Friday, 10 March 2017 18:09

Roundtable: The state of Supercars, Part I

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In late 2016, V8X Supercar Magazine assembled a group of six to discuss the state of play in Supercars from their point of view. We looked to cover as many aspects of the sports as we could to get the broadest view possible for a feature beginning in issue #97.

The participants were picked to represent the wide spectrum of those involved in the series and included:

- Driver – Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia
- Driver/owner – Jason Bright, Prodrive Racing Australia/Britek
- Team owner – Charlie Schwerkolt, Team 18
- Elder statesman – Larry Perkins, Perkins Engineering
- Marketing/PR – Peter Trevaskis, Marketing director, Prodrive Racing Australia
- Fan – Lisa Burge, Nissan Motorsport fan

Issue #97 is your must-have guide to the new season, including full-field driver profiles, team-by-team changes and event previews. Included with the print edition is a 2017 Freightliner-backed Supercars calendar fridge magnet and V8 champions and Shane van Gisbergen poster.

Issue #97 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #97.

Topics in the first of the two-part feature include:

- Where Supercars is at?

Since May 2011 when Archer Capital bought a controlling interest in the sport, Supercars has been through some interesting times. It now a television deal that incorporates pay TV as well as free-to-air TV, it has stumbled again with overseas expansion and it has seen the Car of the Future concept roll out and the next generation of cars announced.

Tony Cochrane left and we have ended up with James Warburton; the office moved from the Gold Coast to Sydney; Nissan arrived; Volvo has come and gone; Ford support has gone; and one of the world's largest motorsport operations, Team Penske has arrived. So before we switch to two-door Mustangs and turbo-charged Commodores, where do we stand?

- Is TV deal working?

When V8 Supercars announced the Foxtel deal there was outrage from the fans; the last bastion of free-to-air sport in the country had fallen. Today is a very different world to when Tony Cochrane lambasted the A-League for not being able to get onto free-to-air TV and the best and biggest sports have an effective mix between the two forms. Is Supercars one of those?

- Calendar and formats

One of the bugbears about the sport in recent years has been the constant fiddling with the calendar and the formats. Does Supercars now have the right mix?

- Triple Eight domination

For the best part of a decade, Triple Eight Race Engineering has been the dominant team, reaching a climax last year with first, second and fourth in the championship race and winning the past seven teams' championships. As we've seen before, though, motorsport empires don't tend to last. But that doesn't look like happening, so can they be beaten before the switch to turbo-charged Commodores?

- Customer cars

Is the customer-car model working and is it sustainable? Can a Team 18 or a Tekno Autosports beat its supplier? And is that model sustainable when you give someone like Triple Eight more money to spend?

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #97 to read the feature.

Stay tuned for part two of the roundtable in issue #98, where we discuss the future of Supercars heading into Gen2.

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Clipsal 500 Adelaide

2-5 March

Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint 

7-9 April

WD-40 Phillip Island 500  21-23 April 

Perth Super Sprint  

5-7 May 

Winton Super Sprint 

19-21 May 

CrownBet Triple Crown Darwin

16-18 June

Watpac Townsville 400

7-9 July

Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint

28-30 July

Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint

18-20 August

Wilson Security Sandown 500

15-17 September

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

5-8 October

Vodafone Gold Coast 600

20-22 October

ITM Auckland Super Sprint

3-5 November

Coates Hire Newcastle 500

24-26 November

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Pos

 Driver

 Points

 1

 Jamie Whincup

2850

 2

 Scott McLaughlin

2820

 3

 Fabian Coulthard

2674

 4

 Chaz Mostert

2586

 5

 Shane van Gisbergen

2574

 6

 Craig Lowndes

2160

 7

 Cameron Waters

2071

 8

 Mark Winterbottom

2058

 9

 Garth Tander

2028

 10

David Reynolds 

1956

 Full points table