Newcastle 500

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New South Wales Newcastle 500
Newcastle Street Circuit.png
Race Information
Venue Newcastle Street Circuit
Number of times held 1
First held 2017
Race Format
Race 1
Laps 95
Distance 250 km
Race 2
Laps 95
Distance 250 km
Last Event (2017)
Overall Winner
Australia David Reynolds Erebus Motorsport
Race Winners
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske
Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering

The Newcastle 500 (known for sponsorship reasons as the Coates Hire Newcastle 500) is an annual motor racing event for Supercars, held at the Newcastle Street Circuit in Newcastle, New South Wales since 2017.

Format[edit]

The event is staged over a three-day weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Two forty-minute practice sessions are held on Friday. Saturday features a twenty-minute qualifying session which decides the grid positions for the following 250 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 250 km race.[1]

History[edit]

From 2009 until 2016, the final event on the Supercars calendar was the Sydney 500 at the Sydney Olympic Park Street Circuit. Following the demise of the event, Supercars opened discussions with Destination NSW for a replacement event in the state.[2] Initial plans for a race at Gosford on the state's Central Coast fell through after several months of negotiations, leaving Newcastle as the leading alternative.[3] In September 2016, Newcastle's place as the final event of the 2017 season was confirmed in an announcement made by Supercars CEO James Warburton and Premier Mike Baird.[4] In December 2016, the track layout and a November 2017 date for the inaugural event were then confirmed.[5]

The inaugural event culminated in the 2017 championship being decided in the final minutes of the Sunday race. Five drivers went into the event as mathematical championship contenders, however only Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin remained as contenders following the Saturday race.[6] Whincup, who had given up the championship lead with a 21st place on Saturday, won the Sunday race, meaning McLaughlin required an 11th-place finish to win the championship. McLaughlin, after being delayed by two in-race penalties, took 11th place from James Moffat with two laps remaining. Having then run wide on the penultimate lap, McLaughlin moved across the track to block Craig Lowndes from overtaking him, however Lowndes, a teammate of Whincup, was squeezed into both McLaughlin and the wall and retired from the race at the next corner. McLaughlin was then given a time penalty for the contact, which awarded a record seventh championship to Whincup.[7]

Criticism[edit]

Before the first running of the event, many East End residents have raised concerns about the implications of the event's running in this area of the city. Up to 140 residents staged a protest resulting in clashes against Supercars fans, among concerns about noise restrictions and lack of access during the race weekend.[8] During the inaugural race weekend, NSW Police were called to a trackside unit following reports that a support category was egged.[9]

Winners[edit]

Year Event Title Race Driver Team Car
2017 Coates Hire Newcastle 500 1 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon FG X
2 Australia Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden Commodore VF

Event sponsors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Supercars Operations Manual 2017 - Division "A" - Administration Rules" (PDF). Supercars. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Axe falls on Sydney Olympic Park street race". Speedcafe. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Gosford withdraws from Supercars race". Speedcafe. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Supercars to race in Newcastle". Supercars Championship. 27 September 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Date and layout locked in for Newcastle Supercars race". Motorsport.com. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  6. ^ Howard, Tom (25 November 2017). "McLaughlin wins, Whincup title bid derailed". Speedcafe. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  7. ^ Howard, Tom (26 November 2017). "Whincup secures title after McLaughlin cops late penalty". Speedcafe. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Newcastle V8 Supercar race draws protests in East End". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Newcastle 500: police responding to reports eggs thrown at cars on Parnell Place". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 26 November 2017.