Gold Coast 600
|Venue||Surfers Paradise Street Circuit|
Surfers Paradise Street Circuit
|- Distance||301.92 km|
|- Distance||301.92 km|
|Last Race (2014)|
|Winning Driver||R1: Shane Van Gisbergen/Jonathon Webb
R2: Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell
|Winning Team||R1: Tekno Autosports
R2: Triple Eight Race Engineering
The Gold Coast 600 is an annual V8 Supercars event held each October at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia. The race is currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Castrol Gold Coast 600, and was formerly known as the V8 Supercar Challenge from 1997-2009.
First run in 1994, the event was a support race to the Gold Coast Indy 300 until its demise in 2009.
Supporting act (1994-2008)
In 1994 and from 1996-2001, the event was run as a non-championship exhibition round, supporting the CART World Series event. The 1998 event was notable for providing Mark Larkham with the only event win of his decade-long full-time touring car career, albeit at a non-championship event.
From 2002, whilst still a support category, the event became an official V8 Supercars championship round. From then until 2009, the most common race format was three races over the weekend, with one on Saturday and two on Sunday. The driver with the most points accumulated over the three races was awarded first place for the weekend.
End of open-wheeler era (2009)
In late 2008, it was announced the IndyCar Series would not be returning to the Gold Coast in 2009, bringing to an end the Indy era. A1 Grand Prix, which had been scheduled to replace IndyCar, then pulled out of the event with only weeks to go, leaving V8 Supercars as the lead category for the first time in the Gold Coast event's history. Subsequently, to fill the last minute hole in the schedule, the 2009 event expanded its format to 300km on each Saturday and Sunday, each race split into two 150km 'legs'. The amount of points accumulated over the two legs determined the individual winner for each day.
International co-drivers (2010-12)
In 2010, the track was shortened from 4.47km to 2.96km, and the event became known as the Gold Coast 600 for the first time. To differentiate the event, each team was required to have at least one driver of international reputation as a co-driver. In 2011, this rule was adjusted such that every car (as opposed to every team) had a driver of international repute as a co-driver. These drivers could be Australian, but had to have a strong international pedigree, such as Australian IndyCar driver Will Power. Two races of 300km were held over the weekend, with one on both Saturday and Sunday. The co-driver was required to complete at least one-third of each race distance (34 laps).
In 2011, the event was overshadowed by the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship tragedy, which occurred one week before the Gold Coast event. This led to the relaxing of the international driver rules, as Holden Racing Team's planned co-driver Dan Wheldon was killed and Ford Performance Racing co-driver Will Power was injured in the 15-car crash. Brad Jones Racing co-driver Tony Kanaan, a close friend of Wheldon, also decided to withdraw from the Gold Coast event following the tragedy. The International Driver Trophy, introduced in 2010, was renamed in Wheldon's honour before the 2011 event.
Endurance Cup (2013-onwards)
For the 2013 event, the necessity for each car to have an international co-driver was removed, and therefore the event became the third event for the driver combinations seen in the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000. This trio of events became known as the Pirtek Enduro Cup. The format remains identical to 2010-12, with a pair of 300km races across the weekend.
Events which were not championship rounds are indicated by a pink background.
International Driver (Dan Wheldon Memorial) Trophy
For the years that international co-drivers were mandated for the event, the International Driver Trophy was awarded to the best performing international driver over the race weekend. In 2011, the trophy was renamed after the British IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon after his death one week prior to the race. The trophy was discontinued after 2012 as a change in regulations saw that international co-drivers were no longer compulsory.
|International Driver Trophy|
|2010||Andy Priaulx||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|Dan Wheldon Memorial Trophy|
|2011||Sébastien Bourdais||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
|2012||Sébastien Bourdais||Triple Eight Race Engineering|
- 1994: Courier Mail Gold Coast 100
- 1996: EA Sports Touring Cars
- 1997–98: Hog's Breath V8 Supercar Challenge
- 1999, 2007: V8 Supercar Challenge
- 2000, 2002: FAI V8 Supercar Challenge
- 2001: Cabcharge V8 Supercar Challenge
- 2003–06: Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge
- 2008: The Coffee Club V8 Supercar Challenge
- 2009: Nikon SuperGP (V8 Supercar Challenge)
- 2010–13: Armor All Gold Coast 600
- 2014: Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600
- 2015: Castrol Gold Coast 600
- "V8 Supercars unveils the trophy for the best performing international driver, the Dan Wheldon Trophy". Speed TV (Australia). 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-23.