As far as street circuits come, Newcastle has proven to be one of high attrition.
Next weekend’s Thrifty Newcastle 500 will be the fourth event at the beachside circuit, and first since November 2019.
Between 2017 and 2019, Newcastle hosted the season finale — and the tight 2.6km track was a tough one for drivers to negate.
Newcastle is one of five street circuits on the 2023 calendar, along with Albert Park, Townsville, Gold Coast and Adelaide.
Staying out of trouble and staying on the lead lap has proven difficult in Newcastle — five of the six races have featured at least one DNF.
In fact, just three drivers on the 2023 grid — Shane van Gisbergen, David Reynolds and Scott Pye — have completed all 564 racing laps in Newcastle.
Reigning champion van Gisbergen won in 2019, and also crossed the line first in 2018, only to be penalised post-race.
Reynolds also won the 2018 finale, while Pye has five top 10 finishes from six starts.
Given the unknowns over the new Gen3 cars and their reliability first-up at a street circuit, the cars could also come into play should the three drivers’ perfect records be ruined.
Van Gisbergen, Reynolds, Pye, Scott McLaughlin and Todd Kelly are the only drivers to have completed 100 per cent of their Newcastle race laps.
McLaughlin won’t race in 2023, while Kelly last raced in 2017, and was on the lead lap in both races.
Of the 25 drivers on the 2023 grid, only 10 have taken part in all three Newcastle events — van Gisbergen, Reynolds, Pye, Tim Slade, Nick Percat, Chaz Mostert, Cam Waters, Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison and James Courtney.
McLaughlin, Jamie Whincup, Rick Kelly, Lee Holdsworth, Simona de Silvestro and Fabian Coulthard raced between 2017 and 2019.
That’s not to say van Gisbergen, Reynolds and Pye have gotten away from Newcastle with a clean slate.
Van Gisbergen and Reynolds infamously clashed in the 2017 Saturday race, while Pye crashed in 2019 qualifying.
The BP Ultimate Safety Car is also a constant in Newcastle — five of the six races have featured at least one Safety Car deployment.
The very first Newcastle race in 2017 featured an event-high three Safety Cars, while the 2019 Saturday race ran green for its duration.
Even then, that race had its drama — Jack Le Brocq was turned into the wall, while James Golding and Macauley Jones collided.
Can van Gisbergen, Reynolds and Pye retain their 100 per cent lap records in Newcastle?
Find out at next weekend’s Thrifty Newcastle 500. Tickets are on sale now.