Fast Facts - Coates Hire Supercars Challenge

  • 3 Days ago
  • By Aaron Noonan
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

1. Current Virgin Australia Supercars Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen has solid form at Albert Park - he’s won six of the last 12 Supercars races held there. Last year the Kiwi won three of the four races while his Red Bull teammate Jamie Whincup won the other.

2. Russell Ingall retains the record of most Supercars race wins at Albert Park - but he could lose it this year. ‘The Enforcer’ has eight wins at the venue, though current pilots Garth Tander, Mark Winterbottom and Shane van Gisbergen all have seven apiece, the latter a very good chance to top Ingall’s mark given his current speed and the fact there are four races at this year’s event.

9 Ingall AGP-28

3. This year is the 21st time the Supercars have competed at Albert Park since the first Melbourne Grand Prix in 1996. In that time there have been 64 individual races held with 18 different drivers claiming race victories.

4. Since a weekend pointscore was introduced for the Supercars Challenge at Albert Park in 2008 there have been only two repeat overall winners. Garth Tander won in 2008 and 2010 for the Holden Racing Team while Mark Winterbottom won for Prodrive in 2012 and 2015.

005-Winterbottom

5. Four different drivers, four different teams and three different manufacturers have claimed the last four Supercars pole positions at Albert Park. Fabian Coulthard (Brad Jones Racing, Holden in 2013), Michael Caruso (Nissan Motorsport in 2014), Mark Winterbottom (Prodrive Ford in 2015) and Jamie Whincup (Triple Eight, Holden in 2016) have all had a slice of the pole position action in recent times.

6. DJR Team Penske’s Fabian Coulthard has great recent form at Albert Park. Last year he scored a podium for his new team and he won the weekend overall in 2013 for Brad Jones Racing in addition to taking pole position. His recent record is brilliant, having finished in the top five in 15 of the last 18 Supercars races held there.

Fabian Coulthard of Team DJR Penski during the Clipsal 500,  at the Adelaide Street Circuit, Adelaide, South Australia, March 18, 2016.

7. This year is the fifth year in a row that the Supercars Challenge at Albert Park has featured a four-race format. However 2017 is the first time there have been separate qualifying sessions to determine the grid of each race at the Australian Grand Prix. Qualifying previously determined the Race 1 grid, Races 2 and 3 were gridded as per the finishing order of the previous race and Race 4 gridded via combined points from the first three races.

8. TeamVortex’s Craig Lowndes is the most experienced Albert Park Supercars driver in the 2017 field. He’s competed in 19 events and 61 individual races at the venue since the first Melbourne Grand Prix in 1996. Lowndes only missed competing at the 1997 event due to his Formula 3000 open wheeler program of that season.

Craig Lowndes of Caltex Racing during the Australian Grand Prix,  at the Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria, March 18, 2016.

9. The ‘old’ Holden Racing Team - now known as Mobil 1 HSV Racing - remains the most-winning team in Supercars history at Albert Park with a whopping 19 race wins at the track. However things have been a little lean of late, their Albert Park drought now standing at 20 races since Garth Tander’s win in Race 2 in 2011.

10. Alex Rullo and Simona De Silvestro are the only drivers in the Coates Hire Supercars field to have never raced at Albert Park before. De Silvestro does have experience in a Grand Prix car though, the Swiss ace tested for Sauber in 2014.

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