Fastest lap bonus points to shake up AGP

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 22/03/2023
  • By James Pavey

Fastest lap bonus points will be on offer for the first time in 2023, as Supercars shifts to sprint mode at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint.

Since 2021, drivers have been awarded bonus points for setting the fastest lap in sprint races.

The driver who sets the fastest lap is awarded five bonus points on top of the points earned for their finishing position.

Per Rule in the Operations Manual, only drivers who finish in the top 15 in any race will be eligible for fastest lap points.

Bonus points will also be on offer at the Perth SuperSprint, NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint, Betr Darwin Triple Crown and OTR SuperSprint.

In total, there will be 16 opportunities for drivers to score fastest lap bonus points in 2023, with four of them at Albert Park.

Three times in 2022 did a driver — David Reynolds (Tasmania), Will Brown and Scott Pye (both Albert Park) — miss out on points after missing the top 15.

Five fastest lap points may seem a small amount on paper, but they can prove critical in a driver’s pursuit of the championship.

While his 21 wins in 2022 took centre stage, Shane van Gisbergen complemented his title push with an all-out pursuit of bonus points.

In 25 sprint races last season, van Gisbergen took home bonus points on a whopping 14 occasions, helping himself to 70 extra points.

For context, 75 points are awarded to the winner of each sprint race at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint.

It was a clear tactical push by van Gisbergen, who in 2021, set the fastest lap in a sprint race just four times.

Bonus points will also have an even greater influence at Albert Park, where drivers will be vying for the Larry Perkins Perpetual Trophy.

The Perkins Trophy, first awarded in 2018, is given to the driver who accrues the most points of the weekend.

Van Gisbergen won the trophy last year, and added five points to his overall tally with the fastest lap in Race 7.

Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford star Chaz Mostert leads the championship by 45 points over Coca-Cola Chevrolet driver Brodie Kostecki.

Van Gisbergen is 11th, 126 points behind, albeit subject to Red Bull Ampol Racing’s appeal over the Newcastle Race 1 results.

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint on March 30-April 2.

Fastest laps in 2022 (25 SuperSprint races)

14 times: Shane van Gisbergen

3 times: David Reynolds*

2 times: Will Davison

1 time: Will Brown*, Scott Pye*, Todd Hazelwood, Andre Heimgartner, James Courtney, Broc Feeney

*ineligible for bonus points due to finishing lower than 15th

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