Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The V8 Supercar is a category of touring car racing that evolved in Australia in the early 1990s. International touring car regulations seemed destined to preclude the Australian-built Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon, to the disappointment of a majority of fans who had watched a long history of Ford-Holden battles in Australian touring car categories since the 1960s. In its early days, it ran in opposition to the "official" super-touring category, which ran cars under the international regulations, but gradually the bulk of sponsorship, driver talent, and fan attention drifted to the V-8 category leaving the super touring as an amateur category.
The regulations are designed to balance the desire for technical competition and fast vehicles with the requirement that costs are kept reasonable, racing is reasonably close, and the cars bear some resemblance to production models. The cars are based on either Commodore or Falcon production bodyshells, but from there almost every component is modified and some (such as differentials and gearboxes) are identical in all cars in the category. Engines are 5.0 L V8 with pushrod actuated valves and electronic fuel injection. Both Ford and Holden engines are based on racing engines from their respective US parent companies. Engines are restricted to 7500 rpm, and in this configuration most of the cars put out around 450 kilowatts of power. Basic front suspension configuration is similar to the road cars, whilst rear suspension is a "live axle" design, and spring and damper design is unrestricted. A "control tyre" is supplied to all teams. A standard "aerodynamic package" of spoilers and wings is supplied to the teams, and is tested so the two makes have as similar aerodynamic characteristics as possible.
The category is highly commercially successful. New events on street circuits in Adelaide and Canberra drawing upwards of 150,000 people across the weekend and the Bathurst 1000 endurance race continuing its popularity.
The first ever Australian Touring Car Championship for V8 Supercars, was won by Glenn Seton with his team-mate former world champion Alan Jones taking second in the championship. In 2004, the Stone Brothers Racing Team of Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall repeated the 1-2 feat.
Whilst the racing through the field is close and aggressive, the quasi-factory Holden Racing Team team, closely associated with factory-approved Holden modified Holden Special Vehicles has, over the course of the decade, usually held a slim but decisive margin over its rivals. The team was owned by Arrows Formula One team owner Tom Walkinshaw until Walkinshaw's financial problems forced a sale, initially to Holden itself but from there to driver Mark Skaife. However, in 2003 the tide turned against Holden, and Ford driver Marcos Ambrose dominated much of the series to take out his first championship.
V8 Supercar Championship Series
List of Series Champions
|1993||Glenn Seton||Ford||Glenn Seton Racing|
|1994||Mark Skaife||Holden||Gibson Motorsport|
|1995||John Bowe||Ford||Dick Johnson Racing|
|1996||Craig Lowndes||Holden||Holden Racing Team|
|1997||Glenn Seton||Ford||Glenn Seton Racing|
|1998||Craig Lowndes||Holden||Holden Racing Team|
|1999||Craig Lowndes||Holden||Holden Racing Team|
|2000||Mark Skaife||Holden||Holden Racing Team|
|2001||Mark Skaife||Holden||Holden Racing Team|
|2002||Mark Skaife||Holden||Holden Racing Team|
|2003||Marcos Ambrose||Ford||Stone Brothers Racing|
|2004||Marcos Ambrose||Ford||Stone Brothers Racing|
Notable figures involved in the category include:
- Mark Skaife, 5 times champion, 3 x Bathurst Winner
- Craig Lowndes, 3 times champion, 1 x Bathurst Winner
- Glenn Seton , 2 times champion
- Marcos Ambrose, 2 times champion
- John Bowe , 1 times champion, 2 x Bathurst Winner
- Greg Murphy , 4 x Bathurst Winner
- Paul Radisich WTCC Winner
- Steven Johnson, Son of Dick Johnson
- Russell Ingall
- Garth Tander
- Steven Richards, Son of Jim Richards
- Max Wilson , ex-F1 test driver, ex-Champ Car World Series
- Alan Jones, F1 World Champion
- Larry Perkins, ex-F1
- Jason Bright
- Todd Kelly and Rick Kelly
- Brad Jones
- Cameron McConville
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