Fast Facts: Coates Hire Newcastle 500

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 18/11/2019
  • By Will Dale, V8 Sleuth

1. The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will see its teams’ championship decided on the Newcastle streets for the second time in three visits: 2017 victors DJR Team Penske lead Triple Eight Race Engineering by 116 points with a total of 576 still up for grabs.

Along with being the reigning champions, Triple Eight has won eight of the last nine teams’ championships.

2. The two teams’ championship contenders have been the dominant forces in the two previous runnings of the Coates Hire Newcastle 500. Between them, DJR Team Penske and Triple Eight claimed 75 percent of all wins (3/4) and podium placings (8/12) across 2017 and 2018.

The only other teams to get a look-in are Erebus Motorsport (one win, three podiums) and Brad Jones Racing (one podium).

3. The Coates Hire Newcastle 500 marks the final Supercars Championship round start for Garry Rogers Motorsport.

Their departure will end a streak of 320 events dating back to its championship debut at Eastern Creek in 1996, the team claiming 23 race wins – including the 2000 Bathurst 1000 – and 25 pole positions in that time.

4. This weekend also sees Kelly Racing end its seven-year run of racing Nissan Altimas in the Supercars Championship, claiming three wins, 17 podium finishes and four pole positions since its debut at the start of the Car of the Future era in 2013.

Kelly Racing is switching to Ford Mustangs for the 2020 season.

5. Mark Winterbottom will become just the seventh driver to make 500 Supercars Championship race starts when he lines up for Saturday's Race 31 in Newcastle.

The IRWIN Racing pilot's first start came at the 2003 Sandown 500 with Stone Brothers Racing.

6. The Coates Hire Newcastle 500 will also see Winterbottom and fellow Supercars Championship veteran Rick Kelly move up the all-time list of career round starts.

This weekend will be Kelly's 254th round start – the most of any driver on the current grid – moving him past Russell Ingall into fourth on the all-time list. Meanwhile, Winterbottom's 227th round start moves him past John Bowe into eighth overall.

7. Every millisecond matters in the battle for the ARMOR ALL Pole Positions in Newcastle: of the four poles won so far, the biggest margin has been a tiny 0.0290 seconds! That was Scott McLaughlin's margin over Shane van Gisbergen in qualifying for the Sunday race in 2017.

The DJR Team Penske driver also holds the record for the smallest pole-winning margin: 0.0098s, set on the Saturday in 2017 when he pipped David Reynolds to pole.

8. Only five drivers on the current Supercars Championship grid have completed all 376 racing laps run across the four races held at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500: McLaughlin, van Gisbergen, Reynolds, Lee Holdsworth and Scott Pye.

9. Garry Jacobson and Macauley Jones will complete their rookie Supercars Championship seasons at a circuit that they are familiar with.

Both drivers took part in the two Dunlop Super2 Series rounds held on the Newcastle street circuit so far, with Jacobson and Jones each recording a best race finish of second place.

10. A total of 1790 laps and 6174.141km of racing have been completed so far in the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship across 30 races and 14 events.

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