THE news that Sydney Motorsport Park will host two Supercars Championship rounds in a row this year had us reaching for the record books at V8 Sleuth HQ.
Has the championship ever hosted successive rounds at the same venue before?
A search of championship records shows that there’s never been two consecutive championship events in the same season at the same venue, but there have been two rounds in a row in championship history.
The final round of the 1970 Australian Touring Car Championship was held at Symmons Plains in November ’70 and was won by the Porsche 911S of Jim McKeown.
Then in March 1971 the opening round of the new ATCC season was also held at Symmons Plains, held on the first Monday in March to capitalise on the Eight Hours Day long weekend, a traditional date the circuit held through the early and mid-1970s.
The wet ’71 race was won by Allan Moffat’s Coke Mustang over Bob Jane’s Camaro and Ian Geoghegan’s Mustang.
However, the gap between the 1970 and 1971 Symmons Plains rounds isn’t the shortest time period between championship rounds at the same circuit.
That occurred the last time a track hosted two rounds within the same season in 2009.
Phillip Island hosted the 500-kilometre endurance race in mid-September and then hosted the ‘Phillip Island 300’ in late November, a meeting that replaced the postponed Bahrain round of the championship.
The 2009 Phillip Island 500 was won by the Holden Racing Team Commodore VE of Garth Tander and Will Davison in a last-lap win after Craig Lowndes’ Vodafone Falcon was forced to nurse a delaminating tyre to the chequered flag.
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There have been a range of other years and occasions where tracks have hosted multiple rounds in the one season.
In fact, Sydney Motorsport Park is one of them – when it was known as Eastern Creek to hosted two rounds in 2003 and 2004 – each year included the final round.
The circuit looks like it will break completely new ground in championship history this year as it appears it will host three rounds given it’s been announced as hosting the final round in mid-December.
Should this month’s round be held on the shorter ‘Druitt’ circuit (the ‘link road’ version used by the championship in 1996), then 2020 will be the first time a venue has hosted multiple rounds within the same year on different circuit layouts.
The 1976 and 1977 seasons saw Sandown and Adelaide International Raceway host both a sprint round and endurance race within the ATCC, which came about due to the endurance championship being run concurrently with the ATCC.
Lakeside hosted two rounds in 1991 during the Group A era, while Queensland Raceway hosted a sprint round and a 500-kilometre round in 1999 and 2000 before the sprint round was dumped for 2001.