Commodore 500: Road to a milestone

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 21/07/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Shane van Gisbergen’s triumph in Townsville marked the 500th Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championship race victory for a Holden Commodore.

Fittingly, the result came on a weekend where Holden’s backing of its factory team, Triple Eight, was confirmed for another two years, along with its commitment to Commodore.

The model has been Holden’s weapon of choice in the championship since 1980, shortly after it was introduced to the road car market.

Prior to Commodore, the company had scored exactly 50 ATCC wins, split six to the Monaro and 44 to Torana, making van Gisbergen’s Townsville effort Holden’s 550th.

Supercars.com takes a look back at the milestone races that have made up Commodore’s road to 500 championship race wins.

1 – 1980 Symmons Plains, Peter Brock, Commodore VB

Brock and his Holden Dealer Team, pictured above at Calder, wasted no time putting Commodore on the board in 1980, giving the car a win on debut at Symmons Plains.

50 – 1996 Symmons Plains Race 3, Craig Lowndes, Commodore VR

A drought during the Group A years, and the use of a single-race format for much of the era, meant it took until 1996 to reach 50; Lowndes ticking it off on the way to the title.

100 – 1998 Calder Race 2, Jason Bargwanna, Commodore VS

Just two years later, Commodore reached its century through a maiden win for Jason Bargwanna, hitting the ton with the VS model on the same day the VT debuted.

150 – 2000 Canberra Race 2, Todd Kelly, Commodore VT

Commodore’s 150th was achieved by another first-up winner, 20-year-old Holden Young Lion Kelly, making the most of the new event’s full reverse-grid Race 2 format.

200 - 2002 Oran Park Race 2, Mark Skaife, Commodore VX

Number 200 came during Skaife’s dominant run to the 2002 title with the Holden Racing Team; Race 2 at Oran Park marking his 13th win from 18 starts.

250 - 2006 Pukekohe Race 3, Mark Skaife

Commodore’s 250th race win at Pukekohe coincided with a milestone weekend for Skaife, who equalled Brock’s record of 37 round wins on the same day.

300 - 2008 Winton Race 3, Garth Tander, Commodore VE

HRT continued to tick off the Commodore’s key wins during the 2000s; new recruit Tander making it 300 at Winton.

350 - 2011 Symmons Plains Race 24, Jamie Whincup, Commodore VE

Triple Eight’s switch to Holden in 2010 accelerated Commodore’s charge, Whincup taking its 350th at Symmons Plains as he closed on the title.

400 - 2013 Sydney Olympic Park Race 36, Shane van Gisbergen, Commodore VF

Triple Eight customer Tekno Autosports and young gun van Gisbergen clocked up the 400th on the streets of Sydney; the final race of the 2013 season.

450 - 2016 Symmons Plains Race 4, van Gisbergen, Commodore VF

The Kiwi was at its again during his own championship year in 2016, bringing up Commodore’s 450th at the same venue it got its first, and reaching 500 for Holden.

500 - 2019 Townsville Race 18, van Gisbergen

A dominant run for the Ford Mustang meant it took 18 races for Commodore to score two wins in 2019 to reach 500, both victories courtesy of van Gisbergen and Triple Eight.

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