V8 Supercars Bathurst 500: Weekend schedule and how to watch free
The 2021 V8 Supercars Championship begins at the Mount Panorama 500. Who will take out the opening race at Bathurst?
The race to secure the vacant V8 Supercars crown begins this weekend at the famous Mt Panorama track in Bathurst. Three-time reigning champion Scott McLaughlin has made his switch to IndyCars.
Jamie Whincup also announced this would be his last season as a full-time driver before he replaces Roland Dane as Triple Eight team boss.
With 10 titles between McLaughlin and Whincup, who has a record 7 crowns, the sport is crying out for a new poster boy to replace these V8 powerhouses. Who will rise from the shadows to take their mantle at the Bathurst 500?
How does the Bathurst 500 work?
Unlike the Supercars regular visit to Mount Panorama for the Bathurst 1000, this weekend's event is not an enduro race. Instead it's solely the regular field who will complete a 40 lap race each day.
Accompanying the pair of sprints will be a qualifying session and Top 10 shootout for each individual race. There will be two practice sessions for the drivers to find form on Friday 26 February. The regular Bathurst 1000 will be held over the weekend of 7-10 October.
How to watch V8 Supercars Mount Panorama 500
The full opening leg of the championship series – practice, qualifying and both races – is being broadcast live by Fox Sports.
That means Foxtel iQ, Foxtel Now and Kayo Sports are your viewing options, along with a new option, Kayo Freebies. Channel 7, the new free-to-air broadcaster this year, has coverage of the weekend action only.
For a full analysis of the V8 broadcasts, you can check out our Supercars Championship season guide here.
Supercars Bathurst 500 weekend schedule
- Friday 26 February
- Practice 1: 12:00pm - 1:00pm AEDT
- Practice 2: 4:05pm - 5:05pm AEDT
- Saturday 27 February
- Qualifying - Race 1: 9:05am - 9:25am AEDT
- Top Ten Shootout: 12:10pm - 12:50pm AEDT
- Race 1: 3:00pm - 4:50pm AEDT
- Sunday 28 February
- Qualifying - Race 2: 9:05am - 9:25am AEDT
- Top Ten Shootout: 12:10pm - 12:50pm AEDT
- Race 2: 3:00pm - 4:50pm AEDT
Can I watch the Bathurst 500 on free-to-air television?
Yes, some of it. Channel 7 signed a 5-year deal with V8 Supercars in September last year to be the free-to-air broadcast partner, replacing the 10 Network. Channel 7 will be showing half of this year's 12 races, including the Saturday and Sunday action of the Bathurst 500. It will also be available on streaming option 7plus.
Stream the Bathurst 500 on Kayo Freebies
New to the streaming scene this year is Kayo's free option, Kayo Freebies. Commencing with the Bathurst 500 on 26 February, content marked "FREEBIE" on Kayo Sports is available without needing to provide any credit card details.
You can download the Kayo Sports app or visit the website and register for a Freebies account. On top of the V8 Supercars, you will also get limited access to other sports, including A-League, Sheffield Shield and Bowls Premier League. All the information is in our breakdown of Kayo Freebies here.
Live stream the Bathurst 500 on Kayo: Watch free using Kayo Freebies
Stream the V8 Supercars Mount Panorama 500 on Kayo Sports
If you want full access to Kayo Sports, its 50 sports and all of its special viewing features, you need a full account. Right now you can also access Bathurst 500 and everything else for no cost using Kayo's 14-day free trial for new users. However, given that you can stream the event on Freebies this weekend it'd make sense to first test that out before signing up.
After the trial, a Basic subscription will cost you $25 a month and gives you access to 2 screens or devices. For $35 a month a Premium subscription gives you a third screen. There are no lock-in contracts and you can cancel at any time. We have put together a full Kayo Sports review for you which includes a hands on video.
Who will win V8 Supercars Mount Panorama 500?
In the absence of Scott McLaughlin, the bookies have Holden's Shane van Gisbergen as the favourite at Mt Panorama. But we think McLaughlin's old sparring partner Jamie Whincup has an excellent chance to claim the opening V8 Supercars event. Knowing this is his final season before he hangs up the helmet, Whincup will be determined to go out on a high note.
The 37-year-old has won a record 7 Supercars titles and knows how to get the job done. Ford trio Cameron Waters, Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale will keep the Holden aces honest, but we'll tip Whincup to make a flying start in his swansong year.
Image source: Kayo Sports