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Feature: A season like no other

The 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will be remembered for various reasons, none more so than the fact it was able to be restarted and completed in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. SupercarXtra Magazine issue #119 reviews 2020 with a team-by-team look at a season of highs and lows on and off the track.

14 December 2020

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #119.

Just days out from the 2020 season opener in Adelaide, General Motors dropped the bombshell news that Holden will be retired in Australia. At the next round in Melbourne, the season ground to a halt as Australia went into lockdown to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fast forward three months and the season restarted under new protocols, continuing in the following months thanks to the Victorian-based teams leaving home to avoid another lockdown. Two rounds each were held at Sydney Motorsport Park, Hidden Valley Raceway, Townsville and The Bend Motorsport Park, before the season-ending Bathurst 1000. 

Scott McLaughlin and DJR Team Penske won the title yet again, in McLaughlin and Team Penske’s final seasons in Supercars, while Triple Eight Race Engineering gave Holden a fitting farewell with victory at Bathurst.

Cameron Waters emerged as Ford’s new hero, defeating Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen in the championship standings, while Chaz Mostert, Nick Percat, Scott Pye, Andr√© Heimgartner, Anton De Pasquale, Todd Hazelwood and Bryce Fullwood continued their upward trajectories.

Despite the impending departure of Team Penske and Scott McLaughlin from Supercars, DJR Team Penske confirmed its place at the top of the pecking order with victory in the drivers’ and teams’ championships and a win for Ford in the manufacturers’ title race. McLaughlin continued his dominant run with 13 wins from 31 races, securing his third consecutive drivers’ title. Fabian Coulthard struggled to keep pace with his teammate for most of the season, taking one win at The Bend Motorsport Park and sixth in the championship. 

Triple Eight Race Engineering carried the hopes of Holden in the final season of the legendary brand’s presence in Supercars. Jamie Whincup shot out of the gates and emerged as Scott McLaughlin’s closest championship contender, though a tough run at The Bend Motorsport Park and a crash at Bathurst dropped him to fourth in the championship standings. In contrast, Shane van Gisbergen started the season slowly before bouncing back as the form driver of the last few rounds, culminating in victory for him and Garth Tander at Bathurst for third in the championship.

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