Fighting at the front: lap leaders in 2021 so far

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 01/06/2021
  • By James Pavey

The final lap is obviously the one that counts, with Shane van Gisbergen first to the chequered flag six times already this season.

Through four events so far in 2021, it’s no surprise the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver leads the laps-led count.

Van Gisbergen has led 156 laps across the opening 11 races - a whopping 39 per cent of the 392 racing laps so far completed this season.

To gauge van Gisbergen's leading form, Scott McLaughlin led 28 per cent of racing laps last season, and 32 per cent in 2019.

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Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters is next-best, having led 75 laps, or 19 per cent.

The most laps led in a single race this season is van Gisbergen's 30, which came in the 40-lap season opener at Mount Panorama.

Chaz Mostert's 27 laps led in Race 8 in Tasmania is next, coming on a day Walkinshaw Andretti United won for the first time in three years.

Series leader van Gisbergen is one of just four drivers through 11 races to have completed every single racing lap in 2021.

Teammate Jamie Whincup, Erebus Motorsport rookie Brodie Kostecki and Brad Jones Racing’s Todd Hazelwood are the others.

Van Gisbergen opened 2021 with six straight wins

Hazelwood’s BJR teammate Macauley Jones has completed the fewest laps (318), just eight fewer than Shell V-Power Racing Team recruit Anton De Pasquale.

Of 24 full-time drivers in the 2021 field, 18 have already led at least one lap through 11 races.

In only one race so far in 2021 has the driver with the most laps led failed to win the race.

That ignominious stat belongs to Mostert, who led 20 of Race 3’s 36 laps at Sandown.

Mostert dominated Race 3, but finished sixth

That day, van Gisbergen led just seven laps, a figure bolstered by running late, to claim a resounding victory from 17th on the grid.

Of the 18 race leaders, eight have recorded double figures: van Gisbergen, Waters, Mostert (44), Whincup (20), Fabian Coulthard, Andre Heimgartner and Nick Percat (16), and De Pasquale (15).

Team Sydney’s Coulthard led his laps at Symmons Plains while out of the pit sequence, much like Percat in the OTR SuperSprint opener won by Heimgartner.

Kostecki, who finished second behind van Gisbergen in the rain-affected Sandown finale, led laps 26 through 33 before pitting late.

Heimgartner wins Race 7 at The Bend

All winners so far in 2021 have come from the first two rows of the grid bar van Gisbergen’s epic Race 3 charge.

Qualifying will be just as important at the next round in Darwin, where in 64 races since 1998, only 11 wins have come from fifth or lower.

The Repco Supercars Championship field will return to the Northern Territory for the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown across June 18-20. Tickets are available here.

The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo, and will be broadcast live and free on Seven.

Laps led in 2021 so far

156: Shane van Gisbergen
75: Cameron Waters
44: Chaz Mostert
20: Jamie Whincup
16: Fabian Coulthard, Andre Heimgartner, Nick Percat
15: Anton De Pasquale
8: Brodie Kostecki
6: Scott Pye
5: Will Davison
4: Jake Kostecki
3: Will Brown
2: Bryce Fullwood, Todd Hazelwood, Tim Slade
1: Macauley Jones, Mark Winterbottom

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