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With a great rivalry between the Kiwi stars and the Aussies there is guaranteed to be drivers putting it all on the line to take home the Jason Richards Memorial Trophy at Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Highlights from last year



ITM 500 Jason Bright

ITM 500 Auckland moves to pivotal date in V8 Supercars calendar

The ITM 500 Auckland, one of the country’s largest annual sporting events, will be a pivotal stop in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship.

The New Zealand event will return to its traditional November date as a SuperSprint event, V8 Supercars confirmed when launching the 2015 race calendar.

The event moves into a critical stage of the Championship immediately following the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, into a clear sporting space and an ideal weather period.

November was the preferred date for the original V8 Supercars events at Pukekohe, with organisers and stakeholders agreeing on the benefits of returning to this timeframe.


“New Zealand is an outstanding event that we believe has great potential for growth in the November timeslot,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.

“The later date sits well with our New Zealand partners ATEED during the tourism shoulder period, the weather patterns are much better and it is sits in a critical part of the Championship.”

The ITM 500 Auckland will be one of eight SuperSprint events that have proved so popular with drivers and fans. This will comprise two sprint races on Saturday and one 200km race with pit stops on the Sunday.

The sharp Saturday sprint races are designed to encourage drivers to attack by alleviating the need to be conservative while trying to maintain tyre life.

Each SuperSprint event will include 120 minutes of Friday practice to incorporate team testing. Teams will be able to test at these eight SuperSprint events along with one discretionary private test.


“It made sense that instead of testing away from the fans to combine Friday practice and allow teams the ability to adopt testing procedures as required,” Warburton said.

“That achieves two key objectives: more V8 Supercars on track for the fans and reducing the high costs to teams of testing away from race meetings.”

The event, staged over Anzac weekend this year, will retain the Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) as its official charity.


The 2015 V8 Supercars calendar:




Race Format

Feb 7-8 V8 SuperTest

Sydney Motorsport Park

V8 SuperTest

Feb 26-Mar 1

Clipsal 500 Adelaide

Adelaide Street Circuit


Mar 12-15*

2015 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix*

Albert Park

International SuperSprint

Mar 27-29

Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint

Symmons Plains Raceway


April 17-19

Perth SuperSprint

Barbagallo Raceway


May 15-17

Winton SuperSprint

Winton Motor Raceway


June 19-21

SKYCITY Triple Crown Darwin

Hidden Valley Raceway


July 10-12

Castrol Townsville 400

Reid Park


July 31-Aug 2

Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint

Queensland Raceway


Aug 21-23

Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint

Sydney Motorsport Park


Sept 11-13

Wilson Security Sandown 500

Sandown Raceway

Pirtek Enduro Cup

Oct 8-11

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

Mount Panorama

Pirtek Enduro Cup

Oct 23-25

Castrol EDGE Gold Coast 600

Surfers Paradise

Pirtek Enduro Cup

Nov 6-8

ITM 500 Auckland

Pukekohe Park Raceway


Nov 20-22

Phillip Island SuperSprint

Phillip Island Circuit


Dec 4-6

Sydney 500

Sydney Olympic Park


*Non-Championship event and date to be confirmed

Winterbottom is victorious

Winterbottom claims prized JR Trophy to extend V8 Supercars lead

Mark Winterbottom now holds two of the most prized trophies in V8 Supercars and just as importantly leaves the ITM 500 Auckland with no plans to stop his Championship assault.

Winterbottom is the first person to hold the Jason Richards Memorial and the Peter Brock Trophy he won at Bathurst last year with a slender points win over Kiwi hero Scott McLaughlin. Winterbottom's young team-mate Chaz Mostert was third in the longer 200km race.

The Pepsi Max Crew FPR driver now has a 107 Championship point lead over Red Bull Racing Australia's Craig Lowndes who is 10 points ahead of Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard. Reigning Champion Jamie Whincup is 166 points back in sixth.

Lowndes finished in twentieth today with Whincup in tenth.
As he said after his win on Saturday, Winterbottom intends to keep extending his lead at the next event in Perth which is followed by the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin and the Townsville 500.

"I wanted to lead the Championship leaving here on Sunday. I didn't want to lead on Friday and someone takes it back off you on Sunday. We now have two weeks to enjoy it.

ITM 500 Endurance Race Winners

"Triple Eight are having a rough run which is surprising because (Shane) Van Gisbergen in the same car is going quite well. That's interesting.
"I am rapt they had a bad weekend and normally we don't capitalise on it when they do. But they've had two and we have out-scored everyone both times. We are getting it right at the right time.

"Hopefully we can maintain it. It is good that Chaz and Dave are doing well - we have more cars up there doing well. The more we have up there the more we take points off everyone else."

In a race which did not feature a single safety car period Winterbottom and McLaughlin duelled out in front all day with only the final stop of the day determining the outcome. It snared Winterbottom the treasured Trophy for the best performed over the Anzac weekend.

"That's amazing. The Jason Richards Trophy in particular is very special. He was an amazing guy. To win it is very special. I am holding this one and the workshop have got the Peter Brock Trophy for Bathurst. It is pretty cool. I was rapt to win this and very honoured to win it," Winterbottom said.

"To race on Anzac Day was really special. To see the crowd - Friday seemed like a Sunday. That was awesome and to race three days was great. If you were a fan you would love it. It was an amazing weekend."

Winterbottom beat McLaughlin out of the pits at the last stop, having entered behind the young Kiwi. It appeared a case that Winterbottom took slightly less fuel with his team doing a great job to get him to the front.

Not only did they exchange the places it also swapped the lead in the Jason Richards Trophy hunt, putting Winterbottom narrowly in front.
McLaughlin was 'shattered' to miss the Jason Richard's Trophy by a place. "Yeah, that's what happens," he said.

"It was a pretty good battle up until then but actually, I thought we might have edged in front of Frosty because we probably took on a little more fuel at the first stop but yeah, he got me.

Scott speeds to the podium

"Our car was set up for a first stint, we didn't really compensate for the track ripping up so you know, come back here next year, we'll have a bit of thinking to do, but we've got a direction."

Heartache struck for Supercheap Auto Racing's Tim Slade when he lost clutch control on the starting grid, a devastating blow for the Holden driver who had just celebrated scoring a front-row start next to McLaughlin.

The initial start was aborted when Slade began waving his hands just as the starter's signal was about to come on. The field did a second formation lap with Slade heading from the front row to pit lane, a terrible blow for the popular Gold Coaster.

Yesterday's winner Shane van Gisbergen, Nissan's Michael Caruso, Jason Bright, Erebus' Will Davison, Rick Kelly, Fabian Coulthard and Whincup completed the top 10.

The winners enjoy their champagne

Others to note include Garth Tander 12, James Courtney 14, David Reynolds 17 after a great start and setback with a punctured tyre, and Lowndes 20th - another tough day for the Red Bull Racer.

The V8 Supercars will next hit the track at the Perth 400, from May 16-18 at Barbagallo Raceway.

Winterbottom plans to lead to the end after ITM 500 Auckland success

Mark Winterbottom is the new V8 Supercar Championship leader after clocking just the third Ford win in the history of the ITM 500 Auckland, and backing it up with second in the final race of the day.

In front of a massive New Zealand crowd Winterbottom joined only Marcos Ambrose (2004) and Will Davison (2013) as the only Blue Oval V8 Supercar winners in New Zealand, then overtook Craig Lowndes (tenth and sixteenth) by just two points.

Winterbottom pushed the Pepsi Max FPR Crew Falcon though a tough first day where he still managed a solid result and then capitalised on Lowndes' rough patch.

While Winterbottom won the first race the locals were absolutely enthralled by the second of the day when Kiwi hero Scott McLaughlin challenged and beat Jamie Whincup in an amazing opening lap, then another NZ young gun, Shane van Gisbergen, did the same.

The two Kiwis went head-to-head in an epic battle but all the while Winterbottom ranged behind them, getting past McLaughlin and then almost hauling in Van Gisbergen in the closing laps.

Van Gisbergen leads the points in the Jason Richards Trophy (133) from Winterbottom (118) and James Courtney (109). McLaughlin is still in the race on 108 points so far.

Fans watching the racing at the ITM 500

Last year's Jason Richards Trophy winner Jason Bright had a nightmare after winning the opening race Friday. He was penalised in his TEAM BOC Holden for contact with Tim Slade's Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore in the opening race and then crashed on lap one in the second.
Sadly for Bright it cruelled any chance of defending the Trophy so cherished by the team.

Winterbottom said leading the Championship at this early part of the year was a positive, refuting often used suggestions that it is not until after the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 is there are true picture.

"I am rapt to get the Championship lead, though everyone always says 'uh, I don't want to lead now' but you want to lead all the way," he said.
"Everyone bullshits about their position and 'I don't want to lead'. So I am rapt to lead, and they've got to chase. We need to keep this momentum going but you can't just get to the lead and then go 'okay we've done it now'. I want to lead from here on and that's the plan."

Winterbottom was angry at himself after driving errors yesterday, but capitalised in the second race of the weekend as he began to assert his authority.
Banking 50 points, he minimised the gap to Lowndes to just 18 points before overtaking him with the subsequent second.
"It is an awesome reward after yesterday," Winterbottom said post-race.

"I am so happy to pay the team back after I forced them to fix the car and didn't get the result we should've.
"It is good to bounce back and get a win. It was a bit lonely out the front but that's the way I always want it. I had a room with a view."

View of the pits from the ITM 500

ARMOR ALL pole man Courtney continued his run on the podium in the first race, while Winterbottom's teammate Chaz Mostert made the top three for the first time with his new crew.

"I don't think I've ever been so excited to be in three!" Mostert said. "It has been a tough start to the year and to be up here with Frosty is fantastic... finally got a podium."

In the first race Whincup held off the Kiwis for fourth, with Van Gisbergen and McLaughlin behind, and Nick Percat, David Reynolds, Garth Tander and Fabian Coulthard completing the top 10.

In race two Garth Tander, David Reynolds, Nick Percat, James Moffat, Scott Pye and Lowndes followed Whincup home.

Matt and the Volvo team signing autographs

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