V8 Supercars Australia has confirmed one of the richest prizes in Australian sport by offering a $2 million bounty to the driver that can win all four 'Grand Slam' events in the 2010 Championship season.
The first leg of the Grand Slam commences this weekend at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
Even in tennis and golf terms the booty is a massive jackpot for the driver, and his team, that wins the Clipsal 500, the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, the Gold Coast SuperCarnivale and, lastly, the Sydney Telstra 500.
“These are considered amongst the hardest events of the year to win and the key endurance races of the year,” V8 Supercars Australia Chairman Tony Cochrane said.
“Now that the Gold Coast SuperCarnivale has become the longest race on the calendar, outside of Bathurst, it is a fitting addition to the Grand Slam format.
“While we have some incredible events each year it's these four that challenge drivers and their teams the most due to the fatigue of both man and machine, not to mention the strategy involved.”
Current Championship holder Jamie Whincup has gone close in recent years, particularly in 2008 when he won at Adelaide, Bathurst and on the Gold Coast before a rare poor result in the then final event at Oran Park in Sydney when the Championship was already his.
“It's a big ask but not impossible, that's for sure,” Whincup said.
“For the drivers and teams it's a massive incentive. There's plenty at stake in winning any race in our sport and this just adds to the stakes at four of the toughest events of the year.
“My team will be giving it a good shot, no doubt about that. I guess after Adelaide we'll find out who is still in the running. May the best man win.”
The criteria for the Grand Slam is as follows:
• The driver, and his respective team, which accumulates the most points for the event will be awarded one (1) Grand Slam win. In the event of two (2) or more drivers scoring equal points at the end of an event, the final order will be determined by the finishing order in the last race.
• The driver, and his team, that wins all four (4) Grand Slam events will be awarded the $2,000,000 cash prize.
• The Grand Slam prize is only open to the 29 regular drivers, and their respective teams, in the Championship Series. Co-drivers at Bathurst, Phillip Island and SuperCarnivale are not eligible.
• Regular Drivers can not be paired in the same car for Bathurst, Phillip Island or SuperCarnivale.
NB: Individual arrangements between drivers and teams may vary.