2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship preview and entry list
The 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will kick-off this weekend at Adelaide Street Circuit. Twenty-six drivers are entering the season.
The championship season, which will end with Newcastle 500 event on November 24-25, features 16 events with 31 races, expanding from fourteen to sixteen venues.
The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, which hosted the non-championship round since 1996, is now included in the championship with the same 4-race format. The completely new venue on the VASC calendar is the Bend Motorsport Park in Tailem Bend, South Australia. The event would be known as the Bend SuperSprint.
2018 V8 Supercars Championship calendar
|1||Adelaide 500||Adelaide Street Circuit||Adelaide, South Australia||March 3-4|
|2||Melbourne 400||Melbourne GP Circuit||Melbourne, Victoria||March 24-25|
|3||Tasmania SuperSprint||Symmons Plains Raceway||Launceston, Tasmania||April 7-8|
|4||Phillip Island 500||Phillip Island GP Circuit||Phillip Island, Victoria||April 21-22|
|5||Perth SuperSprint||Barbagallo Raceway||Perth, Western Australia||May 5-6|
|6||Winton SuperSprint||Winton Motor Raceway||Benalla, Victoria||May 19-20|
|7||Darwin Triple Crown||Hidden Valley Raceway||Darwin, Northern Territory||June 16-17|
|8||Townsville 400||Townsville Street Circuit||Townsville, Queensland||July 7-8|
|9||Ipswich SuperSprint||Quensland Raceway||Ipswich, Queensland||July 21-22|
|10||Sydney SuperNight 300||Sydney Motorsport Park||Eastern Creek, New South Wales||August 3-4|
|11||The Bend SuperSprint||The Bend Motorsport Park||Tailem Bend, South Australia||August 25-26|
|12||Sandown 500||Sandown Raceway||Melbourne, Victoria||September 15-16|
|13||Bathurst 1000||Mount Panorama Circuit||Bathurst, New South Wales||October 6-7|
|14||Gold Coast 600||Surfers Paradise Street Circuit||Surfers Paradise, Queensland||October 20-21|
|15||Auckland SuperSprint||Pukekohe Park Raceway||Pukekohe, New Zealand||November 3-4|
|16||Newcastle 500||Newcastle Street Circuit||Newcastle, New South Wales||November 24-25|
No changes in two best teams
There are lots of changes among the teams and drivers. Two best-placed squads from the previous championship, DJR Team Penske (Ford) and Triple Eight Race Engineering (Holden), retain the same line-up of drivers who took the first four places in the last year’s championship (Jamie Whincup, Scott McLaughlin, Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen).
Prodrive Racing Australia changed its name to Tickford Racing and announced four Ford Falcons, three for ‘old drivers’ (Mark Winterbottom, Cameron Waters, Chaz Mostert) and one for rookie Richie Stanaway. As we already published, Walkinshaw Racing was rebranded as Walkinshaw Andretti United, retaining Scott Pye and James Courtney as drivers in their Holdens.
Super2 champion will lead five rookies
Two more teams will run Ford Falcons. Matt Stone Racing will switch from Super2 Series to Supercars Championship, together with 2017 Super2 champion Todd Hazelwood who will fight for Rookie of the Year honors in 2018.
Another new team in the VASC is the 23Red Racing, established after Phil Munday bought 60% stake of Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport. The team would run the #230 Ford for Will Davison, who left Tekno Autosports.
As a replacement for Davison, Tekno Autosports hired rookie Jack Le Brocq. Two more rookies are James Golding in the #34 Wilson Security GRM Holden and Anton de Pasquale in the #99 Erebus Motorsport Holden.
2018 V8 Supercars Championship entry list
|Manufacturer/Car model||Operating team||Sponsor/Team name||Car number||Driver|
|Holden ZB Commodore||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||1||Jamie Whincup|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||97||Shane Van Gisbergen|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||888||Craig Lowndes|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||2||Scott Pye|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||25||James Courtney|
|Brad Jones Racing||Blackwoods and Freightliner||8||Nick Percat|
|Brad Jones Racing||Blackwoods and Freightliner||14||Tim Slade|
|Erebus Motorsport||9||David Reynolds|
|Erebus Motorsport||99||Anton de Pasquale|
|Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||Preston Hire Racing||18||Lee Holdsworth|
|Tekno Autosports||19||Jack Le Brocq|
|Tim Blanchard Racing||CoolDrive Racing||21||Tim Blanchard|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Wilson Security Racing||33||Garth Tander|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Wilson Security Racing||34||James Golding|
|Ford FG X Falcon||Tickford Racing||The Bottle-O Racing||5||Mark Winterbottom|
|Tickford Racing||Monster Energy Racing||6||Cameron Waters|
|Tickford Racing||Supercheap Auto Racing||55||Chaz Mostert|
|Tickford Racing||Supercheap Auto Racing||56||Richie Stanaway|
|DJR Team Penske||Shell V-Power Racing||12||Fabian Coulthard|
|DJR Team Penske||Shell V-Power Racing||17||Scott McLaughlin|
|Matt Stone Racing||Bigmate Racing||35||Todd Hazelwood|
|23Red Racing||Milwaukee Racing||230||Will Davison|
|Nissan Altima L33||Nissan Motorsport||7||Andre Heimgartner|
|Nissan Motorsport||15||Rick Kelly|
|Nissan Motorsport||23||Michael Caruso|
|Nissan Motorsport||Team Harvey Norman||78||Simona de Silvestro|