TRIPLE EIGHT’S INCREDIBLE OPENING-RACE RECORD

Van Gisbergen's 2021 victory extends a remarkable run of success for Triple Eight in season-opening races. Pic: Supplied / Red Bull Ampol

SHANE van Gisbergen’s victory in Race 1 of the Repco Mount Panorama 500 added to the team’s amazing record in Supercars season openers.

It marked the 14th time in 16 years that the Brisbane-based team has taken out the first championship race of the year.

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That period stretches back to the 2006 Adelaide 500, where Craig Lowndes won the Saturday race aboard the #888 Betta Electrical Ford.

Lowndes took T8’s first win in a season-opener in 2006. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Jamie Whincup won the second race of 2006 on his debut with Triple Eight and went on to win Race 1 nine times between 2008 and 2020.

2021 is the third time in four years that van Gisbergen has achieved the feat while Lowndes won the opener twice.

The team’s 14 opening race wins have come at three different circuits; Adelaide, Abu Dhabi and now Mount Panorama.

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Triple Eight’s only two defeats in the season opener since 2006 came in years when their rivals rolled out brand new machinery.

Whincup maintained T8’s streak in 2010 despite its off-season switch from Ford to Holden. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

In 2007 Todd Kelly and the Holden Racing Team gave the VE Commodore a win on debut while Scott McLaughlin and DJR Team Penske triumphed with the new Ford Mustang in 2019.

Also of note, 2021 is the second consecutive year where the winner of the opening race had also won the last race of the previous season.

van Gisbergen’s victory in 2017 was the first of a streak of four straight wins in Adelaide. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

Van Gisbergen now has 41 career wins to move ahead of Glenn Seton to seventh on the all-time tally and leads the championship for the first time since October 2018.

FIRST-UP WINS: Triple Eight’s record of Race 1 victories

No.YearDriverCarVenue
12006Craig LowndesFord Falcon BFAdelaide
22008Jamie WhincupFord Falcon FGAdelaide
32009Jamie WhincupFord Falcon FGAdelaide
42010Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore VEAbu Dhabi
52011Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore VE IIAbu Dhabi
62012Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore VE IIAdelaide
72013Craig LowndesHolden Commodore VFAdelaide
82014Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore VFAdelaide
92015Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore VFAdelaide
102016Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore VFAdelaide
112017Shane van GisbergenHolden Commodore VFAdelaide
122018Shane van GisbergenHolden Commodore ZBAdelaide
132020Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore ZBAdelaide
142021Shane van GisbergenHolden Commodore ZBBathurst