Five memorable Albert Park triumphs

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 21/03/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

It may not be a points paying event, but Albert Park has delivered its fair share of memorable Supercars winners over the years.

Supercars.com takes a look back at five of the best, starting with a rare victory for one of the most iconic cars of the modern era.

Lowndes against the tide, 2002

Hopes that the Holden Racing Team’s stranglehold on the Supercars Championship would ease with the switch of control tyre for 2002 faded fast.

Jason Bright scored the first two wins on the new Dunlop rubber, leading home team-mate Mark Skaife in a wet race two for an all too familiar HRT double.

A drying track in the Sunday morning finale however opened the door for Craig Lowndes, who delicately managed slicks in the early laps before charging to the front.

It proved a rare win for Lowndes in 00 Motorsport’s ‘green eyed monster’, which is largely remembered for its looks, rather than results.

Ingall’s fairy tale Ford debut, 2003

9 Ingall AGP-51

It was one of the most hyped driver movements in Supercars history – long-time Holden hero Russell Ingall defecting to the Blue Oval.

Combined with the equally anticipated debut of Ford’s new BA Falcon, Stone Brothers Racing found a recipe for instant success.

Ingall finished third in the opening race, stormed to the win in the second and then held his nerve as wet weather and carnage brought an early end to the final.

Ingall dedicated his triumph to close friend and motorcycling legend Barry Sheene, who sadly succumbed to cancer the following day.

BJR’s shock one-two, 2005

V8 FORD Racing AGP 2005_0922

Six years before Brad Jones Racing scored its first Supercars Championship race victory, the Albury-based squad had a shock red letter day at Albert Park.

John Bowe led home team owner Brad Jones for a one-two finish in the second race of the weekend after a bold tyre gamble paid dividends.

While the remainder of the 35 car field opted to start on wets, the two Team BOC Fords went for slicks and subsequently carved their way through from outside the top 10.

Jones later admitted he had been “screaming like a banshee” on the warm-up lap telling his engineer he needed wets, but two safety cars and a burst of sunshine turned the race in BJR’s favour.

Coulthard breaks through, 2013

Fabian Coulthard of Brad Jones Racing during the Australian Grand Prix, a non-championship event of the 2013 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria, March 15, 2013.

The dawning of the Car of the Future era in Adelaide, 2013, was a nightmare for Brad Jones Racing, with Fabian Coulthard and Jason Bright finishing no higher than 19th across the two races.

Just two weeks later, the smooth, sweeping curves of Albert Park provided the ultimate contrast as Coulthard stormed to a maiden pole and his first three Supercars race wins.

Bright qualified second and twice trailed his team-mate home for a one-two, signalling the start of BJR’s strongest ever season in the championship.

The Coulthard steamroller only abated in the Sunday final, where Scott McLaughlin scored an equally impressive maiden race win in just his third main series event start as a primary driver.

Swedish success, 2014

Scott McLaughlin of Valvoline Racing GRM during the Melbourne Grand Prix, Melbourne Grand Prix  2014 Australian V8 Supercars  at the Albert Park, Melbourne, Victoria, March 16, 2014.

Scott McLaughlin’s success at Albert Park in 2013 sits firmly in the shadow of his heroics at the venue a year later, when he took Volvo’s first ever Supercars win.

The S60 had been the talk of the town in Adelaide, where McLaughlin famously out-pointed Jamie Whincup in a last-lap battle for second place.

Shane van Gisbergen’s Tekno Holden was the pace-setter for the majority of the weekend at Albert Park before McLaughlin pounced when his fellow Kiwi suffered an anti-rollbar failure.

As well as marking Volvo’s first win, McLaughlin’s victory was the eighth straight for New Zealanders at Albert Park – a run finally ended by Mark Winterbottom the following year.

McLaughlin heads to Albert Park this year looking to become the first man to win at the venue in three different marques following his switch to Ford for 2017.

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