As we get into the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, we look back at the key events in the history of Australian touring cars from the decade anniversaries in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #124.
After losing out on the championship in 2010, in Triple Eight Race Engineering’s first season running Holden Commodores, Jamie Whincup returned to the top in 2011. By the end of 2012, he had confirmed his dominance and had also returned to the top step at the Mount Panorama Circuit.
The 2012 season started with a strong challenge from Ford Performance Racing, with Will Davison edging Whincup at the season opener in Adelaide and Davison and teammate Mark Winterbottom winning seven consecutive races across three rounds in Hamilton, Perth and Phillip Island.
Triple Eight returned serve with a run of 11 consecutive wins, starting at Darwin in June and ending at the Gold Coast in October. Whincup claimed six of those wins to teammate Craig Lowndes’ five, with the team carrying that form into the endurance events.
Lowndes partnered with Warren Luff to take the win in the Sandown 500 with Whincup and Paul Dumbrell on top in the Bathurst 1000. Sébastien Bourdais joined Whincup for the Gold Coast 600 and won the opening race of the event, only for Ford Performance Racing to end Triple Eight’s run with a win courtesy of Davison and Mika Salo in the second race.
Whincup returned to his winning ways with a sweep of the event at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, wrapping up the championship with a storming drive from a pitlane penalty at the penultimate event of the season at Winton.
Lowndes secured second in the standings with Davison overcoming Winterbottom in the battle for third with victory in the final race of the season in Sydney. Triple Eight and Ford Performance Racing had won all 30 races between them – 19 to Triple Eight and 11 to Ford Performance Racing.
Stone Brothers Racing was best of the rest, with Tim Slade edging Shane van Gisbergen in the race for fifth place in the championship, while reigning Bathurst 1000 winners the Holden Racing Team could only manage a handful of third places.
For Whincup, it was his fourth championship win from five years and his fourth Bathurst 1000 triumph. Not only was it his second championship and Bathurst double, it also remains his most recent win in the Great Race.
The Car of the Future regulations opened up the category to non-Ford and Holden entrants from 2013, with Kelly Racing switching to Nissan Altimas and Stone Brothers Racing morphing into Erebus Motorsport to field AMG Mercedes-Benz E63s. So, what looked like the final season of the Ford and Holden duopoly had been a head-to-head battle between the two leading teams of each manufacturer.
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