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Kings of the concrete: Supercars' street circuit specialists

04 Jul
The Supercars street circuit kings
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Street circuit racing has been at the heart of the ATCC/Supercars Championship from day dot.

Indeed, the first ever ATCC crown was decided in 1960 on the public roads of Orange that formed the Gnoo Blas layout, where Jaguar-powered David McKay took the honours.

Two years later, Longford on the streets of northern Tasmania settled the title in Bob Jane’s favour.

By modern standards, both those venues might be considered road courses, much like Bathurst and largely purpose-built Albert Park are nowadays.

In championship terms, the first true street race did not come until 1999 in Adelaide – although both the South Australian capital and Wellington in New Zealand had hosted long-running non-points street races beginning in ’85.

From ’99 onwards, there’s been a steady stream of street circuits added to the calendar – some of which have remained, while others have come and gone.

Canberra (2000-02), Hamilton (2008-12) and Sydney Olympic Park (2009-16) all fall into the latter category.

Those to have persisted outside of Adelaide are Surfers Paradise, Townsville and Newcastle.

The ATCC joined the Indy 300 bill at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit (not to be confused with the defunct Surfers Paradise International Raceway) in 1994 when John Bowe swept the round, but points were not dished out there until 2002.

Newcastle is still somewhat in its infancy with just four rounds held to date, while Townsville – the site of this weekend’s Supercars action – has been a fixture on the calendar ever since 2009.

All up, counting the seven tracks listed above (and not any road courses per se), there have been 172 championship races on street circuits.

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So, who is the king of the streets?

The answer is clear: Jamie Whincup.

Even 18 months on from his retirement as a full-time driver, Whincup has won more than a quarter of the street races held in championship history.

All up, Whincup has 44 such wins including multiple on six different tracks (the only one he didn’t conquer was Canberra, which ended before the start of his full-time career).

What’s more is that Whincup holds the outright record for most race wins at Townsville, Adelaide, Surfers Paradise, Sydney Olympic Park and Hamilton – not to mention having the equal most for the Newcastle 500.

The driver who owned the streets of Canberra, meanwhile, was Mark Skaife who won a third of the nine races held in the nation’s capital.

In broader terms the only driver who comes close to Whincup is his now employee Shane van Gisbergen.

The Kiwi similarly has won at all six non-Canberra street circuits, with a total tally of 28.

He can draw level with Whincup for the Townsville race win record of 12 if he completes a sweep of this weekend’s two 250km mini-enduros.

Top five ATCC/Supercars Championship street race winners

    • Jamie Whincup, 44

    • Shane van Gisbergen, 28

    • Garth Tander, 16

    • Craig Lowndes, 13

    • Scott McLaughlin, 10

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