|2018 Supercars Championship|
Australian Formula 4
Carrera Cup Australia
The 2018 Supercars Championship (known for commercial reasons as the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship) is an FIA-sanctioned international motor racing series for Supercars. It is the twentieth running of the Supercars Championship and the twenty-second series in which Supercars have contested the premier Australian touring car title. Teams and drivers are competing in thirty-one races at sixteen venues across Australia and New Zealand for the championship titles.
Jamie Whincup is the defending driver's champion and DJR Team Penske are the defending teams' champions. After 12 rounds, Shane van Gisbergen leads the drivers' championship by 55 points. Scott McLaughlin is second, 283 points ahead of Jamie Whincup. In the teams' championship, Triple Eight Race Engineering hold a 656 point lead over DJR Team Penske. Erebus Motorsport are in third place, a further 1,425 points behind.
The 2018 season saw the introduction of the first Gen 2 Supercars, which opened up the category up to a wider variety of body shapes and engine configurations. The championship saw the introduction of the hatchback Holden ZB Commodore, marking the first time since 1994 that a car with a body shape other than a four-door sedan has competed.
Holden and Nissan are represented by factory-backed teams Triple Eight Race Engineering and Nissan Motorsport respectively. Teams are free to develop new chassis and engine packages under the Gen 2 regulations, while the New Generation cars first introduced in 2013 remain eligible to compete.
The following drivers are contesting the 2018 championship:
|Championship entries||Enduro Cup entries|
|Ford||Ford FG X Falcon||Tickford Racing[a]||5[b]||Mark Winterbottom||1–12||Dean Canto||12|
|6||Cameron Waters||1–12||David Russell||12|
|55||Chaz Mostert||1–12||James Moffat||12|
|56||Richie Stanaway||1–12||Steve Owen||12|
|DJR Team Penske||12||Fabian Coulthard||1–12||Tony D'Alberto||12|
|17||Scott McLaughlin||1–12||Alexandre Prémat||12|
|Matt Stone Racing||35||Todd Hazelwood||1–10||N/A|
|23Red Racing||230[c]||Will Davison||1–12||Alex Davison||12|
|Holden||Holden VF Commodore||Matt Stone Racing||35||Todd Hazelwood||11–12||Bryce Fullwood||12|
|Holden ZB Commodore||Triple Eight Race Engineering[d]||1||Jamie Whincup||1–12||Paul Dumbrell||12|
|97||Shane van Gisbergen||1–12||Earl Bamber||12|
|888||Craig Lowndes||1–12||Steven Richards||12|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||2||Scott Pye||1–12||Warren Luff||12|
|25||James Courtney||1–12||Jack Perkins||12|
|Brad Jones Racing||8||Nick Percat||1–12||Macauley Jones||12|
|14||Tim Slade||1–12||Ashley Walsh||12|
|Tim Blanchard Racing[e]||21||Tim Blanchard||1–12||Dale Wood||12|
|Erebus Motorsport[f]||9||David Reynolds||1–12||Luke Youlden||12|
|99||Anton de Pasquale||1–12||Will Brown||12|
|Charlie Schwerkolt Racing||18[g]||Lee Holdsworth||1–12||Jason Bright||12|
|Tekno Autosports||19||Jack Le Brocq||1–12||Jonathon Webb||12|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||33||Garth Tander||1–12||Chris Pither||12|
|34||James Golding||1–12||Richard Muscat||12|
|Nissan||Nissan Altima L33||Nissan Motorsport[h]||7||Andre Heimgartner||1–12||Aaren Russell||12|
|15||Rick Kelly||1–12||Garry Jacobson||12|
|23||Michael Caruso||1–12||Dean Fiore||12|
|78||Simona de Silvestro||1–12||Alex Rullo||12|
|Holden||Holden ZB Commodore||Brad Jones Racing||4||Macauley Jones||7, 11||N/A|
|Holden VF Commodore||Kostecki Brothers Racing||42||Kurt Kostecki||9, 11||N/A|
The Holden ZB Commodore was homologated, making it eligible to compete in the championship. All existing Holden teams commenced the season with the new car, either new chassis or reskinned VF Commodores. Triple Eight Race Engineering, who oversaw the development and homologation of the ZB chassis were also developing a V6 twin-turbocharged engine for Holden cars ahead of a full introduction in 2019. However, the programme was put on indefinite hold in April 2018. Triple Eight team were proposing to debut the V6 powerplant with a number of wildcard entries, however the discontinuation of the project resulted in this being scrapped.
Britek Motorsport left the championship. Its Racing Entitlements Contract (REC) was leased to Super2 Series team Matt Stone Racing who made their championship début entering an FG X Falcon built by DJR Team Penske. The team switched to competing with a VF Commodore mid-season. Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport (LDM) sold one of its RECs to Prodrive Racing Australia. LDM was rebranded as 23Red Racing after sponsor Phil Munday purchased a 60% stake in the team in the off-season, before taking full ownership in April 2018. The team is competing with a Prodrive-built FG X Falcon.
Several teams underwent rebrandings. Prodrive Racing Australia became Tickford Racing after its lease on the Prodrive name expired, while Walkinshaw Racing was rebranded as Walkinshaw Andretti United when Andretti Autosport and United Autosports purchased stakes in the team.
Super2 Series drivers Todd Hazelwood and Anton de Pasquale made their Supercars début. Hazelwood joined Matt Stone Racing—the team he won the 2017 Super2 title with—while De Pasquale replaced Dale Wood at Erebus Motorsport. Wood was one of three drivers to leave the championship, as both Todd Kelly and Jason Bright retired from competition. Andre Heimgartner returned to the championship, replacing the retiring Kelly at Nissan Motorsport, while Richie Stanaway replaced Bright at Tickford Racing.[i]
Will Davison moved from Tekno Autosports to the newly-formed 23Red Racing team. Davison's place at Tekno Autosports was filled by Super2 Series driver Jack Le Brocq. James Moffat left Garry Rogers Motorsport at the end of the 2017 championship and joined Tickford Racing for the Enduro Cup. Moffat's place at Garry Rogers Motorsport was taken by James Golding, who drove for the team in the Enduro Cup in 2016 and 2017.
The calendar expanded to sixteen rounds in 2018, with the following events scheduled to take place:
|1||Adelaide 500||Adelaide Street Circuit||Adelaide, South Australia||3–4 March|
|2||Melbourne 400||Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit||Melbourne, Victoria||23–25 March|
|3||Tasmania SuperSprint||Symmons Plains Raceway||Launceston, Tasmania||7–8 April|
|4||Phillip Island 500||Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit||Phillip Island, Victoria||21–22 April|
|5||Perth SuperSprint||Barbagallo Raceway||Pinjar, Western Australia||5–6 May|
|6||Winton SuperSprint||Winton Motor Raceway||Benalla, Victoria||19–20 May|
|7||Darwin Triple Crown||Hidden Valley Raceway||Darwin, Northern Territory||16–17 June|
|8||Townsville 400||Townsville Street Circuit||Townsville, Queensland||7–8 July|
|9||Ipswich SuperSprint||Queensland Raceway||Ipswich, Queensland||21–22 July|
|10||Sydney SuperNight 300||Sydney Motorsport Park||Eastern Creek, New South Wales||4 August|
|11||The Bend SuperSprint||The Bend Motorsport Park||Tailem Bend, South Australia||25–26 August|
|12||Sandown 500||Sandown Raceway||Springvale, Victoria||16 September|
|13||Bathurst 1000||Mount Panorama Circuit||Bathurst, New South Wales||7 October|
|14||Gold Coast 600||Surfers Paradise Street Circuit||Surfers Paradise, Queensland||20–21 October|
|15||Auckland SuperSprint||Pukekohe Park Raceway||Pukekohe, Auckland Region||3–4 November|
|16||Newcastle 500||Newcastle Street Circuit||Newcastle, New South Wales||24–25 November|
The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, which hosted the Supercars Challenge non-championship event between 1996 and 2017,[j] joined the calendar as a championship round for the first time. The event, to be known as the Melbourne 400, continued to be run as part of the support bill for the Australian Grand Prix.
The Bend Motorsport Park in Tailem Bend, South Australia, ;the first permanent circuit to be built in Australia since Queensland Raceway in 1999, hosted a round of the championship. The Bend SuperSprint ran on the 4.9km "International" configuration of the circuit.
The Melbourne 400 round featured four races, all of which were longer than the races that were run as part of the Australian Grand Prix support race in previous years, before it was granted championship status. Two of the races were run at twilight and feature mandatory pit stops, while the other two were shorter sprint races run in daylight hours.
Sydney Motorsport Park hosted the Sydney SuperNight 300, which consisted of a single 300km race held under lights. It was the first night race since the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi hosted the opening round of the 2010 season. The round consisted of two 30 minute practice sessions and a 20 minute qualifying session ahead of a 300km race. The race included three compulsory pit stops.
|Round||Event||Pole position||Fastest lap||Winning driver||Winning team||Report|
|1||1||Adelaide 500||Shane van Gisbergen||Jamie Whincup||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Report|
|2||Shane van Gisbergen||Jamie Whincup||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2||3||Melbourne 400||Scott McLaughlin||Tim Slade||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske||Report|
|4||Jamie Whincup||Jamie Whincup||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|5||Scott McLaughlin||James Courtney||Scott Pye||Walkinshaw Andretti United|
|6||Jamie Whincup||Nick Percat||David Reynolds||Erebus Motorsport|
|3||7||Tasmania SuperSprint||Shane van Gisbergen||Scott Pye||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Report|
|8||Craig Lowndes||James Courtney||Craig Lowndes||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|4||9||Phillip Island 500||Scott McLaughlin||Scott McLaughlin||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske||Report|
|10||Scott McLaughlin||Scott McLaughlin||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske|
|5||11||Perth SuperSprint||Scott McLaughlin||James Courtney||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske||Report|
|12||Shane van Gisbergen||Tim Slade||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske|
|6||13||Winton SuperSprint||Scott McLaughlin||Shane van Gisbergen||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Report|
|14||Scott McLaughlin||Scott McLaughlin||Fabian Coulthard||DJR Team Penske|
|7||15||Darwin Triple Crown||David Reynolds||Will Davison||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske||Report|
|16||Rick Kelly||Nick Percat||David Reynolds||Erebus Motorsport|
|8||17||Townsville 400||Scott McLaughlin||Chaz Mostert||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Report|
|18||Shane van Gisbergen||Scott McLaughlin||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|9||19||Ipswich SuperSprint||Scott McLaughlin||James Courtney||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske||Report|
|20||Scott McLaughlin||Tim Slade||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|10||21||Sydney SuperNight 300||Scott McLaughlin||Jamie Whincup||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Report|
|11||22||The Bend SuperSprint||Jamie Whincup||Shane van Gisbergen||Shane van Gisbergen||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Report|
|23||Jamie Whincup||Jamie Whincup||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|12||24||Sandown 500|| David Reynolds
|Jamie Whincup|| Jamie Whincup
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Report|
|14||26||Gold Coast 600||Report|
Points were awarded for each race at an event, to the driver or drivers of a car that completed at least 75% of the race distance and was running at the completion of the race.
Italics – Fastest lap
Results count toward the Enduro Cup.
Italics – Fastest lap
– Denotes single-car team
Results count toward the Enduro Cup.
Bold - Pole position
Tickford Racing will field four Falcon FG-Xs for Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert, Cameron Waters and new signing Richie Stanaway next year.