SYDNEY Motorsport Park this weekend will see the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship roar back into life after falling silent during the Australian Grand Prix cancellation in March.
The venue didn’t host a Supercars round last year, its last event was in fact in 2018 – the Sydney SuperNight event – won by Red Bull HRT’s Shane van Gisbergen.
But when it comes to predicting who will take pole position on the 3.93-kilometre layout, it’s hard to go past Scott McLaughlin and Chaz Mostert.
Staggeringly, the duo has taken the last 10 SMP pole positions in a row.
And yes, that is not a typo – 10!
The streak started in 2014 when McLaughlin took pole for the second Saturday race in his Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo S60.
He backed it up on Sunday that year and then scored another pole on Sunday in 2015 before claiming both poles in 2017 with DJR Team Penske and the 2018 SuperNight pole.
On the flipside, new Walkinshaw Andretti United signing Mostert took pole for both Saturday sprints in 2015 and both races in 2016 during his time with the team now known as Tickford Racing, leaving him with four of the 10 poles and McLaughlin with six.
But the conversion rate for the pair isn’t that flash – only twice from those 10 poles has the pole-sitter gone on to win the race – McLaughlin did it in the final race in 2014 and Mostert did it in the first 2015 sprint race.
The last non McLaughlin/Mostert pole-winner at SMP is Jamie Whincup, who claimed pole for the first Saturday race in 2014.
McLaughlin now holds the record for most poles in ATCC/VASC history at SMP with six.
Mostert has joined Mark Skaife and Marcos Ambrose with four apiece – all of Skaife and Ambrose’s poles came in the ‘rounds’ era where there was one pole available per weekend.
McLaughlin’s 10 poles have come across four events (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018), while Mostert’s four have come across two events (2015 and 2016).
Skaife scored pole at SMP (when it was known as Eastern Creek) in 1999, 2000, 2002 and the 2003 Grand Finale.
Ambrose took pole at SMP in 2001, 2003 (May round) and 2004 (both rounds).