Oran Park Raceway
Last Race (2008)
Holden Racing Team
The Grand Finale was a V8 Supercar event held at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney, Australia. As the name implies, it was the final round of the season.
Like most V8 Supercar events, the Grand Finale was staged over a three-day weekend (Friday-Sunday). Practice was held on Friday with a 40-minute qualifying session on Saturday, followed by the first of three 120-kilometre (approx. 75-mile) races. The final two races were held on Sunday. The winner of the event was determined by points accumulated over all three races.
The Grand Finale was introduced for the 2003 season and was called "The Main Event". It was originally held at Eastern Creek Raceway, while the Phillip Island event was staged earlier in the year. The 2003 event is remembered for an incident between Mark Skaife and Russell Ingall. They have a coming together, which takes Skaife out. The following lap, at the same part of the circuit, an angry Skaife shakes his fist furiously at Ingall (Skaife is still on the track) and Ingall responds by swerving towards Skaife, then swerving away at the last moment. Both are fined. When Eastern Creek disappeared from the V8 Supercar calendar in 2005, the event was moved to Phillip Island (which itself was making a comeback after being absent for the 2004 season).
The 2006 Grand Finale produced a controversial finish to that season. Heading into the final round, Holden driver Rick Kelly led the points championship by a slim margin over Ford's Craig Lowndes. After the first two races, the drivers were level on points (Lowndes later complained of having been "unfairly" held up by Kelly's team mates over the first two races). Race 3 saw a crash involving Kelly, which resulted in Will Davison making contact with Lowndes. Kelly was determined by race officials to have caused the accident and received a drive-through penalty but went on to finish the race in 18th position, giving him enough points to seal the championship. Lowndes, who sustained heavy damage from the incident, finished the race 31st. Kelly was booed by fans as he received his championship trophy. Lowndes' team, Triple Eight Racing, lodged a protest against the result which was dismissed after a long hearing, confirming Kelly as the champion.
In 2007, the event was sponsored by Dunlop Tyres, and was known as the Dunlop Grand Finale. It was won by Garth Tander who secured the 2007 championship with the win. For 2008 the event moved to Oran Park as a celebratory event for the circuit's impending closure. The evernt was sponsored by the NRMA. In 2009, the event will be replaced by the Sydney 500 at the brand new Homebush Street Circuit in Sydney, which circles many venues used in the 2000 Summer Olympics, including ANZ Stadium.
The Main Event presented by VIP Pet Foods (2003*),
BigPond Grand Finale (2004*-2005),
Caterpillar Grand Finale (2006),
Dunlop Grand Finale 2007,
NRMA Motoring Services Grand Finale 2008,
* The 2003 and 2004 races were held at Eastern Creek Raceway.
2008 Garth Tander,
2007 Garth Tander,
2006 Todd Kelly,
2005 Marcos Ambrose,
2004 Marcos Ambrose,
2003 Marcos Ambrose