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STATS INSIDER: SYDNEY ENDS RECORD-THREATENING SHOOTOUT STREAKS

TWO of the longest-standing Shootout streaks on the Supercars grid were cut short at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight, including one that was on the cusp of breaking the all-time mark.

The round also marked the end of two long droughts for Chaz Mostert and Walkinshaw Andretti United, Broc Feeney ticking his first box at Triple Eight and a possible glimpse of Supercars’ future.

All the info in the Sydney SuperNight edition of Stats Insider.

Chaz Mostert and the Walkinshaw Andretti United team celebrate victory in Sunday’s Race 2. Pic: Supplied

MOSTERT, WALKINSHAW SNAP LONG DROUGHTS

Chaz Mostert’s Sunday victory ended a few long droughts for both he and Walkinshaw Andretti United at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Mostert himself hadn’t scored a victory there since the final race of the 2015 round, which coincidentally was also run in greasy, wet conditions.

Then driving for Tickford Racing, the win was Mostert’s fifth and last of the season – a season that ended prematurely with his qualifying crash at Bathurst.

His team’s SMP drought stretched back even further.

The Holden Racing Team crew celebrate Garth Tander’s win in the opening race of the 2008 Eastern Creek round. Pic: an1images.com / Justin Deeley

It was still known as the Holden Racing Team when Garth Tander won the opening race of the 2008 round, which was the squad’s most recent triumph at the western Sydney circuit until Sunday.

To put that in perspective, the circuit was still known as Eastern Creek at the time of Tander’s win, while a 15-year-old Mostert had just graduated from karting to Formula Ford…

Mostert also leads the Supercars Championship for the first time in his career, while it’s the first time a Walkinshaw Andretti United driver has led the points since James Courtney topped the table after Race 2 at the 2016 Adelaide 500.

SHOOTOUT STREAKS SNAPPED

Supercars’ two longest active Shootout streaks fell on consecutive days last weekend.

Cam Waters’ shock 22nd position on the timesheets after Saturday afternoon’s qualifying mean he missed a Shootout for the first time since missing the Top 10 for the Sunday race at the 2018 Newcastle 500 – a streak of 31 consecutive appearances.

The Tickford Racing pilot was just four Shootouts shy of equalling the record for most consecutive appearances held by Shane van Gisbergen, who racked up 35 starts between 2012 and 2018.

Ironically, Waters missing the cut meant that the mantle of the longest active Shootout streak passed to van Gisbergen, whose own streak ended a day later!

The reigning series champion’s 21st qualifying position on Sunday morning ended a streak of 22 consecutive appearances that began at the 2020 Adelaide 500.

It will be awhile before any other drivers match either of those marks.

The new longest active Shootout streak of anyone on the current grid? Chaz Mostert with four…

Brodie Kostecki headed a very youthful first two rows of the grid for Race 2. Pic: Supplied

A GLIMPSE INTO THE FUTURE?

The first two rows of the grid for Sunday’s race had a very youthful bent to it.

24-year-old Brodie Kostecki secured the first championship pole position of his career from 26-year-old Anton De Pasquale, while 27-year-old Cam Waters and 19-year-old Broc Feeney comprised the second row.

It marked only the second time ATCC/Supercars history that the first four spots were occupied by drivers under the age of 28.

The last time that happened was almost 14 years ago at the Sandown round in 2008, and how’s this for a quartet of names: Jamie Whincup, Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison, Rick Kelly.

It’s a group that has accumulated nine Supercars Championships and nine Bathurst 1000 wins between them while all have become legendary names in our sport, which augers well for the four young guns that occupied the first two rows at SMP on Sunday.

Especially given that Davison and Winterbottom – now 39 and 40 years young respectively – occupied the third row behind them!

Prior to last weekend, the #88’s most recent non-GOAT Shootout appearace was with Steven Ellery at the Gold Coast in 2005. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

FEENEY TICKS THE FIRST BOX WITH #88

The #88 has now officially had four full-time drivers in its ATCC/Supercars history with Triple Eight with Broc Feeney making his first start in Red Bull Ampol Racing colours.

While much has been made about how he’ll stack up against his immediate predecessor, Feeney’s impressive weekend at SMP has already ticked one box.

The three other drivers to pilot the #88 T8 entry had all made the cut for a Shootout.

Along with Jamie Whincup’s 51 Shootout appearaces carrying the #88, Paul Radisich made six Shootout appearances in 2004 and Steve Ellery five in 2005.

Feeney joined them by qualifying for the Race 1 Shootout in 10th place, then backed it up by making the Shootout again for Race 2.

The last time a driver did that? Scott McLaughlin in 2013.

BITS & PIECES

  • Brodie Kostecki’s 37 laps at the front of the field in Race 2 is the most laps he’s led in a Supercars race in his career so far. With teammate Will Brown leading five laps, that marked the first time since Darwin in 2020 that both Erebus Motorsport cars led during the same race.
  • Shane van Gisbergen’s winning margin in Race 1 of 19.5575 seconds is the biggest at SMP since 2004, when Marcos Ambrose won the final race of the season by a whopping 26.4879 seconds. It’s the fourth time that SVG has won the first race of the season (joining 2017, 2018 and 2021) and the 15th time that Triple Eight has won the first race of the season in the last 17 seasons.
  • Sunday marked the first time that proud Penrith product James Courtney took part in a Shootout at his home track. It’s a surprising stat but, to be fair to the Tickford Racing driver, no Shootouts were held at SMP between 2006 and 2019 inclusive, meaning 2020 and 2021 were his only previous opportunities.
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