Title fight building: the four-year first on offer at Winton

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 21/05/2021
  • By James Pavey

For all the chatter about Shane van Gisbergen’s red-hot start to the year, the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship is eyeing a four-year first.

From van Gisbergen’s Race 6 triumph in Tasmania to the OTR SuperSprint finale, six different drivers have won the last six races.

That hasn’t happened since the middle of the 2018 season, when six different drivers won across the Winton, Darwin and Townsville events.

That year, four different teams were involved in that streak; in 2021, five different teams have won the last six races, including four in the last four.

WATCH: SIXTH WINNER IN SIX STARTS: RACE 11 RECAP

Nissan Motorsport’s Rick Kelly and Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Fabian Coulthard kicked off the 2018 run at Winton, before Scott McLaughlin and Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds won in Darwin.

Triple Eight duo Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen shared the Townsville wins, before McLaughlin ended the run at the next event in Ipswich.

After van Gisbergen’s Race 6 win at Symmons Plains, Whincup and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert closed out the final two races.

At The Bend Motorsport Park earlier this month, several slices of history were made.

The weekend featured three different Ford winners, which had never happened before in ATCC/Supercars history.

2017 featured seven winners in seven starts

Race 9 marked the first win in 161 starts for Andre Heimgartner, while Anton De Pasquale brought up Ford’s 400th win and his first for the Shell V-Power squad in Race 10.

In Race 11, Cameron Waters defeated van Gisbergen in a thrilling finale to the weekend, becoming the sixth different winner in as many starts.

You have to go back to 2017 to find a string of seven different winners in as many races, which can be matched at the Winton SuperSprint next weekend.

Coulthard and Whincup shared the wins at Sydney Motorsport Park, Waters combined with Richie Stanaway to win the Sandown 500, before Reynolds and Luke Youlden won the Great Race for Erebus.

2017 featured seven different race winners, two fewer than 2018

Mostert and Steve Owen won the Gold Coast opener, before McLaughlin and Alex Premat won the Sunday race on the smell of an oily rag.

Van Gisbergen made it seven in seven in the Pukekohe opener, before McLaughlin ended the streak on the Sunday.

To gauge how critical this statistic is, the title fight went down to the final day in both 2017 (which featured seven different full-time winners) and 2018 (nine).

In 2017, five drivers - McLaughlin, Whincup, Coulthard, van Gisbergen and Mostert - went into the Newcastle finale with a realistic shot of winning the title.

Heading to Winton, van Gisbergen has a season-high 190-point lead over Whincup, with Mostert 246 points down.

Davison is eyeing his first win of the season

Will Davison, who hasn’t won a race yet in 2021, and Waters are five and 18 points down on Mostert respectively.

Davison looms as the most likely threat to become the seventh winner in as many starts, with his team victorious in the last three races at Winton. Holden is also winless at Winton since 2017.

The two-time Bathurst winner has more podiums than any other driver in 2021 bar van Gisbergen, and scored two trophies on the Sunday at The Bend.

The all-time record of nine, set in 2013 from Race 19 to Race 27, can also be matched at Winton.

Eight years ago, nine drivers won in nine starts across the Darwin, Townsville, Ipswich and Winton events: Craig Lowndes (Darwin), Davison and Garth Tander (Townsville), Whincup, McLaughlin and Mostert (Ipswich), and James Moffat, Mark Winterbottom and James Courtney (Winton).

The Repco Supercars Championship field will return to Victoria for the Winton SuperSprint across May 28-30. Tickets are available here.

The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo with highlights on 7 and 7 Plus. Check out the weekend schedule here.

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