With two events remaining, Red Bull Racing Australia’s Shane van Gisbergen has control of the Championship points, holding a 148-point lead over teammate Jamie Whincup.
Can he wrap the title up in New Zealand? Who else is still in the game? All the answers here.
- Shane van Gisbergen – 2812
- Jamie Whincup – 2664 – gap to leader 148
- Craig Lowndes – 2427 – gap to leader 385 – gap to next 237
- Scott McLaughlin – 2351 – gap to leader 461 – gap to next 76
- Will Davison – 2235 – gap to leader 577 – gap to next 116
- Mark Winterbottom – gap to leader 673 – gap to next 96
Can SVG do it?
Van Gisbergen would need to leave New Zealand with a 301-point buffer to lock in the title next weekend. That means increasing his lead by 153 points across the weekend.
The four race format means 75 points are awarded for a win. With more races at the event, the gap between points awarded for first and second is reduced, so van Gisbergen needs more spots over Whincup to grow his lead.
If van Gisbergen wins all four races and earns 300 points, he needs Whincup to finish outside the top 10 in each race. Thirty-nine points are awarded for a 10th place finish in NZ, with 36 for 11th not enough.
Basically, Whincup needs at least 37 points per race to keep the margin heading to Sydney 300 or less, and he stays in the game – and that’s if SVG wins everything.
If Whincup wins all four races and van Gisbergen only finishes 10th all weekend, the Kiwi will still lead the six-time champ by just four points heading to Homebush.
Who else is still in it?
While the Red Bull teammates are clearly the front-runners, there’s technically still five drivers in for a mathematical shot.
But with third placed Craig Lowndes more than 300 points away, even if he wins all four and van Gisbergen’s DNFs, the Red Bull racer would still have an 85-point gap.
Other contests to watch
Scott McLaughlin might just spoil the Triple Eight 1-2-3 party, only 76 points behind Craig Lowndes in fourth.
It’s close at the back half of the 10 too, with eighth and ninth 30 points different – Tim Slade and Michael Caruso both want to stay inside the top 10.
Garth Tander and Fabian Coulthard will want to nudge in, with only 13 points separating Tander and teammate Courtney in 10th, with Coulthard another 27 behind.
Teams championship could get interesting
Red Bull has secured the 2016 teams championship, but with finishing order determining the 2017 pit lane order, it’s important to finish as high up the order as possible.
There’s only 58 points between second placed Holden Racing Team and Garry Rogers Motorsport, which would mean a huge jump in the lane for Rogers’ squad.
After splitting Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert, Prodrive could go the other way and slide behind Brad Jones Racing, which is only 118 points away.