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Five years of Supercars at The Bend

It’s been five years since the Repco Supercars Championship debuted at The Bend Motorsport Park at the newest permanent racing facility in Australia.

The journey started in 2015 when the Peregrine Corporation led by the Shahin brother Sam, Yasser and Khalil lodged plans to redevelop the former Mitsubishi Motors Australia test track at Tailen Bend, South Australia.

At the time, Mallala was the only permanent racing circuit in the state following Adelaide International Raceway’s struggles in terms of circuit racing. Of course, the Peregrine Group later purchased Mallala in 2017 following the passing of long-time owner Clem Smith.

Later in 2015, approval was given and construction began in March the next year and was opened in 2018. Featuring world class facilities, The Bend Motorsport Park features multiple layouts headlined by the 7.770km GT Circuit, which has been used sparingly for the Asian Le Mans Series event in 2020 and local GT rounds.

The Repco Supercars Championship will use the International Circuit layout, the most popular of all at a length of 4.950km. Although this not the only circuit configuration Supercars have raced on.

When running back-to-back events at the same venue in 2020 due to the global pandemic, Supercars used the 3.410km West Circuit layout to spice up the racing incorporating most of the International Circuit configuration.

The East Circuit can be used independently to the West Circuit, while other configurations include the Sprint, Southwest and North.

A 1.1km Karting Circuit is located just to the south of the main facility although it provides the public a view of the track while racing.

An international standard drag strip is also being completed and will host ANDRA competition next year.

Inside the pit building is a museum featuring various exotic and motorsport models of the past, one of which is Shane van Gisbergen’s championship winning Holden ZB Commodore from the Adelaide 500 last year.

There are 34 pit garages and a Rydges Hotel is located above this providing the perfect view of the circuit from balconies hanging above the lane.

It was Triple Eight Race Engineering taking the clean-sweep at The Bend’s maiden appearance on the calendar, with Jamie Whincup taking two poles and a win as teammate Shane van Gisbergen won the other.