For the first time in over two decades, the Supercars holds a night race
Night races haven’t been around the Supercars series for a very long time. They signal long days, late nights, and a whole range of lighting issues. Supercars however were willing to tackle these head on a give the crowd something new and different. And they certainly delivered!
So what went down at the first night race?
I caught up with some of the drivers before and after to get their thoughts on the first night race.
Being a night time race, drivers are hanging around most of the day just waiting for something to happen. Anton de Pasquale, the Erebus Thermosphere driver, seemed simply itching go; “I just want it to get dark so we can start racing!” he said with a smile. Many of the rookie drivers hadn’t had much practice driving the Sydney track. Having to drive it in the dark therefore was an experience.
Chaz Mostert of Supercheap said in the press interview that he felt for the younger drivers. “Many of us older drivers have the muscle memory to drive this track in the dark, but those younger guys… yeah they have it tough”. Always thinking of the other guys hey Chaz!
One of my favourite comments from the drivers was from Scott McLaughlin in the post race interview: “it was wicked!” Scotty enjoyed the atmosphere that night racing bought and hopes Supercars can have more of them at other tracks throughout the year.
Jack Le Brocq, one of the Tekno Racing drivers commented on the event as a whole: “it’s going to be great racing under lights. Gives a different and fun vibe to the whole event”.
The fans, the lights
Fans certainly echoed these words. The grandstands were packed, and most tickets sold out. Everyone got into the night time spirit with LED glasses, light up shoes, and glow in the dark wristbands. The partners didn’t disappoint either. A mini slot cars track came equipped with 3D printed lights to get the spectators excited about night racing.
Teams showed up with lights all over their trucks, and some teams even sold light up stubby holders. One of my most favourite things however was sitting down at turn 2, watching all the brakes light up. This is certainly something you don’t see in day-time racing.
I really enjoyed the teams playing with the lights on the exteriors of the cars. We saw a range of headlights from blue, to green, yellow, and orange. Some teams – looking at you Tekno – even went as far as to put under lights. These offered a nice touch and added to the spectacle.
Overall, the event was amazing! This was my first time being at a Supercars race in Sydney. It was definitely worth the trip and I wasn’t the only one. Many fans I spoke too had come in from Newscastle, Melbourne, Adelaide, and even some from New Zealand. It seems night racing opened up to a wider audience. Some of the travellers commented on the ease of getting to a night race, saying it’s much easier to work around weekend commitments and take the day to travel to the event.
In addition, it aligns much more closely to other sports, which all feature evening events – the tennis, cricket, footy, rugby, soccer.
I hope we can see more of this at future tracks.
Before we all turn in for the night, or in the words of Jamie Whincup “grab a cup of tea and head to bed”, here’s the results. In P1 we have Shane van Gisbergen from Red Bull Holden Racing. His teammate Jamie Whincup came in P2 for a 2-1 Red Bull podium. In P3 we have the pole sitter Scott McLauchlin from Shell V-Power Racing. Click the tweet and link below for the full race results from the SuperNight 300!
(Thumbnail image: Speedcafe)