Fast Facts for next weekend’s V8 Supercars in Melbourne

Australian GP
Australian GP

1. This year is the 20th year of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix being held at Albert Park with V8 Supercars having competed there every year bar one since 1996.

The category didn't race at Albert Park in 2007, with a total of 56 V8 Supercars races held from 1996-2006 and 2008 onwards.

A total of 18 different drivers have won those races with 10 of them – Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes, Jason Bright, Shane van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard, Mark Winterbottom, Jamie Whincup, Scott McLaughlin, Todd Kelly and James Courtney – on the grid in 2015.

The Albert Park event remains a Non-Championship event and does not count for points towards the V8 Supercars Championship.

2. The MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge has been dominated by New Zealanders in recent years with Kiwi drivers winning the last nine races in a row.

Between them, Shane van Gisbergen (four), Fabian Coulthard (three) and Scott McLaughlin (two) have shut the Australian drivers out of victory at their home Grand Prix.

3. Wilson Security GRM Volvo driver Scott McLaughlin has an Albert Park V8 Supercars record that simply sparkles.

He’s finished inside the top six in seven of his eight race starts there across 2013 and 2014 and won the event overall last year on combined points.

The Melbourne-based Kiwi has won the Sunday race the last two years in a row.

4. Red Bull Racing Australia’s Craig Lowndes is the most experienced active V8 Supercars driver at Albert Park with 17 appearances from the 18 times V8 Supercars has competed at the Grand Prix (he missed 1997 while racing Formula 3000).

This year he equals the record of 18 held by the now-retired Russell Ingall, who competed in every single V8 Supercars event at Albert Park since the first in 1996.

However, Lowndes has not won a race there since his team swapped to Holdens in 2010 – an Albert Park winning drought of five years and 17 individual races.

In fact, Triple Eight has not won a race at Albert Park since 2011 when Jamie Whincup won two of the three races.

5. Picking an overall winner at Albert Park is tough given five different teams and drivers have won the last five events held there from 2010 onwards.

Garth Tander (2010, HRT), Jamie Whincup (2011, Triple Eight), Mark Winterbottom (2012, PRA), Fabian Coulthard (2013, BJR) and Scott McLaughlin (2014, GRM) have all topped the weekend points score over the last five events.

It’s just as hard to pick a pole-sitter with five different drivers and teams – Tander/HRT 2010, Lowndes/Triple Eight 2011, Winterbottom/PRA 2012, Coulthard/BJR 2013 and Caruso Nissan/2014 – claiming the last five poles in Melbourne.

6. The Holden Racing Team is the most successful team in the history of V8 Supercars racing at Albert Park with 19 race wins.

V8 Supercars Championship points leader and Clipsal 500 champion James Courtney won a race at Albert Park in 2010 for Dick Johnson Racing but has not finished higher than fourth there since joining HRT.

The factory Holden team’s last Albert Park race win came in Race 2 in 2011 with Garth Tander.

7. Marcos Ambrose will make his first appearance at Albert Park since 2005 – and it’s a place with special history for him.

Ambrose made his first-ever race appearance in a V8 Supercars race in Melbourne in 2001 and claimed pole position on his debut.

For all of his championship race wins, Ambrose was never able to win a Non-Championship race at Albert Park – a pair of second places in 2005 remain his best results.

8. Erebus Motorsport V8’s Will Davison may have had a terrible run at the Clipsal 500 but he should be buoyed by his record at Albert Park.

Davison has finished in the top eight overall on points every year from 2008 onwards – no other driver can lay claim to a record of such consistency in that time frame.

While he hasn’t claimed a pole, race win or overall win, Davison finished on the podium for the weekend in 2008 (second), 2009 (third) and 2013 (third).

He finished eighth overall in 2014 in his first Albert Park appearance with Erebus Motorsport V8.

9. Holden has done the lion’s share of the winning at Albert Park with 42 V8 Supercars race wins from the 56 held. Ford has claimed 13 and Volvo scored its first on Sunday in 2014.

Nissan and Erebus’ Mercedes-Benz E63 AMGs are yet to score a win at the Grand Prix in Melbourne, however Nissan did claim pole and a podium finish via Michael Caruso last year.

10. Two drivers – Ash Walsh and Andre Heimgartner – are making their first V8 Supercars start at Albert Park but each have experience there in other categories.

Walsh finished fourth in the 2010 Australian Formula Ford Championship round at the Melbourne venue while Heimgartner finished seventh in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia round in 2012 for Team Kiwi Racing.

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