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Ranked: The best-ever Supercars champion burnouts

CELEBRATORY burnouts have become somewhat of a Supercars tradition, with the best usually saved up for the series champion’s efforts after the final race of the season.

However, by our count, only 10 drivers have conducted any form of burnouts or donuts to celebrate their championship victory.

A surprising omission from those 10 is Mark Skaife, who didn’t mark any of his five titles with celebratory circlework.

We’ve looked at each driver’s best effort and put together a top five – and there are no surprises about who figures near the top of this list.

It might say ’05’ on the doors, but that’s Craig Lowndes doing his celebratory burnout aboard Peter Brock’s car after the 1996 ATCC finale. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

No.5 – Craig Lowndes, 1996
The original and one of the best. Craig Lowndes’ smoky celebration of his maiden ATCC victory was the first of the modern era, giving it a special place in our list of champion burnouts.

The other thing that makes this burnout exceptional? He had to borrow teammate Peter Brock’s car to do it.

Lowndes’ own Commodore broke an axle while leading the final race of the season, allowing Brock to complete a clean sweep of the Oran Park finale.

The HRT teammates celebrated their respective triumphs on the podium, then Lowndes hot-footed it back down to pit straight to hop in the #05 Commodore.

Not that anyone at home saw it: unlike the others on this list, Lowndes’ burnout wasn’t shown in the TV coverage…

Scott McLaughlin took his opportunity to rip a spectacular burnout at Brock’s Skyline after clinching the 2020 title at the Bathurst 1000. Pic: FOX SPORTS

No.4 – Scott McLaughlin, 2020
Of all the championship celebration burnouts on this list, McLaughlin’s had the best canvas.

One of the few upsides of the COVID-stifled 2020 edition of the Bathurst 1000 was that both the race winner and the championship winner were allowed to do a victory lap.

McLaughlin, in his final act aboard a Supercar before switching to IndyCar, proceeded to lay thick black lines across the most iconic piece of tarmac in Australian motorsport.

“I thought Skyline would be pretty sick (for the burnout), come over the top, so I’m looking forward to seeing the pictures,” McLaughlin said at the time.

Glenn Seton used a line-locker to help do his spectacular 1997 Oran Park burnout. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

No.3 – Glenn Seton, 1997
The first championship-winning burnout shown on TV came in the first season of the V8 Supercar era courtesy of Glenn Seton.

Overjoyed at his tight-knit single car outfit beating Dick Johnson Racing and Perkins Engineering, the normally phlegmatic Seton did the one and only burnout of his career – one he was very much ready for.

“I’d put a line-locker in the car that year and could lock-out the back brakes, hoping we’d be able to use it at Oran Park,” Seton said in his autobiography.

“It was a ripper burnout and Bridgestone ended up doing a big poster out of it with the catchline: ‘After winning the championship, Glenn Seton deserves a smoko!’”

Russell Ingall’s delight is evident as he celebrates winning the 2005 title. Pic: an1images.com / Scott Wensley

No.2 – Russell Ingall, 2005
Prior to last weekend, ‘The Enforcer’ set the benchmark against which all championship-winning burnouts – all Supercars burnouts, period – were judged.

Russell Ingall was a four-time runner up when he finally secured his breakthrough championship win in 2005, and he made sure that the celebrations were worth the wait.

He hung out the door waving to the crowd for most of his victory lap around Phillip Island’s 4.445 kilometres, then punctuated it with a long series of donuts in front of the crowd on the front straight – still hanging half-out of the car.

Ingall set the bar so high that it was always going to take something special to knock it off…

Shane van Gisbergen capped his 2022 title with an epic burnout. Pic: Supplied

No.1 – Shane van Gisbergen, 2022
Having sewn up the title on the Gold Coast over a month ago, Shane van Gisbergen had plenty of time to work out how he wanted to celebrate his coronation in Adelaide.

The TV-inspired donuts around the trophy were spectacular, but the cherry on top was continuing the burnout while he clambered on top of the car to gee up the main straight crowd, removing one of his boots and using it to keep the rear wheels spinning. Naturally, do not try that at home – or anywhere…

READ MORE: The secret trick behind van Gisbergen’s epic burnout

“I knew I wouldn’t be allowed … to sit out of the car like that, but I wanted to come up with something,” van Gisbergen said afterwards.

“Tunners (Supercars’ TV boss David Tunnicliffe) told me to do some skids around the trophy, but I didn’t really want to do that, I was worried about hitting it. He wanted me to because it would be good TV!

“I just wanted to do something to beat Ingall’s skid. His skid is the all-time best ever, so hopefully it rivalled it.”

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