Gold Coast 600
The Gold Coast 600 (formally known as the Vodafone Gold Coast 600) is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. The event has been a regular part of the Supercars Championship—and its previous iteration, the V8 Supercars Championship—since 2009.
|Venue||Surfers Paradise Street Circuit|
|Number of times held||9|
|Last Event (2017)|
| Shane van Gisbergen
|Triple Eight Race Engineering|
| Chaz Mostert
|Rod Nash Racing|
| Scott McLaughlin
|DJR Team Penske|
The event is staged over a three-day weekend, from Friday to Sunday, with Enduro Cup co-drivers joining the series' primary drives for the third consecutive event. Three thirty-minute practice sessions are held on Friday. Saturday features a twenty-minute qualifying session which decides the grid positions for the following 300 kilometre race. A twenty-minute qualifying session is held on Sunday, succeeded by a top ten shootout, the combined results of which decide the grid for the following 300 km race.
V8 Supercars had previously competed on the Gold Coast as a support race, most recently known as the V8 Supercar Challenge, to the Gold Coast Indy 300 between 1994 and 2008. However, it was only in 2002 that the event attained championship status, having previously been run as exhibition races.
In late 2008, it was announced the IndyCar Series would not be returning to the Gold Coast in 2009, bringing to an end the Indy era. A1 Grand Prix, which had been scheduled to replace IndyCar, then pulled out of the event with only weeks to go, leaving V8 Supercars as the lead category for the first time in the Gold Coast event's history. Subsequently, to fill the last minute hole in the schedule, the 2009 event expanded its format to 300 km on each Saturday and Sunday, each race split into two 150 km 'legs'. The amount of points accumulated over the two legs determined the individual winner for each day. This signalled the commencement of the endurance era at the Gold Coast event.
In 2010, the track was shortened from 4.47 km to 2.96 km, and the event became known as the Gold Coast 600 for the first time. To differentiate the event, each team was required to have at least one driver of international reputation as a co-driver. In 2011, this rule was adjusted such that every car (as opposed to every team) had a driver of international repute as a co-driver. These drivers could be Australian, but had to have a strong international pedigree, such as Australian IndyCar driver Will Power. Two races of 300 km were held over the weekend, with one on both Saturday and Sunday. As per the other V8 Supercars endurance races, the co-driver was required to complete at least one-third of each race distance (34 laps).
The 2010 event itself was notable for a famous battle between Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen in which Whincup eventually prevailed to take the win. In 2011, the event was overshadowed by the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship tragedy, which occurred one week before the Gold Coast event. This led to the relaxing of the international driver rules, as Holden Racing Team's planned co-driver Dan Wheldon was killed and Ford Performance Racing co-driver Will Power was injured in the 15-car crash. Brad Jones Racing co-driver Tony Kanaan, a close friend of Wheldon, also decided to withdraw from the Gold Coast event following the tragedy. The International Driver Trophy, introduced in 2010, was renamed in Wheldon's honour before the 2011 event.
Also in 2011, Sébastien Bourdais became the first and only driver to win at Surfers Paradise in both a Champ Car (in 2005 and 2007) and a Supercar (in 2011, and then again in 2012). The 2012 event was notable for two large start-line crashes. In the first of which, international driver Ricky Taylor was tipped into a barrel-roll seconds after the start of the race. The race was red flagged, and would eventually require a third attempt at a start following an incident on the second attempt between Nicolas Minassian and Franck Montagny.
For the 2013 event, the necessity for each car to have an international co-driver was removed, due to the increasing costs of hiring overseas drivers. Instead, the event became the third event of the newly formed Pirtek Enduro Cup, along with the series' other two-driver races, the Sandown 500 and the Bathurst 1000. The race format remained the same.
In the Sunday race of the 2013 event, David Reynolds took the first win of his V8 Supercars career, driving with Dean Canto. The 2015 event saw another debut win, this time for Jack Perkins, driving with James Courtney for the Holden Racing Team. It was Courtney's return to the sport following nine weeks out with rib and lung injuries suffered in an off-track injury at the Sydney Motorsport Park Super Sprint. In 2016, van Gisbergen won a race at the event for the third consecutive year, driving with French driver Alexandre Prémat, who in winning his first race in Supercars (as the series was now known), joined compatriot Bourdais as a winner at the event.
|3||Shane van Gisbergen|
|7||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|3||Ford Performance Racing|
|Holden Racing Team|
|Rod Nash Racing|
International Driver (Dan Wheldon Memorial) TrophyEdit
For the years that international co-drivers were mandated for the event, the International Driver Trophy was awarded to the best performing international driver over the race weekend. In 2011, the trophy was renamed after the British IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon after his death one week prior to the race. The trophy was discontinued after 2012 as a change in regulations saw that international co-drivers were no longer compulsory.
|International Driver Trophy|
|2010||Andy Priaulx||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|Dan Wheldon Memorial Trophy|
|2011||Sébastien Bourdais||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2012||Sébastien Bourdais||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
- "Supercars Operations Manual 2017 - Division "A" - Administration Rules" (PDF). Supercars. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
- Lomas, Gordon (23 October 2016). "GC600 marks silver anniversary of street race". Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Greenhalgh, David; Howard, Graham; Wilson, Stewart (2011). The official history: Australian Touring Car Championship - 50 Years. St Leonards, New South Wales: Chevron Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-9805912-2-4.
- "V8 Supercars unveils the trophy for the best performing international driver, the Dan Wheldon Trophy". Speed TV (Australia). 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Balym, Todd (20 October 2012). "Dramatic crash at start of V8 race". GoldCoast.com.au. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
- "V8 Supercars Announces Prestigious Endurance Cup". V8 Supercars. 20 February 2013. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (27 October 2013). "Relief for Reynolds after maiden win". Speedcafe. Retrieved 3 November 2013.
- "Courtney/Perkins score fairytale GC600 victory". Speedcafe. 25 October 2015. Retrieved 23 October 2016.
- Bartholomaeus, Stefan (22 October 2016). "Penalty fails to stop SVG/Premat in Race 22". Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 October 2016.