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Pressure on Friday with new Triple Crown format

Supercars
12 Jun
Drivers must be fastest on track on all three days to win the betr Darwin Triple Crown
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  • Drivers must be fastest on all three days to win Darwin Triple Crown

  • Qualifying for Saturday race to be held on Friday afternoon

  • Top Ten Shootouts will follow both Qualifying sessions

Pressure will be on Supercars drivers on all three days in Darwin, as their quest for the Triple Crown commences in Friday Boost Mobile Qualifying.

In the new-for-2024 Darwin format, if a driver is to win the coveted and elusive Triple Crown, they must be fastest on track across all three days of the event.

As part of the new format, Boost Mobile Qualifying for Saturday’s race has shifted to a Friday afternoon session.

Should a driver top Friday Qualifying, it is simple: only they can win the Triple Crown, should they win both Saturday and Sunday races.

Under the new format, the original 90-minute practice scheduled for Friday dropped to a 60-minute session, which will set the tone before Friday Qualifying.

The race format will remain the same, two 137km races with one compulsory pit stop and at least two tyre changes per race per car.

However, the Friday practice session looms as one of the most important for the year, according to Walkinshaw Andretti United star Chaz Mostert.

“Having qualifying on Friday night makes for an interesting weekend," said Mostert, who recently won in Perth, and topped the 2015 and 2021 Darwin rounds.

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"It puts more pressure on that first practice session, you really need to roll out strong to be in the mix."

The race format will remain the same, with the action headlined by two 48-lap, 137km races with one compulsory pit stop and at least two tyre changes per race per car.

The Triple Crown has gone through a number of previous guises, and has been won only twice in Darwin's 26-year Supercars history.

Introduced in 2006 under a three-race format, the Triple Crown represented winning both races and topping Sunday's Top Ten Shootout in 2019, when it was won by Scott McLaughlin for the first time.

In 2020, the event was run in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which affected the calendar. On that occasion, it was awarded to the driver who scored the most points of the weekend which, on that instance, was Jamie Whincup.

Between 2021 and 2023, it reverted to the three-race format, before another change in 2024 required a new format.

"The Triple Crown is something which is really hard to get," Team 18 veteran David Reynolds, who won in Darwin in 2015 and 2018, added.

"It’s a little bit different this year because it starts on Friday and Qualifying and then goes over two races over the weekend, so it's going to be completely different for everyone.”

The betr Darwin Triple Crown will run June 14-16 at Hidden Valley Raceway and will again be celebrated as Supercars Indigenous Round.

Foxtel, Kayo, 7plus and the Seven Network will provide live broadcast for the event. Tickets are available through darwinsupercars.com.au or the Supercars website.

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