THE ‘IN AND WIN’ CLUB: WINNERS WITHIN 10 RACES

A victorious Craig Lowndes at Eastern Creek 1996. Photo: Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

BROC Feeney scored the first podium of his Repco Supercars Championship career in just his seventh race start when he followed teammate Shane van Gisbergen home in Race 4 at Symmons Plains last weekend.

Given the quality of the machinery underneath him, is it really only a matter of time until Feeney ends up on the top step of the podium?

And how would that compare with the breakthrough wins taken by drivers who have gone before him?

Should Feeney win any of the next three races at Albert Park next weekend, he will join a pretty exclusive list of drivers in Australian Touring Car/Supercars Championship history.

There are 26 drivers to have won a ATCC/Supercars race within their first 10 starts.

Here are a few drivers who didn’t take too long at all to secure their first ATCC/Supercars career race win.

Greg Murphy’s first race at Calder in 1997 in the Australian Touring Car Championship resulted in a race win and instant championship lead. The Kiwi never again sat atop of the pointscore in his Supercars career. Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander.

Greg Murphy – 1997 Calder (1 race)

Greg Murphy replaced the departing Craig Lowndes for the 1997 season at the Holden Racing Team and started the season in the best possible way, winning the opening race of the season at Calder Park.

This was also the one and only time in Murphy’s career that he led the ATCC/Supercars Championship.

Murphy won 28 championship races (a figure that includes three of his four Bathurst 1000 wins), cementing his place as a Supercars legend.

Craig Lowndes – 1996 Eastern Creek (2 races)

Craig Lowndes debuted full-time for the Holden Racing Team at the start of the 1996 ATCC at Eastern Creek and took victory in the second race.

Lowndes dominated the 1996 season winning 16 races, including eight in a row, as part of a stunning rookie campaign that ended with him being the Champion.

Lowndes then won the 1998 and 1999 championships and remains the second most winning driver in championship history after Jamie Whincup.

Yvan Muller after winning the 2005 Sandown 500. Photo: an1images.com / Justin Deeley.

Yvan Muller – 2005 Sandown (6 races)

Yvan Muller won in only his sixth Supercars start when he teamed up with Lowndes at Triple Eight for the Sandown 500 in 2005.

The Frenchman holds a unique place in Supercars history as the first driver to have driven for both the Holden Racing Team (2000 Bathurst) and Triple Eight (2004-2005 Sandown and Bathurst).

Muller only started three more Supercars Championship races after his one and only victory (2005 Bathurst and 2010 Gold Coast).

Peter Doulman’s win came in unique circumstances. Photo: Photo: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Peter Doulman – 1993 Amaroo Park (6 races)

Peter Doulman also won in only his sixth race start in his ATCC career, but the circumstances in which that victory came were unique.

The opening round of the 1993 ATCC season held at Amaroo Park featured three races, one for the two-litre class cars only, before the new Falcons and Commodores competed in race two and an ‘all-in’ integrated final.

Doulman’s BMW M3 beat John Smith’s Toyota Corolla to the win by four seconds in the two-litre race; the only race win in his ATCC career and the only time he led the championship as well – at least for the hour and a half gap between races!

Scott McLaughlin’s Fujitsu GRM Commodore from Pukekohe 2013. Photo: an1images.com / Justin Deeley.

Scott McLaughlin – 2013 Pukekohe (9 races)

Scott McLaughlin debuted in the 2012 enduros and first tasted victory at Pukekohe in 2013 in only his ninth start in Supercars aboard the #33 Fujitsu Garry Rogers Motorsport VF Commodore.

The Kiwi has scored a further 55 Supercar Championship race wins along with three Supercar Championships (2018, 2019 and 2020) and a Bathurst 1000 victory in 2019 before moving to IndyCar in 2021 for Team Penske.

DRIVERS TO HAVE WON AN ATCC/SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP RACE WITHIN THEIR FIRST 10 RACES:

# DRIVER/YEAR OF FIRST WIN
1Greg Murphy (1997), David McKay (1960)
2Craig Lowndes (1996), Robbie Francevic (1985), Ray Gulson (1974), Bob Jane (1962), Bill Pitt (1961)
3Nick Percat (2011), Sebastien Bourdais (2011), Norm Beechey (1965), Ian Geoghegan (1964)
4Craig Baird (2000), Allan Moffat (1970)
5Richie Stanaway (2017)
6Mika Salo (2012), Yvan Muller (2005), Peter Doulman (1993), Allan Grice (1975), Peter Brock (1973)
7Colin Bond (1975)
8Richard Lyons (2011), John Harvey (1976), Charlie O’Brien (1976)
9Scott McLaughlin (2013), Glenn Seton (1987)
10John Bowe (1988)
Jordan Treloar is an emerging motorsport reporter who graduated from Charles Sturt University with first class Honours in his Bachelor of Exercise Science (Honours) degree. He has interned at The Western Advocate and joined the V8 Sleuth team for its coverage of the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000. He continues to report on various categories for V8 Sleuth in 2022.