| The 2001 V8 Supercar season was the third running of the V8 Supercar Championship Series. It began on March 25, 2001 at Phillip Island and ended on December 2 at Sandown after 13 rounds.
CarsFord will continue with the AU Falcon that the majority of Ford teams run. Holden have released a new VX Commodore after the VT Commodore. Some Holden teams still run the VT and some own the old VS Commodore.
Special eventsRound 2-Clipsal 500 at Adelaide. This involves 2 250km races over 78 laps of the Adelaide Street circuit. The winner of the event is the driver who wins the second race and not the driver who collects the most points. The second race involves double points over the first race. There are 2 compulsory pit stops in each race, 1 stop for tyres and 1 stop for fuel.
Round 5-GMC 400 at Canberra. This involves 2 100km races and 1 200km race over 25 and 50 laps of the Canberra Street Circuit. The winner of the event is the driver who collects the most points over the weekend. The 2nd race of the weekend will involve a reverse grid of the entire field. The 3rd race grid will be a culmination of the points of race 1 and race 2 put together. In the first 2 races there will be only 1 compulsory stop for tyres. In the 3rd race, there will be 1 stop for tyres and 1 stop for fuel.
Round 9-VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 at Queensland Raceway. This is the first of the double driver endurance events. This race is held over 161 laps over 500km. The race will involve driver changes and fuel and tyre stops will have to happen at the same time.
Round 11-V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst. Known as "The Great Race", Bathurst is is the event that all the drivers want to win. It is again a double driver event and will involve driver changes at pit stops. The race is held over 161 laps over 1000km. This season is the first time that the event isn't the last round of the championship.
Television coverageChannel 10 will be showing the coverage for the 5th year since 1997 when they took over from Channel 7. Neil Crompton hosts the coverage for regular rounds with Barry Sheene. Bill Woods hosts the coverage at special events while Leigh Diffy hosts the coverage at the last 2 rounds. Matthew White hosts the coverage at Winton for the only time this season. Neil Crompton, Barry Sheene and Mark Oastler commentate for most of the season with Leigh Diffy coming in from Bathurst onwards. Greg Rust and Grant Denyer are the Pit Lane reporters after Greg was commentator for the 2000 championship.
Teams and driversThe following drivers and teams competed in the 2001 V8 Supercar Championship Series. The series consisted of 11 rounds of single driver racing and two rounds (the Queensland 500 and the Bathurst 1000) of endurance racing with each car driven by two drivers.
* = Selected events only
** = Drove in Queensland 500 only
*** = Drove in Bathurst 1000 only
Race CalendarThe 2001 V8 Supercar season consisted of 13 rounds which included 7 pit-stop rounds of two or three races, two sprint races, two 2-driver races and 2 1-driver races endurance races.
Drivers ChampionshipOnly the top 32 drivers will be displayed as this is the number of drivers for the sprint rounds.
Phillip Island, VictoriaMark Skaife get off to the best start possible as he collects the maximum amount of points at Phillip Island with Craig Lowndes 2nd on his debut for Ford thanks to the fastest pit stops over the weekend by his pit crew. Jason Bright comes 3rd on his comeback to the sport.
Adelaide, South AustraliaAt the next round at Adelaide, Bright wins the round and the double points race after coming from the back of the field after an accident on lap 1, leaving him at the top of the championship. Mark Skaife has a shocker as he came fourth after a spin in Race 1 and has another spin in Race 2 leaving him ninth. Craig Lowndes won the Saturday race but tangled with Skaife in Race 2 leaving his car disabled and left him falling behind in the championship. Paul Radisich had the fastest car on the weekend but an axle broke in race 1 and steering damage left him wounded in the championship. Russell Ingall has a good weekend with a third and a second place. There was big controversy over the race officials as rule breaking went unpunished. They were being watched at Eastern Creek.
Eastern Creek, New South WalesCraig Lowndes and Marcos Ambrose came first and second in the first race but got penilised because of incidents. Craig passed under a Yellow Flag that he could not see and Marcos made an illegal pass on Greg Murphy. This left Greg Murphy 1st on the grid for Race 2 and Mark Skaife second who started tenth in race 1 after he spun in the shootout. Greg Murphy lost his lead to Skaife after he was given a stop-go penalty for jumping the start, but there was more controversy after he didn't come to a complete stop. He got away with it but the rules were changed for the next round. Mark Skaife duly took out the race and round with team mate Jason Bright second but still leading the championship. Greg Murphy came third for the round even with the penalty.
Hidden Valley, Northern TerritoryThe next round at Hidden Valley turned out to be the car breaker of the year, with Greg Murphy and Russell Ingall having mechanical problems while leading within sight of the flag in Race 3 and 2 respectively. Mark Skaife had a stop-go penalty for jumping the start in Race 1 which left him 12th but still recovered to win Race 3 and come third in the round. Jason Bright had another solid weekend coming second and extending his championship lead over his team mate. But it was Marcos Ambrose who kept his nose clean over the weekend to take the round win in only his fourth championship round.
Canberra, ACTThe GMC 400 was the turning point of the season for Mark Skaife as he comes 3rd on the weekend and overtakes team-mate Jason Bright who had a difficult weekend. The DJR cars were the cars to have earlier in the weekend as Paul Radisich and Steven Johnson finish 1-2 in Qualifying but Radisich spun out in his shootout lap leaving him 15th and Steven Johnson claiming his first pole position in the series. New for the championship is the pit lane speed limiters restricted to 40 km/h and only 1 pit bay per team. Steven Johnson wins the first race from Craig Lowndes who was advantaged bt a clear pit lane. Mark Skaife finishes 3rd after starting 5th. Marcos Ambrose retires from the race with a broken driveshaft and will start from the back of the grid. The 2nd race is a reverse grid with Steve Reed and Steven Richards starting on the front row. Steven Richards wins from Marcos Ambrose who has a brilliant race which he started from the back but in race 3 he will have to start from the back again. Mark Skaife has a difficult race when he ran into the back of Rodney Forbes in a concertina effect and finished 24th and will start 10th in race 3. The race 3 grid is decided by an aggregate of points accumalated in race 1 and 2 which means that the front row is Craig Lowndes and Paul Radisich. Mark Skaife wins the race with Garth Tander 2nd and Steve Johnson 3rd. Craig Lowndes was leading until asafety car came out with a pit stop still to go. He eventually retired with fuel pressure problems. Steve Johnson wins the round with Garth tander second and Mark Skaife 3rd.
Barbagallo, Western AustraliaPaul Radisich dominates the weekend as he wins the shootout and Race 1,2 and 3. Mark Skaife consolidates his championship lead with 2nd in all 3 races with Greg Murphy 3rd on the weekend. Russell Ingall saw his chance of a podium dashed when he jumped the start in Race 3 and finished 4th overall.
Calder Park, VictoriaPaul Morris won his first ever V8 Supercar event as the Big Kev Racer was on the pace from the start of the weekend. Mark Skaife started on Pole but a poor start left him vulnerable to Steven Johnson, who he tapped to give him the lead, but he was issued with a stop-go penalty giving Johnson the lead he never relinquished. Paul Morris came 2nd and Marcos Ambrose 3rd. Paul Morris reverted to blocking in the final 2 races to win both, Russell Ingall finished 2nd in race 2 with Jason Bright 3rd and in race 3, Paul Radisich finished 2nd with Russell Ingall 3rd. Overall for the weekend, Steven Johnson finished 2nd with Russell Ingall 3rd. Mark Skaife finished 14th overall after a spin in race 3.
Oran Park, New South WalesMark Skaife comes back froma difficult Calder with a win in both races after starting 2nd. Craig Lowndes claims the pole, but finished 2nd in race 1 and 8th in race 2 after a spin by Garth Tander but still finishes 3rd overall. David Besnard has a fantastic round as he finishes 3rd and 2nd for a 2nd overall as team mate Marcos Ambrose struggles to get to grips with the track.
Queensland 500, QueenslandThe 1st 2 driver enduro threw up plenty of thrills and spills and a dramatic ending. The heavans opened causing a huge thunder storm as Steven Johson and Paul Radisich win the race in the gravel trap but was lucky as the red flag came out , putting the result to the previous lap. Russell Ingall and Larry Perkins finish 2nd and Todd Kelly and Greg Murphy 3rd. Mark Skaife and Jason Bright finish 4th even though they had oil on the screen for some of the race.
Winton, VictoriaRussell Ingall put his championship fight another step further as he takes his first round win of the season and also claims his first pole poistion of his career. Greg Murphy wins Race 1 but a slow pit-stop in Race 2 puts him 6th but still finished 2nd overall for the weekend. Mark Skaife finished 3rd overall for the weekend after starting 15th after a horror qualifying. Marcos Ambrose was the fastest ford over the weekend as he passed car after car after he ran off road on the first corner.
V8 Supercar 1000, Bathurst, New South WalesMark Skaife put one hand on the championship after his win at Bathurst with Tony Longhurst. the drive of the day went to Brad Jones and John Cleland who started 21st and finished 2nd even despite radio dramas that meant that Cleland didn't come in under safety car. They lost out by a couple of seconds. Todd Kelly and Greg Murphy finished 3rd after running in the top 3 all day. They could have won if Todd didn't spin on a slippy track coming into the last pitstio at the chase. Russell Ingall overtook Jason Bright into 2nd place of the championship when Jason didn't finish with Tomas Mezera. Russell and Larry Perkins led coming into the final pitstop but Larry crashed when coming into the pit lane; damaging the front spoiler. They eventually finished 8th. Pole position man Marcos Ambrose went back though the field until he over cooked it coming into pit land at the first pit stop and got stuck in the gravel. He eventually retired. Greg Ritter and Cameron McLean finished 4th after a great race with a fast car. Paul Radisich and Steven Johnson retired with an engine failure during a safety car.
Pukekohe, New ZealandIn the first ever oversees event for the series, Greg Murphy collected maximum points on home turf. Mark Skaife collects the championship in the first race when he finished ahead of Russell Ingall who had a number of problems with the gearbox. Marcos Ambrose finished 3rd but didn't have the pace of the leading Holdens.
Sandown, VictoriaTodd Kelly wins his first ever championship round after a win in race 2 and other consistent race results. Mark Skaife wins the first race in dry conditions, but struggled in the wet conditions and eventually retired from race 3 after contact with Steven Richards. Craig Lowndes won the 3rd race from Marcos Ambrose.
OverallMark Skaife wins the series for the 4th time ahead of Russell Ingall. Jason Bright comes 3rd ahead of Greg Murphy. The first Ford driver is Steven Johnson. Todd Kelly comes 6th after his strong final round ahead of Paul Radisich who had some strong rounds. Marcos Ambrose collected the rookie of the year award after coming 8th but would regret the endurance races where he only collected 112 pts. Steve Ellery is the first of the 1-car team after coming 9th and Garth Tander eventually finishes 10th after a tough year. Craig Lowndes came 11th in his first year for Ford.
ControversyAt round 2 of the season in Adelaide, there were a number of incidents that went unpunished by race directors. The most notable was when Paul Radisish hit Mark Skaife in the braking area at turn 4. Race control explained that Mark Skaife was holding Radisich up sp there was no penalty. There was a number of other offences as well. At the restarts, there were a number of cars 5 car length behind the car in front which should mean a stop-go penalty but, it went unpunished. The pit -lane was also the scene of controversy as wheelnuts and other parts of cars rolled out into the fast lane, most notably the Holden Racing Team but again, it went unpunished. The only incident that was penilised was Jason Bargwanna spinning John Bowe at the final corner. At the next round at Eastern Creek, the officials said they would be a lot tougher for offenders.