Phillip Island 500

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Victoria (Australia) Phillip Island 500
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.svg
Race Information
Venue Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Number of times held 13
First held 1971
Race Format
Race 1
Laps 57
Distance 250 km
Race 2
Laps 57
Distance 250 km
Last Event (2018)
Overall Winner
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske
Race Winners
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin DJR Team Penske

The Phillip Island 500 (formally known as the WD-40 Phillip Island 500) is an annual motor racing event, currently held for Supercars at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Phillip Island, Victoria. The race has had three distinct eras; from 1971 to 1977 as an endurance production and later Australian Touring Car Championship race, from 2008 to 2011 as an endurance race as part of V8 Supercars and from 2017 onwards as a Supercars Championship event consisting of two 250 km races.

Format[edit]

In its current format, the event is staged over a three-day weekend, from Friday to Sunday. Two forty-minute practice sessions are held on Friday. Both Saturday and Sunday feature a twenty-minute qualifying session which decides the grid for the following 250 km race.[1]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

From 1960 to 1962, Phillip Island hosted the Armstrong 500, a 500-mile race which later evolved into the Bathurst 1000.

1971–77[edit]

The 1971 and 1972 races were open to Group E Series Production Touring Cars. With the demise of the Group E category at the end of 1972 the event switched to Group C Touring Car regulations. The 500K was a round of the Australian Manufacturers' Championship from 1971 to 1975 and counted towards both the Australian Championship of Makes and the Australian Touring Car Championship in 197s6 and 1977. The event name changed throughout this period according to the sponsorship (or lack thereof) each year.

Colin Bond and Peter Brock dominated the event in the 1970s, winning five of the seven events between them. In 1972, Allan Moffat won the event, in what is to this day the only Phillip Island 500 win for Ford.

2008–11[edit]

The race was revived in 2008 as two-driver endurance event for V8 Supercars, replacing the Sandown 500 as the lead-in event to the annual Bathurst 1000 race.[2][3] The format featured two short races on Saturday, one for each co-driver, that set the grid, before the traditional 500 km race on the Sunday. It remained part of the V8 Supercar Championship Series for four consecutive years before the Sandown 500 was reinstated as the host of the 500 km championship race for the 2012 season.

This iteration of the event was dominated by the Holden Racing Team and Triple Eight Race Engineering, winning two races each. The Triple Eight entry of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup also led the other two events late in the race, before being overtaken by the Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander. The 2008 event saw Tander, driving with Mark Skaife, win after Whincup lost the lead due to an error.[4] In 2009, Tander, this time driving with Will Davison, passed Lowndes, who had a slowly deflating tyre, on the final lap.[4] For the 2010 season, a rules change forced a team's primary drivers to be split across their two cars, therefore Lowndes and Whincup were split up, with vastly different outcomes. Whincup lost a third race from the lead in three years following an engine failure, whilst Lowndes would go on to win, this time with Skaife.[4] This occurred ten years after Lowndes and Skaife had won the Queensland 500 driving together. The final running of the event in 2011 saw Lowndes and Skaife win again, leading home a Triple Eight one-two finish ahead of Whincup and Andrew Thompson.[4] The win saw Skaife level Colin Bond as the only drivers to win the event three times.

2017–present[edit]

In 2017, the Phillip Island SuperSprint format was dropped in favour of two 250 km races, which led to the revival of the Phillip Island 500 name.[5] The event itself was marred by a spate of tyre failures across the weekend, while Ford were also able to break their 45 year drought at the event.[6]

Winners[edit]

Year Event Driver(s) Car Team
1971 Phillip Island 500K Australia Colin Bond [7] Holden LC Torana GTR XU-1 Holden Dealer Team
1972 Phillip Island 500K Canada Allan Moffat [8] Ford XY Falcon GTHO Phase III Ford Works Team
1973 Phillip Island 500K Australia Peter Brock [9] Holden LJ Torana GTR XU-1 Holden Dealer Team
1974 RE-PO 500K Australia Colin Bond [10] Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Holden Dealer Team
1975 Phillip Island 500K Australia Peter Brock [11] Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Gown - Hindhaugh
1976 Rover 500K Australia Colin Bond [12] Holden LH Torana SL/R 5000 L34 Holden Dealer Team
1977 Ready Plan Insurance Phillip Island 500K Australia Allan Grice [13] Holden LX Torana SS A9X Craven Mild Racing
1978

2007
not held
2008 L&H 500 Australia Garth Tander
Australia Mark Skaife
Holden VE Commodore Holden Racing Team
2009 L&H 500 Australia Garth Tander
Australia Will Davison
Holden VE Commodore Holden Racing Team
2010 L&H 500 Australia Craig Lowndes
Australia Mark Skaife
Holden VE Commodore Triple Eight Race Engineering
2011 L&H 500 Australia Craig Lowndes
Australia Mark Skaife
Holden VE Commodore Triple Eight Race Engineering
2012

2016
See Phillip Island SuperSprint for Supercars Championship Round
2017 WD-40 Phillip Island 500 Australia Mark Winterbottom Ford FG X Falcon Prodrive Racing Australia
2018 WD-40 Phillip Island 500 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Ford FG X Falcon DJR Team Penske

Multiple winners[edit]

By driver[edit]

Event Wins Driver Years
3 Australia Colin Bond 1971, 1974, 1976
Australia Mark Skaife 2008, 2010, 2011
2 Australia Peter Brock 1973, 1975
Australia Garth Tander 2008, 2009
Australia Craig Lowndes 2010, 2011

By team[edit]

Event Wins Driver
4 Holden Dealer Team
2 Holden Racing Team
Triple Eight Race Engineering

By manufacturer[edit]

Event Wins Manufacturer
10 Holden
3 Ford

Event sponsors[edit]

  • 1974: RE-PO
  • 1976: Rover
  • 1977: Ready Plan Insurance
  • 2008–11: L&H
  • 2017–present: WD-40

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Supercars Operations Manual 2018 - Division "A" - Administration Rules" (PDF). Supercars. 23 February 2018. Retrieved 22 April 2018. 
  2. ^ Phillip Island 500 here to stay
  3. ^ Phillip Island 500 set to stay
  4. ^ a b c d 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. ^ Dale, Will (19 January 2017). "Supercars: Clipsal 500, Phillip Island and Pukekohe get new race formats for 2017". Fox Sports. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  6. ^ Howard, Tom (22 April 2017). "Supercars launches PI tyre investigation". Speedcafe. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  7. ^ Racing Car News, December 1971
  8. ^ Racing Car News, December 1972, Pages 74 & 75
  9. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook, 1974 Edition, Pages 139 & 140
  10. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook, 1975 Edition, Pages 144 & 145
  11. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook, 1976 Edition, Pages 114 & 115
  12. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook, 1977 Edition, Pages 72 & 73
  13. ^ Australian Competition Yearbook, 1978 Edition, Pages 70 & 71