THIS year’s revised Albert Park circuit was expected to be substantially faster than the original layout – but just how much faster was it?
The deletion of the former Turn 9/10 chicane and the opening up of several other corners reduced the track length by just 23 metres but cut Supercars lap times by almost nine seconds.
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Larry Perkins Trophy winner Shane van Gisbergen set the fastest lap of the weekend in Thursday’s Practice 2, his 1m44.8387s lap coming in 8.9893-seconds quicker than the fastest lap on the old layout.
That lap now also holds the record for the Supercars lap with the highest average speed ever driven on Australian soil.
Yes, the new Albert Park layout is now the fastest on the Repco Supercars Championship calendar, pipping Mount Panorama.
van Gisbergen’s lap had an average speed of 181.31km/h, just 0.02km/h faster than the average speed of Chaz Mostert’s record-breaking Repco Bathurst 1000 pole position lap from last December.
The Kiwi’s victory in the third race of the weekend also came close to breaking the record for the fastest ever Supercars race in Australia.
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It was van Gisbergen himself who set the record in the Sunday race at the 2021 Repco Mount Panorama 500 at 172.08km/h; he’d have broken the record in the Saturday afternoon 20-lapper at Albert Park had the #97 Holden completed the race just 2.3-seconds quicker.
This is how the 13 tracks on the current 2022 schedule rank in terms of average speed, based on the fastest lap set by a Supercar across any session (ie practice, qualifying and racing):
|Rank||Circuit||Length (km)||Avg Speed (km/h)|
|8||Sydney Motorsport Park||3.91||160.42|
For perspective, the old Albert Park layout sat between Pukekohe and The Bend at 167.72km/h.
The Adelaide Street Circuit, which is expected to host the 2022 season finale, slots into the above list in 11th place at 146.29km/h.