V8 Supercars is a sport on the rise globally. Australia’s premier motorsport category is regarded around the world for its action-packed racing and entertainment.
Already more popular in Australia than Formula 1, V8 Supercars is one of only two motorsport categories in the world considered more popular in its own country than F1. The other is NASCAR in the United States.
So much has V8 Supercars’ international recognition grown in recent times the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) has sanctioned it as an international series, paving the way for up to six offshore events in a calendar year.
V8 Supercars continues to evolve, driven by factors including: staging races in locations in Australia and overseas; extensive marketing to broaden the sport’s appeal; increasing the viability of teams and developing more meaningful and lucrative sponsorship arrangements, and; fully exploiting media rights.
Its Car of the Future program, developed in part to attract more manufacturers to the sport, is an integral part of the Championship’s international expansion and will allow multiple marques to compete alongside the traditional rivals, Holden and Ford.
V8 Supercars first began racing overseas in 2001 at the Pukekohe Raceway in New Zealand followed by Shanghai International Circuit with a one-off event in 2005. It then added the Bahrain International Circuit to its calendar from 2006-2010, then the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi (2010-present).
With the blessing of the FIA, V8 Supercars is looking to expand its international footprint to as many as six events outside of Australasia.
The sport that is today’s V8 Supercars has evolved from a long and proud tradition of Australian touring car racing.
For more than 50 years Australians have shown an enormous passion and appetite for touring car racing, extending from the improved Production era between 1965 and 1972, Group C from 1973 to 1984 and the international Group A era between 1985 and 1992, featuring cars and brands from around the world including Toyota, Mazda, BMW, Volvo, Jaguar and Nissan.
In 1993 the Australian Touring Car Championship became a V8 engine-based category, extending the enormous rivalry between Australia’s popular local car marques, Ford and Holden, who became the foundation manufacturers of V8 Supercars.
The series was renamed in 1997 and the V8 Supercar Championship marked the beginning of a period of incredible growth.
By far the greatest period of accelerated growth has been throughout the last 14 years and this owes much to the drive and passion of Chairman Tony Cochrane, who had the vision to professionalise the sport and transform it into a world class category.
From a small group of teams in 1996, there are now 18 V8 Supercars teams. Between staff who work for the teams and the people who stage the race events, V8 Supercars employs more than 1,600 people full time and hundreds more through associated industries.
V8 Supercars produces its own television coverage for the Seven Network, the international broadcast feed, and content for the Championship’s online partner, Telstra BigPond.
Races are shown on the Seven Network and its regional affiliates on Saturdays and Sundays during the Championship season. V8 Supercars also enjoys an international broadcast footprint, televised to more than 130 countries.
In 2009, the Championship added marquee street races in Sydney at the Olympic Park precinct and in Townsville, North Queensland. These joined the incredibly successful street events in cities including Adelaide and the Gold Coast.
The jewel in the crown is the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. This is the pinnacle event in Australasian motorsport and internationally rated alongside elite events such as the Indy 500 and the Le Mans 24-Hour sports car race.
V8 Supercars management and teams are committed to ensuring that all events provide premium entertainment and value for fans at the track and those watching on television or the web.