Three drivers remain in contention for the ARMOR ALL® Pole Champion Award in 2016, as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship heads to into its final round at Sydney Olympic Park for the Coates Hire Sydney 500.
The 11th annual ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award is proving to be as hotly contested as the Supercars Championship this season.
The two Championship rivals – Red Bull Racing Australia teammates Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup – are locked on six ARMOR ALL Pole Positions each in 2016, whilst defending ARMOR ALL Pole champion Chaz Mostert lurks behind on five.
The 250km races on Saturday and Sunday each have a qualifying session – with Sunday’s pole sitter determined by a Top 10 Shootout – so any one of the three can be crowned the 2016 ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award winner.
Whincup – with a career tally of 73, the greatest pole position holder in Australian Touring Car Championship history, is aiming for both his seventh ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award and seventh Supercars Championship.
Van Gisbergen is looking for his first ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award and first Supercars Championship crown. He would become the first international driver to win the ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award, which would add to the same honour he has achieved this year with the PIRTEK Enduro Cup and the Jason Richards trophy.
Mostert has proven to be a qualifying master over the last two seasons and winning the ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award would round off the season well for the Supercheap Auto Racing Ford driver.
“The 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars season has been one of the best on record with great crowds and some awesome racing,” Spectrum Brands General Manager of Global Auto Care (GAC) – Asia Pacific Paul Blair said.
“Fittingly, the ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award will go right down to the last race of the season and to have the only two drivers that can win the Championship in Sydney and last year’s Pole Award winner in contention shows the quality of the Supercars Championship right now.
“If Jamie won his seventh ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award and Supercars Championship, it would be an astonishing achievement in Australian sport. We’d certainly welcome Shane to be our ARMOR ALL Pole Award Champion in what has been an amazing year for him – as would the many ARMOR ALL customers in New Zealand. It would also be terrific if Chaz could successfully defend.
“Overall, all three guys are great ambassadors for the sport and the ARMOR ALL team look forward to crowning any one of them the ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award Champion for the year.”
Whincup and van Gisbergen have staged a stunning qualifying performance since Sydney Motorsport Park back in August – securing each of the eight pole positions that have been on offer – sharing four apiece.
Should he win the Pole Award, van Gisbergen would become just the sixth driver to take the season long award in its 11 year history.
The Dunlop Supercars Series ARMOR ALL Pole Champion Award is also up for grabs, with two ARMOR ALL pole positions in Sydney and no less than four drivers in contention.
Victorian Gary Jacobson leads the way with three poles this season, whilst Jack LeBrocq is right behind him on two.
In with a shot at equalling Jacobson are Todd Hazelwood and Andrew Jones both of whom have sat atop the timesheets on one occasion this season.
SUPERCARS WINNERS BY YEAR:
2006 - Mark Skaife
2007 - Mark Winterbottom
2008 - Jamie Whincup
2009 - Jamie Whincup
2010 - Jamie Whincup
2011 - Jamie Whincup
2012 - Will Davison
2013 - Jamie Whincup
2014 - Jamie Whincup
2015 - Chaz Mostert