Night kings: Supercars' night race specialists

23 Jul
Which drivers have taken glory under lights?

This weekend’s Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight marks a return to night racing, and the first race under lights of the Gen3 era.

Saturday’s 51-lapper — Race 18 of 2023 — will be the 19th championship race to be held under lights, and the ninth at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Sydney is one of four circuits — along with Calder Park, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, and Perth’s Wanneroo — to have hosted night racing.

Nine different drivers have shared the 18 night race wins, but just three have multiple victories.

Reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen has taken five wins under lights, four of them coming in Sydney.

Van Gisbergen won the 300km night race in 2018, which was the first race under lights in Australia since 1997.

It was also the first night race in Sydney since 1996, which was won on the short circuit by a young Craig Lowndes.

The Kiwi added a sprint win in 2021, before ultimately sealing his second championship with a charging drive in the 250km race.

Jamie Whincup is next on the list with four night wins, three coming across Supercars’ two-year swing of opening seasons in Abu Dhabi.

The Yas Marina Circuit — which has hosted Formula One’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2009 — first staged Supercars night racing in 2010.

Whincup celebrated Triple Eight’s high-profile switch from Ford to Holden with a clean sweep, before returning in 2011 to win the first race of the weekend.

Lowndes in Sydney, 1996 Pic: AN1 Images

The second race was won by James Courtney after his own big switch to the Holden Racing Team, with the #1 denying Jason Bright and Brad Jones Racing in a thriller.

The very first championship night race came all the way back in 1980 at Calder Park, with Peter Brock winning his second of four wins en route to his third and final championship.

Melbourne’s Calder Park was the scene of the first round of the V8 Supercar era, with former motorcycle world champion Wayne Gardner and eventual 1997 champion Glenn Seton splitting the wins.


Perth became the fourth venue to host night racing in 2019, with Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard sharing the wins for the Shell V-Power Racing Team.

McLaughlin added a second night win in Sydney during the COVID-19 affected 2020 season, with Anton De Pasquale emulating the Kiwi in the first of four Sydney night races in 2021.

The first Repco Supercars Championship night race of the Gen3 era will commence at 7:35pm local time/AEST on Saturday July 29.

ATCC/Supercars Championship night races

Calder Park

1980: Peter Brock1997: Wayne Gardner, Glenn Seton


1996: Craig Lowndes2018: Shane van Gisbergen2020: Scott McLaughlin2021: Anton De Pasquale, Shane van Gisbergen, Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen2022: Shane van Gisbergen


2019: Fabian Coulthard, Scott McLaughlin2022: Shane van Gisbergen

Abu Dhabi

2010: Jamie Whincup, Jamie Whincup2011: Jamie Whincup, James Courtney

ATCC/Supercars Championship night race winners

5: Shane van Gisbergen4: Jamie Whincup2: Scott McLaughlin1: Peter Brock, Wayne Gardner, Glenn Seton, Craig Lowndes, James Courtney, Fabian Coulthard

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