Series leader Shane van Gisbergen joined an elite group of drivers to have won 10 or more races in a season on Sunday.
Race 16 at the NTI Townsville 500 marked van Gisbergen’s 10th win of the 2021 season, and 50th of his career.
With the win, he became the eighth driver to win 10 or more races in a year.
Red Bull Ampol Racing teammate Jamie Whincup has done it a record five times, with Craig Lowndes achieving the feat three times.
Of the 16 previous instances, only twice has a driver failed to win the championship having won 10 or more races in a season.
In 1999, Mark Skaife won 12 races, but missed out on the title to Lowndes, who won nine races.
Skaife and Lowndes traded blows in 1999 and 2000 Pic: AN1 Images
McLaughlin won 10 of the first 14 races in 2019, and broke Lowndes’s 1996 record on home soil in New Zealand.
The following year, Lowndes won 10 races to Skaife’s seven, but the latter claimed the 2000 crown.
Van Gisbergen is also eyeing countryman Scott McLaughlin’s record of 18 wins in a season.
McLaughlin won a whopping 18 races in 2019
There will be a minimum of 31 races in 2021, meaning van Gisbergen has 15 races to catch McLaughlin’s 2019 benchmark.
McLaughlin also won 13 races last year; van Gisbergen has ensured three straight seasons of a driver winning 10 or more races.
Already, van Gisbergen has matched the 10-win season hauls of Glenn Seton (1997), Lowndes (2000) and Whincup (2011).
Van Gisbergen will look to add to his tally at this weekend’s WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint. Tickets for the event are on sale now.
Drivers to have won 10 or more races in a season
18: Scott McLaughlin (2019)
16: Craig Lowndes (1996)
15: Mark Skaife (2002), Garth Tander (2007), Jamie Whincup (2008)
14: Craig Lowndes (1998), Jamie Whincup (2014)
13: Scott McLaughlin (2020)
12: Mark Skaife (1999), Jamie Whincup (2012)
11: Marcos Ambrose (2004), Jamie Whincup (2009, 2013)
10: Glenn Seton (1997), Craig Lowndes (2000), Jamie Whincup (2011), Shane van Gisbergen (2021)*