Despite being a series with drivers mostly from Australia and New Zealand, the Supercars Championship has developed an incredible following across the globe. High speed cars on some of the world’s best circuits have turned the local series into a major championship. Here are 5 reasons why you should watch.
The Australian Supercars Championship currently features V8 powered sedans vaguely representing the sort of cars seen on the road in Australia. In the 2017 season, Holden, Ford and Nissan have cars on the grid with the Commodore, Falcon and Altima respectively. The current generation of cars weigh a whopping one and a half tonnes yet have no driving aids to assist the drivers out on track. In 2018 and beyond, some of the Holden teams will also be running a twin turbo V6 which sounds awesome!
Despite the championship only holding events in Australia and New Zealand, there are a number of world renowned circuits on the calendar. Sydney Motorsport Park and Philip Island are two of the most exciting circuits the championship goes to and always provide great racing. Even if you don’t know much about the Supercars Championship, one circuit will be familiar to all, Bathurst. The circuit is often described as being one of the best driver’s circuits in the world with a mix of high and low speed corners and massive elevation changes. This combined with the epic cars make the annual Bathurst 1000 race a true test for the drivers and an exciting watch for all fans.
Not only are you watching some of the world’s best touring cars race on the most exciting circuits in the southern hemisphere, the drivers are more than capable of holding their own. Whether you are into young chargers like Scott McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert or established greats such as Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen, the championship has somebody for you. This year there is a female driver on the grid in the shape of former Indycar and Formula E racer Simona De Silvestro. The drivers also are able to show off their personality so much more than in any other characters with David Reynolds and Mclaughlin being known as much for their off-track antics as they are on it.
As much as we hate to admit it, spectacular crashes are a big part of watching motor racing and in Australia that is no exception. As this is a touring car championship, the drivers tend to make contact on a regular basis whether it be on purpose or by accident. Back at the Tasmanian round of the 2017 season, the Saturday race was halted by a 12 car accident which left no serious injuries to any of the drivers but was an incredible watch. Not all accidents are the result of contact however as was the case when Fabian Coulthard rolled his Commodore at over 300km/h on the Bathurst circuit.
Unlike in other categories, the Supercars do not have a whole lot of aero wake meaning the racing is close at all speeds. With 26 cars on the grid for the majority of races this season the racing is often close throughout the field with intense battles everywhere you look. In the last five years, the Bathurst 1000 race has been won or lost on the final lap four out of the last 5 races. Perhaps most memorably in 2014 when Chaz Mostert passed Jamie Whincup on the final lap after starting the race last on the grid.
Article by Adam Ashmore (@GeorgeAshmore_)
Cover photo from Supercars Australia Facebook page