Tasmania Super400

The Tasmania Super400 (formally known as the Tyrepower Tasmania Super400) is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held at Symmons Plains Raceway in Launceston, Tasmania. The event has been a regular part of the Supercars Championship—and its previous incarnations, the Australian Touring Car Championship, Shell Championship Series and V8 Supercars Championship—since 1969.

Tasmania Tasmania Super400
Symmons Plains Raceway (Australia) track map.svg
Race Information
Venue Symmons Plains Raceway
Number of times held 47
First held 1969
Race Format
Race 1
Laps 84
Distance 200 km
Race 2
Laps 84
Distance 200 km
Last Event (2019)
Overall Winner
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering
Race Winners
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering

Behind Sandown Raceway, which has most commonly hosted the Sandown 500 and Sandown Challenge, Symmons Plains has hosted the most events in championship history with 47 as of 2019.[1] The only hiatus for the event was between 2000 and 2003 during which the circuit received a A$3 million upgrade.[2] The event is seen as one of Tasmania's largest sporting events, providing a variety of benefits to the local economy.[2]

FormatEdit

The event is staged over a three-day weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Two thirty-minute practice sessions are held on Friday, with twenty minute sessions being held on each Saturday and Sunday. Friday also features a thirty-minute practice session exclusively for additional drivers, mostly co-drivers from the Enduro Cup. Saturday features a three-stage knockout qualifying session which decides the grid positions for the following 120 kilometre sprint race. Sunday features a repeat of the Saturday qualifying format with a longer 200 km race distance following.[3]

HistoryEdit

When the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC) was first held over a series of races in 1969, Symmons Plains was included on the calendar as the final race of the series. The race would decide the championship that year, as Alan Hamilton could take the title from Ian Geoghegan if he won the race and Geoghegan failed to score. Geoghegan's car failed to start at the one-minute signal and his pit crew push started the car. This was not allowed under the regulations of the time and Geoghegan was disqualified. Hamilton ended up finishing the race in second place behind Norm Beechey, losing the title to Geoghegan by a single point.[4] After again hosting the final round in 1970, Symmons Plains became the home of the opening round, hosting the first event of the ATCC every year from 1971 to 1981. Allan Moffat and Peter Brock were the most successful drivers at the event in this period, taking seven of the eleven possible victories between them. John Harvey also scored his only two ATCC victories at the event, winning in 1976 and 1979.[5]

In 1985, Robbie Francevic won his and Volvo's first round victory, winning again in 1986.[6] Between 1988 and 1990, Dick Johnson joined Moffat as the only two drivers to win three consecutive rounds at the circuit. In 1993, 1980 Formula One World Champion Alan Jones won his first ATCC round, despite a clash with Mark Skaife which led to a confrontation after the race.[7] In the late 1990s, Holden Racing Team dominated the event with four consecutive round wins from 1996 to 1999. During this period, the Symmons Plains event remained in the early part of the ATCC calendar until 1999, when it was moved to August. The Government of Tasmania didn't renew the event's contract after 1999 and the race dropped off the calendar in 2000.[2]

Following the completion of a circuit upgrade in 2004, which included the construction of permanent pit lane facilities and a resurfacing of the track, a new deal was struck to bring the event back onto the calendar in November of the same year.[8] Tasmanian driver Marcos Ambrose went into the 2004 event attempting to seal a back-to-back championship victory, until an engine failure in the third and final race of the weekend delayed his coronation as champion. David Besnard and three other drivers benefited from a fortuitous late-race safety car to jump to the front of the field, before the four drivers were then demoted to the back of the field at a subsequent safety car due to confusion regarding the standings. Several days later, Besnard was credited with the win, the only win for WPS Racing.[9] Initially on its return, the event was generally held towards the end of the season, often as the penultimate event, until a move to the early stages of the championship calendar in 2012.

Between 2007 and 2015, Jamie Whincup and Triple Eight Race Engineering dominated the event with six wins. This has seen Whincup surpass Brock as the most successful driver in the event's history. In 2013, Fabian Coulthard won Brad Jones Racing their first championship round, winning two races with team-mate Jason Bright winning the other. In 2017, the Saturday race was suspended after two laps due to a twelve car pile-up in wet conditions. While the race later briefly restarted under safety car, no championship points were awarded due to the short distance completed, however Shane van Gisbergen was still credited with a race victory.[10] In 2018, a three-stage knockout qualifying system was introduced to the championship at Symmons Plains to reduce the risks of traffic.[11] Craig Lowndes won the round, his last round win as a solo driver, and his first at the circuit since 1998.[12]

The 2020 event has been postponed indefinitely due to the 2019-20 coronavirus pandemic.[13]

WinnersEdit

 
Peter Brock at Symmons Plains in 1982. He would win the event that year.
Year Driver[4] Team/Entrant Car Report
1969   Norm Beechey Norm Beechey Holden HK Monaro GTS327
1970   Jim McKeown Shell Racing Team Porsche 911
1971   Allan Moffat Allan Moffat Racing Ford Boss 302 Mustang
1972   Allan Moffat Allan Moffat Racing Ford Boss 302 Mustang
1973   Allan Moffat Ford Works Team Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III
1974   Peter Brock Holden Dealer Team Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1
1975   Colin Bond Holden Dealer Team Holden Torana L34
1976   John Harvey B&D Autos Holden Torana L34
1977   Allan Moffat Allan Moffat Racing Ford XB Falcon GT
1978   Peter Brock Holden Dealer Team Holden LX Torana SLR A9X
1979   John Harvey Holden Dealer Team Holden LX Torana SS A9X
1980   Peter Brock Holden Dealer Team Holden VB Commodore
1981   Dick Johnson Dick Johnson Racing Ford XD Falcon
1982   Peter Brock Holden Dealer Team Holden VC Commodore
1983   Allan Grice Roadways Racing Holden VH Commodore
1984   Peter Brock Holden Dealer Team Holden VH Commodore
1985   Robbie Francevic Mark Petch Motorsport Volvo 240T
1986   Robbie Francevic Volvo Dealer Team Volvo 240T
1987   George Fury Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline DR30
1988   Dick Johnson Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra RS500
1989   Dick Johnson Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra RS500
1990   Dick Johnson Dick Johnson Racing Ford Sierra RS500
1991   Jim Richards Gibson Motorsport Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
1992   Glenn Seton Glenn Seton Racing Ford Sierra RS500
1993   Alan Jones Glenn Seton Racing Ford EB Falcon
1994   Mark Skaife Gibson Motorsport Holden VP Commodore Report
1995   John Bowe Dick Johnson Racing Ford EF Falcon Report
1996   Craig Lowndes Holden Racing Team Holden VR Commodore
1997   Greg Murphy Holden Racing Team Holden VS Commodore
1998   Craig Lowndes Holden Racing Team Holden VT Commodore
1999   Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden VT Commodore Report
2000

2003
not held
2004   Russell Ingall Stone Brothers Racing Ford BA Falcon
2005   Garth Tander HSV Dealer Team Holden VZ Commodore
2006   Garth Tander HSV Dealer Team Holden VZ Commodore
2007   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford BF Falcon Report
2008   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Ford BF Falcon Report
2009   Will Davison Holden Racing Team Holden VE Commodore Report
2010   Mark Winterbottom Ford Performance Racing Ford FG Falcon
2011   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore
2012   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VE Commodore Report
2013   Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Racing Holden VF Commodore Report
2014   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore Report
2015   Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden VF Commodore Report
2016   Will Davison Tekno Autosports Holden VF Commodore Report
2017   Fabian Coulthard DJR Team Penske Ford FG X Falcon Report
2018   Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden ZB Commodore Report
2019   Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden ZB Commodore Report

Multiple winnersEdit

By driverEdit

Wins Driver Years
6   Jamie Whincup 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
5   Peter Brock 1974, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984
4   Allan Moffat 1971, 1972, 1973, 1977
  Dick Johnson 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990
3   Craig Lowndes 1996, 1998, 2018
2   John Harvey 1976, 1979
  Robbie Francevic 1985, 1986
  Mark Skaife 1994, 1999
  Garth Tander 2005, 2006
  Will Davison 2009, 2016
  Fabian Coulthard 2013, 2017

By teamEdit

Wins Team
8 Triple Eight Race Engineering
7 Holden Dealer Team
6 DJR Team Penske1
5 Holden Racing Team
3 Allan Moffat Racing
Gibson Motorsport
2 Glenn Seton Racing
HSV Dealer Team

By manufacturerEdit

Wins Manufacturer
26 Holden
16 Ford
2 Volvo
Nissan
Notes
  • ^1 – DJR Team Penske was known as Dick Johnson Racing from 1980 to 2014, hence their statistics are combined.

Event sponsorsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Fast Facts: Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint". V8 Supercars. 28 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bresnehan, James (28 March 2014). "Supercars boss gives rev-up on new deal with Tasmanian Government". The Mercury. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Supercars Operations Manual 2019 - Division "A" - Administration Rules" (PDF). Supercars. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b 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.
  5. ^ Adam, Mitchell (3 April 2019). "Symmons Plains through 50 years". Supercars. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Saturday Sleuthing: Francevic's Volvo Title-Winner!". Supercars.com. 9 August 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  7. ^ Phelps, James; Dale, William (9 August 2013). "The 25 biggest V8 blues". The Advertiser (Adelaide). Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Symmons Plains". RacingCircuits.info. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  9. ^ Bartholomaeus, Stefan (4 April 2018). "Flashback: Symmons Plains' unlikeliest winner". Supercars. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  10. ^ van Leeuwen, Andrew (8 April 2017). "Massive shunt halts Supercars race in Tasmania". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Supercars Revise Qualifying Format for Short Tracks". Auto Action. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  12. ^ Geale, Hamish (8 April 2018). "Lowndes breaks drought with Symmons Plains domination". The Examiner (Tasmania). Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Supercars postpones three events, launches Eseries". Supercars. 17 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020.

External linksEdit