The historic stat that points Brown towards 2024 glory

04 Apr
Will Brown is enjoying life as a Triple Eight driver so much, that current form has him historically placed to claim the 2024 title
  • Will Brown has finished first or second in first six races

  • Brown has two wins and four second-placings so far in 2024

  • Only five other drivers have started seasons with six or more top two finishes

Will Brown is enjoying life as a Triple Eight driver so much, that current form has the Queenslander historically placed to claim the 2024 title.

Brown, who replaced Shane van Gisbergen at Red Bull Ampol Racing, has finished no worse than second in the six races held so far this season.

The 25-year-old backed up second in Race 1 with victory in Race 2 at Mount Panorama, before going second, first, second and second at the Australian Grand Prix. In total, Brown has scored 93 percent of all points on offer (575 of 620).

Heading to the ITM Taupō Super400, Brown is just 17 points ahead of teammate Broc Feeney, who has won three races this season.

Brown’s red hot start to 2024 has already put the Toowoomba-born driver in the driving seat to control the championship narrative — but how does his start really stack up?

Consecutive podiums to start a season

whincup brown feeney bathurst 500 podium 2024

When it comes to fast season starts, Brown is the 13th driver to open a new year with six straight podium finishes. In an omen for Brown, of the 17 previous instances a driver has opened a new season with six straight top three finishes, 14 have ended in title success.

Craig Lowndes’ march to 1999 glory began with 12 straight top three finishes, while he began his 1998 title campaign with six.

Mark Skaife reeled off nine straight in 1992, eight in 1994, and 11 in 2002. In 1991, the year he was defeated by Jim Richards, Skaife opened the year with seven straight. Richards, meanwhile, began with eight straight.

Peter Brock went seven from seven for all races he was eligible for in 1974, and went 10 straight to open 1980. Brock's Ford rivals Allan Moffat (1973 and 1977) and Dick Johnson (1984) also opened their title campaigns with seven straight.

One of the unsung heroes of ATCC/Supercars history, Robbie Francevic, started his 1986 campaign with six straight in his Volvo. Kiwi countrymen Scott McLaughlin (2020) and Shane van Gisbergen (2021) both started their victorious with seven.

The drivers to miss out on titles after consecutive podium runs were Ian Geoghegan (seven in 1971), John Bowe (six in 1989) and Will Davison (six in 2012).


Going first or second

brown feeney bathurst 2024 race 1 podium

Brown’s ability to find the top two is getting into serious champion territory.

Skaife’s 11 consecutive top twos to open 2002 remains the benchmark, ahead of Brock (10 in 1980). Moffat (1977), Richards (1991), Skaife (1994) and van Gisbergen (2021) reeled off seven straight, and in each instance, each driver went on to win the championship.

Another finish of first or second in the ITM Taupō Super400 opener, and Brown will match the driver he replaced!

Brown’s insight

087-Brown-EV02-24-MH1 0499

For Brown, the fast start was proof he was the driver fit to replace van Gisbergen, amid early criticism of his signing.

Speaking after the Grand Prix, Brown said: "I knew what I did last year, I won four races with Erebus and I knew moving across to Triple Eight would give me a really good opportunity.

"I'm quite confident in what I can do in the car and I knew with the move across I'd be able to win races and hopefully try to win a championship.

"It's cool to prove a few of them wrong, but I think that was more just people with their own personal opinions and trying to help out people... to be honest, that sort of stuff doesn't really bother me.

"You hop in the car, you go racing, win a race and it sort of goes from there."

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