Fast Facts: MSS Security Challenge
By: V8 Supercars
1. This year is the 18th time the V8 Supercars have competed at Albert Park since the first Australian Grand Prix World Championship round was held there in 1996.
A total of 52 races have been held in that time with Russell Ingall remaining the most successful driver with eight race wins, though his last was 11 years ago in 2003. The next best driver is Garth Tander, who has claimed seven individual race wins. He won the first event where an overall winner was recognised in 2008 and repeated it in 2010.
2. Clipsal 500 Adelaide winner James Courtney should be buoyed by not only his recent success in South Australia, but also his Holden Racing Team’s amazing record at Albert Park.
HRT has claimed an impressive total of 19 V8 Supercar race wins at Albert Park, more than double the next best team (Perkins Engineering with nine).
Courtney won Race One at Albert Park in 2010 while driving a Ford for Dick Johnson Racing.
3. The format at Albert Park for V8 Supercars this year will feature a range of innovations.
A significant one is the debut of double-file rolling race starts (as well as restarts) in each race. It’s the fourth time (and second year in a row) that a four-race format has been used for the event.
Points accumulated over the four races at the Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix determine the event winner.
The major difference in 2014 is Race Four is worth double points, mimicking the system to be used by Formula One this year, which will have a double-points final race in Abu Dhabi.
The first three V8 Supercar races at Albert Park will be worth 75 points to the winner with the final worth 150 points.
4. Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard is the defending champion of the MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge at Albert Park.
The Kiwi, who sits second to Craig Lowndes in the V8 Supercars Championship after the Clipsal 500 Adelaide, won three of the four races last year to claim overall honours.
He actually crossed the line fourth in Race Three but the top three finishers (Shane van Gisbergen, Lowndes and Jonathon Webb) as well as five other cars were excluded for ignition timing irregularities.
5. Volvo debuted its new S60 in Adelaide in style with Scott McLaughlin claiming a popular podium finish in Race Two at the Clipsal 500.
The manufacturer is making its V8 Supercar debut at Albert Park, but has claimed success at the circuit before given Jim Richards won all three Super Touring races at Albert Park in an 850 sedan in 1997.
6. Red Bull Racing Australia duo Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes hold the V8 Supercar qualifying and race lap records respectively at Albert Park.
Whincup set a 1m55.0805s back in 2012 to claim the qualifying mark, while Lowndes set a 1m55.9682s lap in Race One in 2011. Both times were achieved on soft Dunlop tyres.
Each car will have an allocation of 16 soft tyres for Albert Park this year with no hard tyres used.
7. Team BOC’s Jason Bright will debut a brand new VF Commodore race car at Albert Park after his season-old chassis was heavily damaged in a nasty roll-over at the Clipsal 500.
He finished second overall last year at Albert Park to Brad Jones Racing teammate Fabian Coulthard but hasn’t won a V8 Supercar race at the venue since 2004.
The 2002 Albert Park V8 Supercar pole-sitter, Bright is making his 15th Albert Park V8 Supercar event appearance this year.
8. Erebus Motorsport’s Will Davison may not have won a V8 Supercar race at Albert Park but he has the best record of consistency in the field.
Since 2006 Davison has finished in the top 10 in 21 of the 22 V8 Supercar races held at the venue – an amazing indicator of consistent performance.
He’s also finished in the top five overall every year since overall results were first recognised in 2008.
Davison won the Formula Ford event at Albert Park back in 2001 and is making his ninth appearance in V8 Supercars at the Grand Prix event.
9. Three drivers are making their first appearance in V8 Supercars at the Albert Park circuit. Nick Percat (Coates Hire Racing), Robert Dahlgren (Valvoline Racing GRM) and Chaz Mostert (Ford Pepsi Max Crew) are all debutantes in the category at the venue, though Percat and Mostert have raced there before.
Percat took pole position at Albert Park last year in Porsche Carrera Cup while Mostert won the Australian Formula Ford Championship round there on his way to the 2010 national crown.
10. A total of 18 different drivers have claimed V8 Supercar race wins at Albert Park with 11 of them – Russell Ingall (8), Garth Tander (7), Craig Lowndes (5), Jason Bright (5), Mark Winterbottom (3), Fabian Coulthard (3) Todd Kelly (2), Jamie Whincup (2), James Courtney (1), Shane van Gisbergen (1) and Scott McLaughlin (1) – lining up on the grid in 2014.
Ingall is the only driver to have competed in every Albert Park V8 Supercar event from 1996 onwards.