated under the regulations of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) [ [http://www.v8supercar.com.au/content/tech/v8_supercar_operations_manual_/ V8 Supercar Operations Manual] , accessed 27 June 2008] . It is the most popular motorsport in Australia,Fact|date=April 2008 has a considerable following in New Zealand, and is steadily growing in popularity across the world where television coverage allows.

V8 Supercar events are held in all states of Australia as well as rounds in New Zealand and Bahrain. V8 Supercars have drawn crowds of over 250,000 spectators. [ [http://www.southaustralia.com/9002347.aspx South Australia - Clipsal 500 Adelaide] ] The 2007 season was held over 14 race weekends on various purpose-built racetracks and street circuits in the aforementioned countries. Race formats range from sprint races, where either two 250km or three 120 km races are held over a weekend, or endurance races such as Bathurst which is run over a 1000 km race distance, and Phillip Island which is run over 500 km.

The V8 Supercars themselves are loosely based on either the Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore. Although they bear some resemblance to the production models outwardly, they are highly modified to suit the motorsport application. They are strictly governed in all aspects of performance in an effort to keep all the drivers on an even footing to create closer, more exciting racing.Fact|date=October 2008 Because of this, entire fields of 29 drivers are separated by just one second over qualifying laps at some events.

Historically, the Falcon and Commodore are the two most popular passenger cars on the Australian market. Rivalry between the two makes is a major aspect of the sport's appeal.


In January 1993 CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) replaced the existing Group 3A Touring Car category (which had been based on FIA Group A rules) with a new two class Group 3A. This encompassed both 5.0 litre Touring Cars (essentially Australian Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore V8 models) and 2.0 litre FIA Class II Touring Cars. These cars would contest the Australian Touring Car Championship as well as non championship touring car events such as the Bathurst 1000. The existing BMW M3s were also permitted to compete against the Ford and Holden V8s in the 5.0 litre class, unlike the turbocharged Ford Sierra and Nissan Skyline GT-R models which were now excluded from the series. However the M3 received few of the liberal concessions given to the new V8s and the German manufacturer’s attention switched to the 2.0 litre class for 1994.

From 1995 the 2.0 litre cars, now contesting their own series as Super Touring Cars, were no longer eligible for the Australian Touring Car Championship. They did not contest the endurance races at Sandown and Bathurst leaving these open solely to the 5.0 litre Ford & Holden models.

The category acquired the moniker 'V8 Supercars' in 1997 when event management company IMG was given the rights to the series in 1997 after a bitter battle against CAMS and the ARDC, and led the championship on a rapid expansion. Network Ten began televising the series in the same year, taking over from Channel Seven. The Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO) was later formed to run the series directly and later became an independent organisation from its IMG origins.

AVESCO introduced carnival street-race V8 Supercar events such as the Clipsal 500 and strived to turn Australian touring car racing into a world-class product. The name "Shell Australian Touring Car Championship" was replaced by "Shell Championship Series", now called the "V8 Supercar Championship Series". In 2005 AVESCO changed its name to V8 Supercars Australia. [http://www.pando.com.au/sponsorshipnews/releases/release/27354.html V8 Supercars Australia: Name change to reflect continued growth] ] [http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,17254127-23770,00.html Name change for V8 body] ]

In Group 3A and V8 Supercar from 1993–2007, Holden has won nine drivers' championships and Ford has won six.

* List of Australian Touring Car and V8 Supercar Champions

The V8 Supercar

The regulations are designed to balance the desire for technical competition and fast vehicles with the requirement that costs are kept reasonable. Racing is close, and the cars bear some resemblance to production models. The recent application of "Project Blueprint" - introduced at the beginning of the 2003 season (where both makes of car were examined to ensure parity) the racing between Holden and Ford has become closer than ever (reducing the risk of a one make dominated series).


Unlike other forms of motorsport (such as NASCAR) where the cars are built from space frame construction, V8 Supercars are still based on production road cars. Each V8 Supercar is based on a current-specification VE Commodore or BF Falcon production bodyshell, with an elaborate roll cage constructed into the shell from aircraft-grade, 2 mm thick tubing. In 2007 specifications both the Commodore and Falcon have adopted E-glass front mudguards in place of the production steel items, in order to save costs.

The VE Commodore was initially rejected from taking part in the series due to its wheelbase being longer and wider than the BF Falcon. For the model to be homologated, V8 Supercar granted the Commodore a custom fabricated bodyshell into which a limited number of production bodyshell panels are incorporated. As a result, the roofline is lower than production and the rear door is shorter such that externally the rear doors, roof and rear quarters all consist of specialised custom coachwork panels.


A standard "aerodynamic package" of spoilers and wings, a front splitter/air dam and side skirts are supplied to the teams of each make. Testing is conducted so that in principle the two makes have similar aerodynamics. However the test is only conducted at one particular speed and with the cars set to the lowest downforce configuration, leaving room for controversy.


The minimum category weight is 1,355 kg (not including driver) with 80 kg (176 lb) driver allocation.


A V8 supercar has to be front-engined and rear-wheel drive. Every car is powered by either a 5.0 L Ford "Windsor" SVO or Chevrolet Aurora race engine (depending on the make) which is capable of producing between 460 and 485 kW (620 — 650 bhp) of power, but generally quoted as a little over 450 kW (600 bhp) in race trim. Engines have pushrod actuated valves and electronic fuel injection. Both Ford and Holden engines are based on racing engines from their respective US parent companies. Engines are electronically restricted to 7,500 rpm.

Broadly speaking, the engines are of 5 litres capacity, 2 valve per cylinder. Compression ratio is regulated to 10.5:1 and unleaded fuel (ostensibly equivalent to existing high octane pump fuel) is mandated. EFI configuration is that of individual throttle bodies (albeit throttle actuation is linked/synchronised) and one injector per cylinder.

Although there is no restrictor plate, or other equivalent powerrestrictor placed on any circuits (such as with NASCAR on high speed ovals), the engines typically produce approximately 50 less bhp when raced at Bathurst. This is done both to gain necessary engine longevity on the endurance race as well as to improve fuel efficiency, and moderate the number of potential refuelling stops.

ome common components

Differentials, brake packages and gearboxes are identical in all cars in the category. The category uses a 6-speed Hollinger gearbox (Australian made), in either the 'H' pattern or as of 2008, a sequential pattern. Differential ratios used throughout the season are 3.75:1, 3.5:1, 3.25:1 and 3.15:1. The 3.15:1 ratio differential was introduced in 2005 to be used at Bathurst - cars with this ratio can now exceed 300 km/h on Conrod straight (hypothetically, this has yet to be proven, although Perkins Engineering, claims to have exceeded this speed multiple times in the 2005 event). The theoretical maximum speed is 306 km/h at 7,500 rpm. All cars have a 120 litre fuel tank.


Basic front suspension configuration is double wishbone (made compulsory for both makes through Project Blueprint), whilst rear suspension is a "live axle" design, using 4 longitudinal links and Watt's linkage for lateral location. Both suspension systems are similar to those fitted to the EL Falcon.


A Dunlop "control tyre" is supplied to all teams. Throughout the year, there are restrictions on the number of testing days (6 per year), along with the number of tyres used during those days. For race meetings, teams are allocated a set number of tyres for the entire weekend, with the number available for each race depending on the type (sprint or endurance).


Reported to be approximately $AU 600,000 per car and $AU 130,000 per engine. Teams spend up to $AU 10 million per year running their two-car teams. TEGA introduced a salary cap of $AU 6.75 million in order to keep costs down in 2007, called the Total Racing Expenditure Cap (TREC). It was scrapped after only one season.


Three separate V8 Supercar series are held. The primary series is the main "Level One" championship called the 'V8 Supercar Championship Series'. A "Level Two" championship, referred to in 2007 as the Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series, is intended for privateers who formerly raced in the Level One series but have been left behind by increasing pace of the professional team, however, many "Level One" teams run secondary teams in the Fujitsu series to "blood" new drivers. The only way to compete in the "main game" is to purchase a licence from an existing team (TEGA are no longer involved in creating new licences for V8 teams).

A third series for older V8 Supercars, the Shannons V8 Touring Car National Series, was held for the first time in 2008.

Race formats

Each round in the series follows either a sprint or endurance race format. All rounds include practice, qualifying, and racing in some form.


Practice sessions are normally held over a single two-hour session for sprint races, two half-hour sessions, or four sessions of varying lengths for enduros.


The qualifying system is based on the current Formula One qualifying session. It is used to determine each driver's grid position for the following race. Drivers complete timed laps of the circuit and are placed on the grid according to those times.

For the endurance rounds (Philip Island and Bathurst), a similar system is used with the 3rd part of qualifying changed to a what is known as the "Top Ten Shootout". This is where the ten fastest drivers from qualifying are given one lap to produce a fast time. That time is used to determine the driver's grid position for the race. The Top Ten Shootout was dropped from all non-enduro rounds as of 2007 in favour of using the Formula One style of qualifying.


The Phillip Island 500 is a single race that is run over a distance of 500km (311 miles). Compulsory pitstops are taken for tyres, brake-pads, driver changes and fuel.

The Bathurst 1000 is a single race that is run over a distance of 1000 km (621 miles) (161 laps of the Mt Panorama circuit), with the same rules for pitstops. The teams are given 24 tyres per car for the weekend.

Clipsal 500

The Clipsal 500 is made up of two races run over a distance of 250km (155 miles) (78 laps) each with compulsory pitstops for both fuel and tyres. The teams are given 16 tyres for the weekend.

print races

For all other rounds, three races over 120km (75 miles) each are held across the weekend. Compulsory pitstops are held for tyres only. From rounds 2-7 of 2006, the second race of the sprint round was made a reverse grid race, in an effort to spice up the action. Unfortunately, this initiative was unpopular with fans, drivers, and team owners, because it was expensive (repairing cars that otherwise wouldn't have been damaged), and didn't really make the racing any better. Teams are given 12 tyres per car for the weekend.

Marquee events

The Bathurst 1000, Clipsal 500 and Phillip Island 500 are the marquee events of the V8 Supercar calendar. In 2005 there was also a marquee round in Shanghai, however the promoter discontinued with this race in 2006.

Bathurst 1000

Known as the "Great Race", the Bathurst 1000 is a traditional 1000 km test of drivers, teams and machines held at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. It has been the pre-eminent domestic motor racing event in Australia for decades - well before the development of the V8 Supercar category. It is conducted over 161 laps, on a track that features two long straights, that contrast with a tight section of fast blind corners across the top of the mountain.

In the early years, the race was open to almost anybody with a car that met (considerably more relaxed) regulations and held an Australian motorsport licence. The resulting wide variety of cars, driver talent, and budgets ensured that large margins split the placings. In the modern V8 era, the field has consisted of professional teams only.

The introduction of the safety car, which brings the field together when an accident makes the track unsafe, has radically changed the nature of the race. But Bathurst has always been an intensely tactical race, hinging on pit stop strategy (fuel economy, tyres, etc) driver talent and outright overall speed.

The 2006 Bathurst 1000 became a very emotional event to all drivers, teams, friends and fans of one of its greatest drivers in its history, 9 time winner of the "Great Race", Peter Brock (killed in the Targa West rally event the month before).

The inaugural and perpetual Peter Brock Trophy was handed out to eventual race winner Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup. An emotional Lowndes, who was a protégé of Peter Brock, dedicated his win to his mentor.

Clipsal 500

The Clipsal 500 is held in Adelaide on a shortened version of the former Grand Prix Circuit. The event in the heart of the city has a carnival atmosphere, and crowds of over 200,000 racing fans and socialites turn out each year. Two 250 km races are held on each of Saturday and Sunday, and this has proven to be a very successful format. It is the first event to be inducted into the V8 Supercar Hall of Fame and is a winner of various awards. While the trophy presentation is centred around the results of race two, the round winner is decided by points accrued from both races.

Phillip Island 500

The 500 kilometre (312.5 mile) Phillip Island 500 endurance race is held at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria. The race is sponsored by Lawrence & Hanson and is known as the L&H 500. [ [http://www.v8x.com.au/cms/A_110090/article.html L&H 500 at Phillip Island gets major makeover for big race] ]

The race takes over from the Sandown 500 after the Sandown round was downgraded to a sprint round in 2008 because of the condition of the facility. [ [http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,23262653-23770,00.html Phillip Island 500 here to stay] ] [ [http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=49137 Phillip Island 500 set to stay] ]

Grand Finale

With the change to the 'Blueprint' formula in 2003, AVESCO created a special season ending round. Initially this round was held as the thirteenth championship event in late November at Eastern Creek Raceway near Sydney. It was sponsored by VIP Petfoods and was branded 'The Main Event'. The round was won by Marcos Ambrose in a fitting conclusion to his 2003 championship win, but made headlines when Ambrose's teammate Russell Ingall and Holden Racing Team rival Mark Skaife spectacularly brought the sport into disrepute with an on-track/off-track stoush. In 2004 the event became known as the 'Bigpond Grand Finale', and was again held at Eastern Creek - won again by Marcos Ambrose. In 2005 the venue moved to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as the final round of the championship and the base for Russell Ingall's series win. In 2006, the event will be known as the 'Caterpillar Grand Finale'. Todd Kelly won the 2006 final round in controversial circumstances, with two race wins (race one and two) and a fifth placing (race three). His brother, Rick Kelly, won the championship after he was given a drive through penalty for a collision with title contender, Craig Lowndes. The collision caused Lowndes major steering damage that required Kelly only to finish the race to win the championship. However the championship was not decided until the day after in an appeal in Melbourne in which Lowndes lost. For 2008 Oran Park Raceway will host the Grand Finale in its final ATCC/V8 Supercar round before the circuits expected closure in 2009.

For the first time in its history, Olympic Park in Sydney will host the Grand Finale in December of 2009. The idea got both good and bad reactions from many politicians and the general public.Fact|date=September 2008

Governing body

V8 Supercars is managed, marketed, and promoted by V8 Supercars Australia. It is a joint venture between Touring Car Entrants Group of Australia (TEGA - 75%) and Sports & Entertainment Limited (SEL - 25%). [http://www.v8supercar.com.au/content/about_avesco/the_v8_supercars_australia_success_story/ A SUCCESS STORY - V8 Supercars Australia] ] It is run by an eight member board. Four representing TEGA, two representing SEL, and two independent directors. [http://www.nzmotorsport.co.nz/content/newsarticle.cfm?id=13880 Streamlined board points V8 Supercars to big future] ] [http://www.touringcartimes.com/news.php?id=2085 V8SC: V8 Supercars board streamlined] ]

It was founded in 1997 under the name the Australian Vee Eight Supercar Company (AVESCO). TEGA was responsible for the rules and technical management of the series and the supply of cars and drivers while SEL was responsible for capturing and maintaining broadcasting rights, sponsorship, licensing and sanction agreements.

In 2005 it changed its name to V8 Supercars Australia to make it more identifiable with the sport.

In 2008 the separate boards of V8 Supercars Australia and TEGA were combined into a single board that is solely responsible for administering the sport. [http://www.nzmotorsport.co.nz/content/newsarticle.cfm?id=13880 Streamlined board points V8 Supercars to big future] ] [http://www.touringcartimes.com/news.php?id=2085 V8SC: V8 Supercars board streamlined] ]

V8 Supercars 2008 Schedule

2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series

2008 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series

hannons V8 Touring Car National Series

Television Coverage

The V8 Supercars are broadcast by Channel Seven who secured the rights from the 2007 season onwards, taking over from Channel Ten, who had successfully broadcast the events since taking over from Seven in 1997. The deal is worth roughly AU$120 million. Channel Seven will show increased live coverage, as well as a 25-minute show specific to the series on weekends when there is no racing.

Coverage of all rounds in New Zealand was provided by Television One until the end of the 2007 season at which time coverage transferred to TV 3. SPEED covers the races in the United States.

**Channel Seven
**Telstra Bigpond Broadband (Live Internet Coverage)

**TV 3
**Channel Five UK
**Motors TV
**SPEED Channel
**Neo Sports + India

The Series is filmed in Widescreen Digital and has six cars carrying in-car cameras with each having 4 or more mini cameras. However this is down on last year where eight cars carried cameras.


External links

* [http://www.v8supercar.com.au The Official V8 Supercars Australia site]
* [http://www.vmag.com.au VMAG]
* [http://www.v8x.com.au V8X V8 Supercar Magazine]
* [http://www.v8yearbook.com The Official V8 Supercar Yearbook]
* [http://www.v8dailydump.com.au V8 Daily News]
* [http://www.bahrainv8.com/ Bahrain V8 Super Cup]
* [http://www.foxsports.com.au/motorsports/fastrackv8 V8 Supercars Game - Fastrack]

* [http://www.stonebrothersracing.com.au Stone Brothers Racing]
* [http://www.teamvodafone.com.au Team Vodafone (Triple Eight Race Engineering)]
* [http://www.hrt.com.au Holden Racing Team]
* [http://www.hsvdt.com.au Holden Special Vehicles Dealer Team]
* [http://www.fpr.com.au Ford Performance Racing]
* [http://www.perkinsmotorsport.com.au/ Jack Daniels Racing (Perkins Motorsport)]
* [http://www.supercheapautoracing.com.au Super Cheap Auto Racing]
* [http://www.tasmanmotorsport.com/ Tasman Motorsports]
* [http://www.grmotorsport.com.au/ Gary Rogers Motorsport]
* [http://www.teamboc.com.au/ Team BOC]
* [http://www.wowracing.com.au/ WOW Racing]
* [http://www.djr.com.au Dick Johnson Racing]

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