Supercars action at Hidden Valley Raceway. (Supercars Photo)

New Triple Crown Format Highlights Supercars Weekend

Australia’s Hidden Valley Raceway is set to come alive for three days of action-packed Repco Supercars Championship racing.

The event features a unique twist, called the Darwin Triple Crown. With speed being the name of the game, only the polesitter on Friday afternoon has an opportunity at the coveted Triple Crown.

To win the Triple Crown, a driver must win the pole on Friday and rounds 11 and 12 on Saturday and Sunday.

Fresh off his first NASCAR Cup Series start at California’s Sonoma Raceway, Supercars points leader Will Brown enters the two-race weekend 136 points ahead of Broc Feeny. 

The Format

The top 10 shootout to set the grid on Saturday takes the green flag at 10:45 p.m. ET on Friday evening (Live on SPEED SPORT 1). 

The first race is set for Saturday (1:40 a.m. ET on SPEED SPORT 1), with another top 10 shootout at 10:00 p.m. ET (Live on SPEED SPORT 1) and the finale on Sunday (1:40 a.m. ET on SPEED SPORT 1).

The race format will remain the same in years past, featuring two 48-lap, 137 kilometer races with one required pit stop and at least two tire changes per race per car.

Introduced in 2006 under a three-race format, the Triple Crown represented winning both races and topping Sunday’s Top Ten Shootout in 2019, when it was won by now-NTT IndyCar Series star Scott McLaughlin for the first time.

In 2020, the event was run in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which effected the calendar. On that occasion, it was awarded to the driver who scored the most points of the weekend which was Jamie Whincup.

Between 2021-’23, it reverted to the three-race format, before another change this year required a new format.

Last year, Mark Winterbottom, Feeney and Jack Le Brocq split race wins across a three-race format in Darwin.

What Drivers Are Saying

Walkinshaw Andretti United star Chaz Mostert believes Friday’s practice session prior to qualifying will be one of the most important of the season.

“Having qualifying on Friday night makes for an interesting weekend,” Mostert said. “It puts more pressure on that first practice session, you really need to roll out strong to be in the mix.”

Team 18’s David Reynolds, a two-time winner at Darwin, spoke about the elusiveness of the triple crown.

“The Triple Crown is something which is really hard to get,” Reynolds said. It’s a little bit different this year because it starts on Friday and qualifying and then goes over two races over the weekend, so it’s going to be completely different for everyone.”