The storylines to look out for in Tassie return

16 Apr 2021
This weekend marks the first event in Tasmania since 2019

This weekend’s Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint marks the first Supercars event at Symmons Plains since 2019.

At the front of the grid, one driver has been doing all the winning, but that doesn’t mean the margins behind are too large to overcome.


What was your first car?

A return to Tasmania for the first time in two years, and the first race meeting in four weeks, means there’s every chance teams have tweaked their cars, and drivers have sharpened.

Ahead of this weekend's event, which will feature three 44-lap races, Supercars.com has listed nine key storylines which will play out across the weekend.

SVG’s shot at history

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen could make history as the only driver in Supercars history to win the first seven races of a season.

Van Gisbergen has won five in a row to start 2021, and should he win the first two races of the weekend, he would surpass two major names.

Allan Moffat and Mark Skaife both won the opening six races of the season in 1977 and 1994 respectively; no one has ever won the opening seven.

Van Gisbergen’s current win streak of six, which dates back to the 2020 Bathurst 1000, matches similar feats by Moffat, Dick Johnson, Jim Richards, Skaife, Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup and Scott McLaughlin.

Only Whincup and Lowndes have been able to win more than six consecutive races; Whincup (seven in 2008) and Lowndes (eight in 1996).

Can anyone stop Triple Eight in Tassie?

Jamie Whincup is the most successful driver in history at Symmons Plains with 12 race wins to his name, the most recent of which came in 2018.

Red Bull Ampol Racing has been the dominant force at Symmons Plains for much of the past decade; the team has won 11 of the 14 races held at the circuit since 2014.

Van Gisbergen won the most recent race at the circuit on the Sunday in 2019.

Ford’s win drought

Highlights: Race 30 OTR SuperSprint

Ford drivers have not won a race since Cameron Waters won the penultimate race of the 2020 season at The Bend on September 27.

Saturday’s opening race in Tasmania will mark 202 days, or six months and 21 days, since a Ford driver last won a race.

Whincup moves up in the record books

This weekend also marks Whincup’s 243rd round start, bringing him level for sixth on the all-time list with Todd Kelly.

Whincup’s enduro co-driver Lowndes holds the record for most round starts at 298.

New qualifying format


This weekend will also see the debut of the new split, three-part qualifying system. The format will first be used on Saturday.

The first part of qualifying will see the field split in two groups on alternating garage order. That means one car per two-car team will take part in each five-minute session.

The top eight from each session will continue, while the bottom four from each session will be locked in positions 17 through 24.

The remaining 16 cars will roll out for the 10-minute Q2 segment, with the quickest 10 fighting for pole in the 10-minute Q3 segment.

On Sunday, there will be a split, single-segment format for both races; the same groupings will be used for two eight-minute sessions to set the grid.

Hazelwood’s century

Hazelwood set to achieve milestone in Tassie

Saturday’s Race 6 will mark Brad Jones Racing driver Todd Hazelwood’s 100th championship race start.

Hazelwood’s main game debut came in a wildcard entry for Matt Stone Racing at Queensland Raceway in 2017, the year he won the Super2 title.

More names on the podium?

Sandown saw Erebus Motorsport rookie Brodie Kostecki score a maiden podium in just his second round as a full-time driver.

With Symmons Plains rewarding car set-up and driver application, several teams will have a chance to throw their hats in the ring.

David Reynolds returned to the podium in the same Sandown race; through five races in 2021, seven different drivers have already stood on the podium.

Many names are knocking on the door; notably, Nick Percat scored three top 10s at Sandown, Andre Heimgartner was a lap away from a podium, while Mark Winterbottom continues to close on a maiden Team 18 podium.

Shell Ford resurgence?

Is De Pasquale feeling the pressure after poor start?

The defending teams’ champion squad has recorded one podium through five races in 2021, courtesy of Will Davison at Mount Panorama.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team has form at Symmons Plains, winning races in 2017 and 2019 at the circuit.

It seems a matter of when, not if, the improving Anton De Pasquale breaks through in Shell colours.

A legend in the commentary box

The weekend will also see two-time series champion Marcos Ambrose make a guest appearance in commentary.

The Launceston local will lend his experience and expertise to the broadcast, while also watching the current generation of stars tackle his home circuit.

Cars will roll out for Practice 1 of the Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint at 9:20am AEST on Saturday.

The event will be broadcast live on Foxtel and will be streamed on Kayo with highlights on 7 and 7 Plus.

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