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The Sydney night race that ushered in a new era –

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The Sydney night time race that ushered in a brand new period

Night time racing will function at Sydney Motorsport Park for simply the fourth time in championship historical past subsequent month.

It was confirmed on the weekend {that a} floodlit Sydney Motorsport Park will host the resumption of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.

Night time racing returned to Sydney in 2018 with a 300km mini enduro gained by Shane van Gisbergen.

  • 10 details about Lowndes’ unbelievable debut season
  • Let there be night time: Historical past of Supercars racing beneath lights

The 2018 was the primary night time race on Australian soil since Calder Park opened the V8 Supercars period in 1997.

A yr earlier, nevertheless, Sydney Motorsport Park – then beneath the Jap Creek Raceway banner – made its personal historical past.

Some 16 years had handed for the reason that earlier – and up to now, solely – night time race at Calder Park when the 1996 season swung into motion.

The 1996 Jap Creek occasion was held on the shorter ‘North’ model of the circuit, which enabled the third race of the occasion to be held beneath lights.

The historical past books will present rookie Craig Lowndes gained the occasion, with the then 21-year-old profitable Races 2 and three of the weekend.

Lowndes additionally turned the primary driver to win an ATCC spherical on debut since David McKay gained the very first championship spherical at Gnoo Blas in 1960.

The 1996 season-opener marked a key shift for the championship, with a brand new format launched.

A ‘sprint’ for pole and two 25-minute races had been changed by the three, 20-minute sprints.

Tyre allocations additionally modified, with groups in a position to make use of two units for qualifying and racing.

Again in 1996, there have been a number of tyre producers, with Bridgestone, Dunlop, Yokohama and Hoosier all that includes within the season.

The 1996 Sydney occasion, which was held on January 27, stays the earliest ever championship spherical.

The Seven Community was set to broadcast the Atlanta Olympics, that means the 1996 ATCC season began in January and ended at Oran Park in June.

The banning of cigarette promoting noticed Glenn Seton Racing and Gibson Motorsport shrink to 1 automobile every.

The beginning of the night time race Pic: AN1 Pictures

Seton managed to win races in 1996 and the 1997 title with Ford Credit score and Bridgestone backing, whereas Mark Skaife carried Sega branding for the Gibson crew.

Come the racing, and the highest three from 1995 – champion John Bowe, Peter Brock and Seton locked out the highest three spots in qualifying.

The primary two races of the assembly had been held throughout the day, with Bowe profitable the opening warmth forward of Lowndes, who began fourth.

It was Lowndes’ teammate and mentor Brock who led the opening laps, just for the nine-time Bathurst winner to spin out on his personal at Flip 2.

Bowe’s hopes of a clear sweep didn’t final lengthy within the later Race 2, when he additionally spun at Flip 2.

Lowndes celebrates on the rostrum Pic: AN1 Pictures

Lowndes beat Bowe off the road for Race 2 forward of Wayne Gardner, who was adjudged to have jumped the beginning.

Come lap 2, and Brock and Skaife crashed out of rivalry at Flip 3, each vehicles sustaining an excessive amount of injury to be repaired for the night time race.

Beneath the setting solar, Lowndes tore away from Bowe, who was struggling with brake points.

Bowe’s dramas allowed Neil Crompton and fellow debutant Russell Ingall to complete second and third.

Lowndes had seemed each half the motive force many touted for large issues, with ’The Child’ main each lap of the 20-lap dash.

Heading into the historic night time race, Lowndes led Bowe 36 factors to 32 within the chase for total spherical honours.

Lowndes would go on to win a then document 16 races Pic: AN1 Pictures

Crompton was third on 22 factors, forward of Ingall (16) and Seton (14).

Lowndes once more gained the race to Flip 2, this time forward of Crompton, Ingall, Gardner and Seton, who had suffered a tyre failure in Race 2.

Gardner cleared Ingall and hounded teammate Crompton, who was later struck down by a flat proper entrance tyre.

Mechanical gremlins additionally pressured Bowe into retirement, however he had accrued sufficient factors to clinch an total podium end.

Lowndes was by no means headed within the night time race, main all 20 laps and securing the race and spherical wins forward of Gardner.

Gardner recovered from his penalty within the earlier race to take the flag simply 1.4s behind the #15 Holden Racing Staff Commodore.

Lowndes additionally gained the Bathurst 1000 with Greg Murphy Pic: AN1 Pictures

Ford drivers Bowe, Seton and Dick Johnson accomplished the highest 5 for the weekend.

“It’s solely the beginning of the yr, hopefully we will have just a few extra of those,” Lowndes mentioned with a smile on the rostrum.

It actually was a warning signal of what was to come back in 1996 by Lowndes, who gained 16 races – a document which stood till Scott McLaughlin claimed 18 wins in 1996.

Lowndes additionally gained the Sandown and Bathurst enduros, a feat which wouldn’t be repeated till he and Whincup did so in 2007.

“It’s been unbelievable, the fellows have been very supportive,” he mentioned of being recruited by HRT.

“It’s not straightforward to place a younger man in a automobile… it’s what makes it so particular, having the ability to beat [the established drivers].”

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