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May 12, 2014 - 06:13 AM
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Fast Facts For This Weekend's Perth 400
Posted by: newsla on May 12, 2014 - 06:13 AM
Sports Cars
Fast Facts For This Weekend's Perth 400


1. Pepsi Max Ford driver Mark Winterbottom holds a 107 point lead over Craig Lowndes heading to Barbagallo, but a more important statistic is how long it has been since Winterbottom arrived at a V8 Supercars Championship event as the points leader.

 

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The factory Ford driver has, amazingly, not led the championship heading into an event for just under six years - Winton in August 2008 was the last time.

It should be noted, however, that he briefly took the championship lead mid-way through the 2012 Sydney Motorsport Park weekend (after the Saturday race) but didn't retain the points lead at the end of that event on the Sunday.

Winterbottom is in a much stronger position too than this time last year - with four events completed in 2013 he was ninth in the points and trailed leader Jamie Whincup by 292 points - almost the equivalent of a full weekend's worth of points.

2. Red Bull Racing Australia's Craig Lowndes could break Mark Skaife's record for most race wins at a single track in the history of the ATCC/V8 Supercars Championship at Barbagallo.

Lowndes has won 14 races at the Western Australian circuit (though only two of them have come since 2000), which is one short of Skaife's impressive 15 race wins at the now defunct Oran Park in Sydney.

Also, with 75 consecutive finishes in V8SC races from 2012 Hamilton onwards, he's now just 20 behind the record of 95 - held by Russell Ingall, who finished every race he started from Eastern Creek 2004 through to Pukekohe 2007.

3. Triple Eight Race Engineering and Ford Performance Racing have dominated Barbagallo Raceway in recent years.

Between them the teams have won 13 of the last 14 V8 Supercar races held there since 2008 - FPR with six wins, Triple Eight seven.

The only team to break that streak was Brad Jones Racing with Jason Bright claiming a win in the second race in 2011.

4. Jamie Whincup may have had tough weekends at Winton and Pukekohe, but history says he will bounce back strongly at Barbagallo.

The five-time champion has finished on 11 of the last 12 podiums in Perth from 2008 onwards.

In that time he's claimed five wins, four seconds and two thirds.

Whincup sits sixth in the points, 166 behind leader Mark Winterbottom. It's the furthest behind the championship leader he has been since September 2010 - when he trailed James Courtney by 179 points at the completion of that year's L&H 500 at Phillip Island.

5. Three of the top five drivers in the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship pointscore have never finished on the podium at Barbagallo in their V8 Supercars career, let alone won a race.

Third-placed Fabian Coulthard, fourth-placed James Courtney and fifth-placed Shane van Gisbergen each have a career best finish of fourth in Perth.
6. Team JELD-WEN's Jack Perkins celebrates his 50th V8 Supercars Championship round start at Barbagallo Raceway.

Having made his V8SC debut at Sandown in 2006, Perkins' career best finish remains a fifth-place alongside Tim Slade in the 2010 Phillip Island 500.

Perkins hasn't competed in a V8SC event at Barbagallo since 2009, however won a race there in last year's Dunlop Series round.

He remains the only driver in the 2014 field without a top 10 race finish so far this season - his best remains an 11th at Symmons Plains.

7. He may not have quite won a V8 Supercars Championship race yet this year, but Volvo's Scott McLaughlin is clearly the best qualifier of the season so far.

With two poles in a row at Pukekohe and three for the season, the Kiwi has only missed out on qualifying in the top 10 once in the 13 races so far - no other driver has achieved that feat.

He's averaging a qualifying position of 4.54 and has more top five qualifying efforts - 10 - than any other driver in the field.

The last time a Volvo claimed pole position at Barbagallo was 1986, when John Bowe claimed his very first ATCC/V8SC career pole in a 240 Turbo.

8. Norton Hornets Nissan driver Michael Caruso will rack up his 200th V8 Supercars Championship race start in the opening race at Barbagallo in Perth.

The Altima pilot scored his best result of the season - fifth - in the last race at Pukekohe in New Zealand. His best qualifying performance of 2014 came at both Pukekohe and the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide - seventh.

9. Three drivers - Nick Percat, Dale Wood and Robert Dahlgren - have never competed in a V8 Supercars Championship event at Barbagallo Raceway.

However, both Percat and Wood have competed there in recent years in the Dunlop Series. Wood won a race in 2013 and finished second for the round, while Percat competed in the DVS in Perth in 2011 and 2012.

10. The Dunlop Series returns at Barbagallo Raceway after six weeks since the last round at Winton in Victoria.

Paul Dumbrell leads the series by just 22 points over last year's Perth round winner - and this year's Winton round winner - Ash Walsh.

Western Australian Norton Hornets Nissan endurance driver Dean Fiore will make his Dunlop Series debut in one of MW Motorsport's Falcons in his first racing appearance since last year's Sydney 500.

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