It’s been a busy period for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship since the last round at Albert Park, with centre of gravity discussions the key talking point in the paddock.
As the teams prepare to head to Tasmania for the Championship’s third event for 2019, CAMS has a look at some of the key facts to know for the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint.
The Mustangs’ dominance has been the focus in the first two rounds.
All three manufacturers in the Championship have had their say around the contentious ‘centre of gravity’ for each vehicle – with opposition teams contending the Mustang had a significant advantage.
Following the second round as part of the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix, tests were carried out on all three makes of Supercars, with Holden and Ford required to make changes to the way ballast is positioned around the chassis to meet the minimum weight requirements. Ford has been forced in to the biggest change, while Holden has also had to make some tweaks to the location of the ballast. Nissan cars remain unchanged.
Click here for more information on the change.
Another key addition to this weekend’s action is the introduction of a new parc ferme regulations trial where only basic servicing will be allowed in between qualifying and the corresponding race.
The change is expected to give teams a potential headache – with cars not being able to run their usual qualifying trim unless they want to take that set up into the race. Rule makers are hopeful the tweaks will see the starting positions mixed up as teams choose differing strategies.
Click here for more information on the trial.
It will be the usual suspects competing in the Championship’s seventh and eighth race of the season as the field looks to play catch up with current Championship leader Scott McLaughlin.
With all 24 drivers expected to compete in Tasmania, there will be the addition of new driver in 19-year-old Jack Smith confirmed to compete on the apple isle.
The CAMS PAYCE Australian Formula 4 Championship graduate will form part of the field as a Wildcard entry, a rule that was introduced in 2017 to allow drivers from Super2 and Super3 to come up and test their skills in the main game.
Following a successful test with Brad Jones Racing last month, the 2017 Kumho Super3 Series champion is poised to make his debut in the big game for this once-off event.
“I’m excited about racing against the main game guys,” Smith said.
“I’ve been watching and analysing the way they do things for a long time now and know there is a big challenge ahead of me.”
The Season So Far
It’s been the year of the Ford so far, with reigning champion Scott McLaughlin dominating the opening two rounds with brilliant form to win five of the six races.
A complete clean sweep of Adelaide was followed with two victories at Albert Park during the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019. The third race of the Victorian weekend saw a bizarre moment occur when McLaughlin collided with Cam Waters on the formation lap – forcing the Kiwi out of the race and his perfect start ruined.
Fellow Mustang driver Chaz Mostert won the third race, but McLaughlin was back out for the fourth race and back on the top step of the podium with the season back on track.
1 Scott McLaughlin 500 points
2 Jamie Whincup 469
3 Chaz Mostert 437
4 Will Davison 413
5 Tim Slade 390
6 Fabian Coulthard 370
7 David Reynolds 368
8 Nick Percat 355
9 Cameron Waters 346
10 Mark Winterbottom 334
This time last year:
Pole: Shane van Gisbergen
Winner: Jamie Whincup
Runner Up: Craig Lowndes
Third: James Courtney
Pole: Craig Lowndes
Winner: Craig Lowndes
Runner Up: Scott McLaughlin
Third: Jamie Whincup
#2 Holden ZB - Scott Pye
#3 Nissan Altima - Garry Jacobson
#4 Holden ZB – Jack Smith
#5 Ford Mustang - Lee Holdsworth
#6 Ford Mustang - Cameron Waters
#7 Nissan Altima - Andre Heimgartner
#8 Holden ZB - Nick Percat
#9 Holden ZB - David Reynolds
#12 Ford Mustang - Fabian Coulthard
#14 Holden ZB - Tim Slade
#15 Nissan Altima - Rick Kelly
#17 Ford Mustang - Scott McLaughlin
#18 Holden ZB - Mark Winterbottom
#19 Holden ZB - Jack Le Brocq
#21 Holden ZB - Macauley Jones
#22 Holden ZB - James Courtney
#23 Ford GT - Will Davison
#33 Holden ZB - Richie Stanaway
#34 Holden ZB - James Golding
#35 Holden ZB - Todd Hazelwood
#55 Ford Mustang - Chaz Mostert
#78 Nissan Altima - Simona De Silvestro
#88 Holden ZB - Jamie Whincup
#97 Holden ZB - Shane van Gisbergen
#99 Holden ZB - Anton De Pasquale
Friday 5 April
11:50 - 12:20 Practice 1
14:20 - 14:50 Practice 2
Saturday 6 April
11:10 – 11.40
13:50 – 14:30 - ARMOR ALL Qualifying - Race 7
16:40 – 17:35 – Race 7
Sunday 7 April
09.25 – 09:55: Practice 4
11.30 – 11.55: ARMOR ALL Qualifying - Race 8
14:05 – 15:30 – Race 8
Click here for a full schedule.
The Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint takes place at Symmons Plains Raceway on 5-7 April.