Top 10 Supercars stories of 2020

29 Dec 2020
2020 featured headlines few could have predicted last January

The 2020 season featured headlines few could have predicted ahead of the season opener on the streets of Adelaide in February.

Scott McLaughlin and Team Penske completed a remarkable run of success amid a season where the sport stood tall amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Top 10 Supercars races of 2020

  • Top 10 Supercars drivers of 2020

Look back on a turbulent 2020 as Supercars.com counts down the year's biggest stories.

10) Whincup’s Bathurst crash

Best Of 2020: Whincup's costly Bathurst mistake

A fairytale Bathurst win for the highly-fancied Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes combination quickly turned to dust after just 33 laps, as Whincup crashed the #888 Holden at The Cutting.

In an uncharacteristic error, Whincup hit the wall while overtaking Anton De Pasquale’s co-driver Brodie Kostecki for fourth place.

It was a jaw-dropping moment, and Whincup admitted he should have been more patient as his hopes ended little more than an hour into the race.

Kostecki later felt remorse for his rival, but it was little consolation for Whincup, who is already looking to 2021 to banish his Bathurst nightmare.

9) Season returns with a bang in Sydney

Best of 2020: McLaughlin holds off SVG in season return

After over 100 days of limbo, the 2020 season resumed at Sydney Motorsport Park following the COVID-19 shutdown.

However, new formats and COVID-19-influenced rule variations did little to prevent the usual suspects from putting on a show, with Scott McLaughlin denying Shane van Gisbergen in a stunning return to racing.

Sydney Motorsport Park roared to life as McLaughlin defied his countryman, who used fresher tyres to launch a late charge at Sydney Motorsport Park.

8) Reynolds and Erebus go separate ways

One of the year’s biggest stories came weeks after the season finale, with David Reynolds ending his 10-year “lifetime” deal with Erebus after just one year.

The Reynolds-Erebus partnership, which began in 2016, reached lofty heights in 2017 with a stunning Bathurst victory.

The team paid tribute to Reynolds, who admitted it was a “difficult” decision to leave the rising Holden squad after helping it for the past five years since its transition from Mercedes.

“My preference has been to stay at Erebus but unfortunately it is time for me to move on,” Reynolds said.

“The team are a fantastic bunch of people that I’ve built really strong relationships with over the past five years and I am proud of what we have been able to achieve together.”

7) Davison and DJR come full circle

'Nowhere to hide': Davison on DJR laps

Will Davison left the season opener in Adelaide fifth in the points standings, and appeared set to take 23Red Racing to the top of the podium in 2020 after some strong formative years in 2018 and 2019.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and season shutdown, Davison was out of a drive by mid-May after the 23Red squad pulled out of the category following the withdrawal of title sponsor Milwaukee Tool Australia.

Davison never gave up hope of a return, believing he still had a lot to offer in Supercars competition.

That came to fruition, first with a Tickford co-drive that nearly reaped a Bathurst win, before he secured a plumb drive with Dick Johnson Racing, which he drove for on a full-time basis between 2006 and 2008.

6) SVG’s emotional Bathurst win

Shane van Gisbergen’s stunning Bathurst victory meant a great deal more in the last official Supercars race for Holden, following General Motors’ decision to close the brand.


After holding off Cameron Waters, van Gisbergen drove a victory lap with a Holden flag flying out the window of the #97 Commodore, symbolising Holden's remarkable legacy in the sport.

“I was thinking I’d pick up the chequered flag and I just saw the guy there [with a Holden flag] and thought I’d stop and grab it,” van Gisbergen explained.

“It’s pretty significant for Holden, to farewell them this way as the factory team, as an official race team. To win the last one for Holden is pretty cool. I think it would have looked cool with the flag out the top, hopefully it was a good way to send it off.”

5) Courtney returns to Ford

James Courtney’s move to Team Sydney seemed a romantic storyline at the time, and the 2010 series champion showed glimpses of speed on his debut with the rebranded Tekno team in Adelaide.

However, Adelaide was as far as the relationship went, as Courtney announced his departure from the team just one event into 2020.

Courtney returned to the grid in a Tickford Mustang with Boost backing following the departure of 23Red Racing and Will Davison.

He impressed in Ford machinery for the first time in a decade, with his season highlighted by a podium in Darwin before he earned a Tickford extension into 2021.

4) McLaughlin, Penske depart on a high

Between 2017 and 2020, Scott McLaughlin and Shell V-Power Racing scaled the greatest of heights in Supercars competition.

With 13 race wins and 15 pole positions in 2020, McLaughlin was a deserved winner of a third consecutive Supercars title. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he marked the 2020 title as his best, securing the championship at the penultimate event at The Bend Motorsport Park.

Just days after the season finale, Team Penske confirmed McLaughlin would race full-time in the IndyCar series in 2021, with plans to return to Supercars as a co-driver for the Repco Bathurst 1000.

The news came as part of Team Penske’s confirmation it will withdraw from Supercars, with Dick Johnson and Ryan Story to run a rebranded Dick Johnson Racing in 2021.

3) Tributes flow for amazing Adelaide

News of the Adelaide 500 saw drivers pay tribute to the iconic event, which won't take place in 2021.

In the wake of the news, a Supercars statement at the time made clear that the sport would be “delighted” to revisit the matter if the Government ever had a change of heart.

Adelaide's streets may yet play host to racing in the future, with the state opposition signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Supercars to bring back the event should it be elected in 2022.

South Australia will still be represented on the 2021 schedule through The Bend Motorsport Park.

2) Legacy of a lion honoured

General Motors rocked the automotive industry with the decision to retire the famous Holden brand at the end of this year.

GM will live on in Supercars, with confirmation the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will join the grid in 2022, under the category’s new Gen3 rule package.

However, Holden’s legacy will never be forgotten, with Holden drivers and teams poignantly posing in solidarity ahead of the season opener in Adelaide.

1) COVID-19 halts 2020 season

March 13, 2020 will go down in infamy as the day COVID-19 hit world motorsport, with the cancellation of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

All track action was cancelled at the Albert Park event, which was set to feature the second round of the Supercars season, for which practice and two qualifying sessions took place on Thursday.

On Friday morning, Supercars teams had been preparing for qualifying when confirmation of the cancellation was handed down by the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. It came after a member of the McLaren Formula 1 team tested positive for the virus.

The reasons for the event cancellation were unprecedented, but it wasn't the first time that a race or round had been called off or postponed. Still, drivers and teams were left shocked by the developments.

The world came to a standstill, and it would be over 100 days before Supercars returned to the track in Sydney.

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