Cars Motorsport News Previews

TRT PREVIEW: SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK (AGAIN)

YOU know, the easy thing to do would have been to copy/paste our preview from the other week, but here at The Race Torque, we are all about the fresh content!

WORDS: Mark Walker IMAGES: Mark Horsburgh/Supercars

I mean, they might well turn Sydney Motorsport Park into a hub, and we’ll be forced to do six consecutive previews relating to the place… at least it seems certain that we will have three events here in 2020. Yay! ]

Here we take a deep dive into the stats and facts ahead of the Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint!

Analysing the Previous Round

The three races back on June 27/28 all ran to a 32 lap duration without safety cars, so relatively speaking, all three were a level playing field, although tyre choice did play into strategy calculations.

Finishing Positions for Each Race with Qualifying Position/Pit Stop Lap (of the 32 laps)

Race 7

1. Scott McLaughlin – qualified 1/ pit lap 15

2. Shane van Gisbergen – qualified 2/ pit lap 18

3. Jamie Whincup – qualified 5/ pit lap 14

4. Chaz Mostert – qualified 4/ pit lap 16

5. Nick Percat – qualified 6/ pit lap 16

6. Cameron Waters – qualified 3/ pit lap 12

7. Lee Holdsworth – qualified 7/ pit lap 13

8. Anton de Pasquale – qualified 9/ pit lap 16

9. Mark Winterbottom – qualified 13/ pit lap 11

10. Fabian Coulthard – qualified 10/ pit lap 14

Race 8

1. Nick Percat – qualified 6/ pit lap 14

2. Jamie Whincup – qualified 1/ pit lap 15

3. Scott McLaughlin – qualified 3/ pit lap 12

4. Chaz Mostert – qualified 7/ pit lap 11

5. David Reynolds – qualified 10/ pit lap 13

6. Cameron Waters – qualified 5/ pit lap 13

7. Shane van Gisbergen – qualified 2/ pit lap 10

8. Mark Winterbottom – qualified 12/ pit lap 13

9. James Courtney – qualified 15/ pit lap 17

10. Andre Heimgartner – qualified 9/ pit lap 10

Race 9

1. Scott McLaughlin – qualified 1/ pit lap 14

2. Lee Holdsworth – qualified 4/ pit lap 18

3. Jamie Whincup – qualified 2/ pit lap 13

4. David Reynolds – qualified 9/ pit lap 11

5. Mark Winterbottom – qualified 11/ pit lap 10

6. Shane van Gisbergen – qualified 3/ pit lap 14

7. Anton de Pasquale – qualified 14/ pit lap 16

8. Todd Hazelwood – qualified 5/ pit lap 16

9. Nick Percat – qualified 8/ pit lap 14

10. Bryce Fullwood – qualified 10/ pit lap 6

Even with tyre selection juggles, it was possible to hold position, like McLaughlin, while Percat gained in two of the three races, and only lost one spot in the other. Opposing short/long strategies paid dividends throughout.

This weekend teams will have two sets of soft tyres, three sets of hard, and the same three race format – expect a bigger mixed bag of qualifying, shootout and race results.

Top 10 Best Race Times Combined from all Three Races

1. Scott McLaughlin- 49:59.5856 (race 7)

2. Shane van Gisbergen- 49:59.7732 (race 7)

3. Jamie Whincup- 50:09.3608 (race 7)

4. Chaz Mostert- 50:10.6615 (race 7)

5. Nick Percat- 50:14.1247 (race 8)

6. Jamie Whincup- 50:17.3059 (race 8)

7. Scott McLaughlin- 50:20.2679 (race 9)

8. Lee Holdsworth- 50:21.7874 (race 9)

9. Nick Percat- 50:27.9141 (race 7)

10. Cameron Waters- 50:30.3843 (race 7)

Hot pace in race one, by contrast, tyre life issues saw the final race 21sec slower than the opener.

Top 10 Best Qualifying Laps Combined from the Three Qualifying Sessions (plus the Shootout)

1. Scott McLaughlin- 1:27.9193 (race 9)

2. Scott McLaughlin- 1:27.9658 (shootout race 7)

3. Jamie Whincup- 1:28.0119 (race 9)

4. Jamie Whincup- 1:28.0756 (race 8)

5. Shane van Gisbergen- 1:28.0876 (race 8)

6. Shane van Gisbergen- 1:28.1237 (race 9)

7. Scott McLaughlin- 1:28.1404 (race 8)

8. Scott McLaughlin- 1:28.1578 (race 7)

9. Shane van Gisbergen- 1:28.1762 (shootout race 7)

10. Cameron Waters- 1:28.2602 (shootout race 7)

Remarkable cluster – only Cameron Waters gets a look in outside of the Big Three.

Total Weekend Points for the Event

1. Scott McLaughlin- 574

2. Jamie Whincup- 525

3. Chaz Mostert- 432

4. Cameron Waters- 411

5. David Reynolds- 392

6. Lee Holdsworth- 371

7. Nick Percat- 365

8. Shane van Gisbergen- 353

9. Mark Winterbottom- 352

10. Andre Heimgartner- 282

Official Lead Changes

Race 7- 4

Race 8- 5

Race 9- 4

Fast Starters

Current championship positions versus where they were at the same point in the standings last year after two events (+/-), and compared to their place in the final standings from last season. For example, 0 = same position, + they are doing better, – they are doing worse.

Current Pos.DriverCompared against Second Event of ’19Compared against End of ’19
1Scott McLaughlin00
2Jamie Whincup 01
3Chaz Mostert02
4Cameron Waters53
5David Reynolds21
6Lee Holdsworth74
7Nick Percat12
8Shane van Gisbergen3-6
9Mark Winterbottom14
10Andre Heimgartner46
11Todd Hazelwood57
12Rick Kelly85
13Fabian Coulthard-7-9
14Jack Le Brocq78
15Anton de Pasquale0-1
16Will Davison-12-8
17Bryce FullwoodNewNew
18James Courtney-6-7
19Macauley Jones52
20Scott Pye-1-8
21Jack SmithNewNew
22Garry Jacobson01
23Chris PitherNewNew
24Zane GoddardNewNew
25Jake KosteckiNewNew
26Alex DavisonNewNew

Strong early gains by Lee Holdsworth, Andre Heimgartner, Todd Hazelwood, Rick Kelly and Jack Le Brocq, tough starts for Fabian Coulthard and James Courtney. Shane van Gisbergen had an even tardier start last year, but came through for second in the final standings.

The Carrot Cup

Combined Points from the Past Three Night Races

Sydney Motorsport Park (2018) and Wanneroo Raceway (2019)

1. Scott McLaughlin – 558 points

2. Jamie Whincup – 534 points

3. Shane van Gisbergen – 522 points

4. Chaz Mostert – 462 points

5. Craig Lowndes – 426 points

6. Fabian Coulthard – 426 points

7. Mark Winterbottom – 351 points

8. David Reynolds – 333 points

9. Rick Kelly – 327 points

10. Will Davison – 309 points

The Big Three, again. There appears to be a pattern emerging here: McLaughlin + Whincup + Van Gisbergen are the three to beat.

Fun Fact

6 – Cameron Waters is the only car in the field containing the number 6.

Insider Trading

For the blessed few who will get to experience this event trackside, we have you covered!

Best Local Feed

The Royal Cricketer’s Arms is just around the corner in Reservoir, a hidden gem five minutes from the race track.

Best Local Beer

How could you possibly talk about Western Sydney and not mention the Rooty Hill RSL and its legendary outdoor pokies? Beer wise, Coronas and Victoria Bitter should be off the agenda for the time being… Fun fact: Rooty Hill is named after a very rooty hill on Norfolk Island, as named by Governor Philip Gidley King in 1803.

Best Traffic Tip

It’s Sydney, so past experience has taught us to get up on the wheel and lean hard into the horn.

Best Spectating

You’re one of the blessed few! Turn one is pretty bloody wild, worth a gander, although you do sit several kilometres away from the action.

Best Photography from Punterville

The exit of the turn two hairpin – typically there’s a bit of action around here, and punters are not disadvantaged compared to the pros.