1. Virgin Australia Supercars Championship contenders Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup have proven themselves to be the men to beat on the streets of Sydney Olympic Park. Between them the Red Bull Racing Australia duo has won the last eight races in a row around the 3.4-kilometre layout.
2. Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen is aiming for his first-ever Supercars Championship and could become the first New Zealand-born driver since Jim Richards in 1991 to win the title.
His form at Sydney Olympic Park is amazing with nine podium finishes from his last 13 races there.
He’s also finished on the podium in the last eight races in a row in 2016 covering Sandown, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Pukekohe.
3. Triple Eight Race Engineering could create history at Sydney Olympic Park with the first-ever 1-2-3 final point score finish in the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
There have been 10 times in the championship’s rich history where teams have finished 1-2, though never 1-2-3.
Triple Eight most recently finished 1-2 with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
4. Seven different drivers have taken the last seven pole positions at Sydney Olympic Park and a total of nine drivers have won the 16 races held at the Sydney 500 since the inaugural event in 2009.
5. Nick Percat will celebrate his 50th Virgin Australia Supercars Championship round start when he lines up at the Coates Hire Sydney 500. This year’s Clipsal 500 Adelaide winner is making his last appearance with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport before joining Brad Jones Racing for 2017.
6. Jason Bright will tie Brad Jones for the record of most rounds contested for Brad Jones Racing in the Supercars Championship when he lines up for his 98th and final VASC round with the Albury-based team in Sydney. He has driven for the team since 2010 and gave BJR its first championship race win at Barbagallo in Perth in 2011.
7. Chances are high the Lexus Safety Car will be called into play at the Coates Hire Sydney 500. Only one of the previous 16 races at the event have managed to be run without the Safety Car appearing at least once.
8. Every single Sydney 500 race since the first in 2009 has been decided by a winning margin of less than four seconds.
The biggest winning margin remains 3.9087s (2009, James Courtney over Michael Caruso on Sunday) and last year’s Sunday result between Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup was the closest ever seen at the event – 0.4058s.
9. There are three Sydney 500 rookies in the 2016 field, however all have competed at the Sydney Olympic Park venue before in the Supercars Dunlop Series. Shae Davies, Cameron Waters and Andre Heimgartner are all first-timers in the main event at the season finale.
10. Prodrive Racing Australia will become the first team to ever finish 1-2 in the Supercars Dunlop Series final pointscore in Sydney – but the question remains as to what the order will be. Garry Jacobson leads Jack Le Brocq by 166 points heading into the final round with 300 points available over the course of the weekend.