The final round of an entertaining 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season has arrived with the Coates Hire Newcastle 500 wrapping up the season.
SINCE LAST TIME
The Newcastle street circuit has undergone a small change ahead of this weekend’s season finale aimed at improving overtaking.
Following feedback from drivers, the Turn 11 hairpin has been made into a sharper corner, allowing the apex to be pushed deeper into the run-off.
This change has now created an extra 11.5 metres of straight between the preceding sweeper and the hairpin, giving drivers another opportunity for a pass.
With the kerbing of the corner now having a radius of 10 metres instead of 15, the overall circuit has been extended by an extra 12 metres compared to last year’s design.
BJR goes for four
Brad Jones Racing will run four cars in next year’s Supercars season with the team making it official after signing Jack Smith as a full-time driver for 2020 and beyond.
Smith will enter the season having already gained some main game experience after three wild card entries in 2019 with BJR, as well as completing co-driver duties with Todd Hazelwood at Matt Stone Racing for the three Pirtek Enduro Cup enduro rounds.
The team has now three seats confirmed for the 2020 season with Nick Percat and Macauley Jones already part of the line-up and a fourth seat still to be decided.
Fans to get their say
Supercars has announced plans to involve fans in decisions impacting the future of the sport with a dedicated Fan Council to be introduced next year.
The current plan is to have feedback sessions every quarter with around 12 members of the public to be hand-picked and representing a mix of existing and potential new fans. Each session will be discussing various topics of building the sport.
Scott McLaughlin secured his second Virgin Australia Supercars Championship title having accumulated enough points at Sandown to take out back-to-back titles.
While McLaughlin has an unassailable lead, the positions behind him remain up for grabs but there is every chance it will stay the same. Current runner-up Shane van Gisbergen sits less than 100 points ahead of teammate Jamie Whincup in third.
Whincup has enjoyed a significant rise up the standings after an outstanding three enduro rounds alongside Craig Lowndes, while Mostert’s contrasting campaign has seen him drop out of the top three and into fifth behind Fabian Coulthard.
Championship Top 10
1 Scott McLaughlin 3614 points
2 Shane van Gisbergen 3064
3 Jamie Whincup 2968
4 Fabian Coulthard 2791
5 Chaz Mostert 2705
6 David Reynolds 2517
7 Cameron Waters 2387
8 Will Davison 2369
9 Lee Holdsworth 2323
10 Nick Percat 2294
THIS ROUND LAST YEAR
Pole: Shane van Gisbergen
Winner: Scott McLaughlin
Runner Up: David Reynolds
Third: Jamie Whincup
Pole: David Reynolds
Winner: David Reynolds
Runner Up: Scott McLaughlin
#2 Holden ZB - Scott Pye
#3 Nissan Altima - Garry Jacobson
#5 Ford Mustang - Lee Holdsworth
#6 Ford Mustang - Cameron Waters
#7 Nissan Altima - Andre Heimgartner
#8 Holden ZB - Nick Percat
#9 Holden ZB - David Reynolds
#14 Holden ZB - Tim Slade
#17 Ford Mustang - Scott McLaughlin
#18 Holden ZB - Mark Winterbottom
#19 Holden ZB - Jack Le Brocq
#21 Holden ZB - Macauley Jones
#22 Holden ZB - James Courtney
#23 Ford GT - Will Davison
#33 Holden ZB – Michael Caruso
#34 Holden ZB - James Golding
#35 Holden ZB - Todd Hazelwood
#55 Ford Mustang - Chaz Mostert
#78 Nissan Altima - Simona De Silvestro
#88 Holden ZB - Jamie Whincup
#97 Holden ZB - Shane van Gisbergen
#99 Holden ZB - Anton De Pasquale
#100 Nissan Altima - Rick Kelly
#333 Ford Mustang - Fabian Coulthard
THE SUPPORT CATEGORIES
ECB SuperUtes Series
Toyota 86 Racing Series
Aussie Racing Cars
Dunlop Super2 Series
THE SUPERCARS SCHEDULE
Friday 22 November
11:30 – 12:00 Practice 1
15:25 – 15:55 Practice 2
Saturday 23 November
10:50 – 11:10 ARMOR ALL Qualifying – Race 31
13:15 – 13:40 ARMOR ALL Shootout – Race 31
16:15 - 18:15 Race 31
Sunday 24 November
11:20 – 11:40 ARMOR ALL Qualifying – Race 32
13:20 - 13:45 ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout – Race 32
16:15 – 18:15 Race 32
(all times are in Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT))