Gold Coast 600 Miss Supercars runnerup Taylor Marlene Curry, Miss Supercars Katie Stevens and second runner-up Monica Brown in 2015. Picture: Richard Gosling
Gold Coast 600 Miss Supercars runnerup Taylor Marlene Curry, Miss Supercars Katie Stevens and second runner-up Monica Brown in 2015. Picture: Richard Gosling

‘Miss Supercars was empowering’

Former winners of the Miss Supercars contest who have used it as a career kickstart are gutted to see its demise.

Supercars will no longer endorse the Miss Supercars program as of this coming October's GC600 on the Gold Coast where the contest final has been held for decades.

Supercars chief operating officer Shane Howard confirmed to the Bulletin yesterday: "The Miss Supercars program will be replaced by a junior development program on the Gold Coast which has been more than a year in the planning."

THREE MINUTES TO SELL THEMSELVES

GOODBYE BIKINI, HELLO ONE-PIECE

Details would be unveiled in coming weeks.

The Miss Indy calendar launch at Mano's Main Beach when Indy calendar girl Jennifer Hawkins, 19, from Newcastle. Two years later she would be crowned Miss Universe after being a Miss Indy finalist. PicGlenn/Hampson
The Miss Indy calendar launch at Mano's Main Beach when Indy calendar girl Jennifer Hawkins, 19, from Newcastle. Two years later she would be crowned Miss Universe after being a Miss Indy finalist. PicGlenn/Hampson

"Supercars has evolved and is focused on creating career pathways for young girls and boys across a number of areas, from a whole of sport standpoint.

"This program aligns more closely with our strategic plan to develop young talent," Mr Howard said.

Miss Supercars supporters had feared its demise after a recent overhaul from a bikini contest into a hunt for a corporate ambassador.

It ditched a two-piece bikini wear segment for a one-piece and placing more emphasis on public speaking.

Gold Coast's Procon Leisure has run it since it launched but did not respond yesterday.

The 2015 winner Katie Stevens, a Miss Supercars Ambassador, said despite being "on the cards" with talks ongoing for a year the axing was still "a surprise".

"It's disappointing, it's really sad to see the program come to an end, especially after being such an iconic part of Supercars.

2015 Miss Supercars Katie Stevens (left) and 2016 Miss Supercars Charlotte Cush at the Townsville 400 in 2017 - both lament the decision to axe the event from this year.
2015 Miss Supercars Katie Stevens (left) and 2016 Miss Supercars Charlotte Cush at the Townsville 400 in 2017 - both lament the decision to axe the event from this year.

"(But) Supercars 100 per cent back women in power and women in sport, I actually think there's something else to come.

"It had changed really for the better. Where it used to be Miss Indy, all about bikinis and being in pubs it's transformed into more a corporate integration," she said.

"The last few years it's had a really positive impact on women's lives."

A Gold Coast winner Charlotte Cush, the co-ordinator of Gold Coast University Hospital's cancer ward, said it had been an iconic part of the GC600: "There's going to be a gap in the whole exciting realm of Supercars.

Winner of Miss Supercars two years ago, Gold Coast nurse leader Charlotte Cush: “It’s such a shame it won’t be there anymore.” Picture: Mark Calleja
Winner of Miss Supercars two years ago, Gold Coast nurse leader Charlotte Cush: “It’s such a shame it won’t be there anymore.” Picture: Mark Calleja

"It's such a shame it won't be there anymore.

"There's going to be a definite missing presence."

Hawkins was a Miss Indy finalist before two years later winning Miss Universe.

Ex-Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke's wife Kyly won in 1999.