Fast Facts for this weekend's Tasmania SuperSprint

This weekend Symmons Plains will host more one round of the V8 Supercars Championship.

Fast Facts for this weekend's Tasmania SuperSprint
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
Garth Tander, Holden Racing Team
Start: Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford leads as Marcos Ambrose crashes
Marcos Ambrose, Team Penske Ford in trouble
John Bowe in his last V8 Supercar Race
Marcos Ambrose, Team Penske Ford
Race winner Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Holden
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Todd Kelly, Nissan Motorsport
Todd Kelly, Nissan Motorsport
Scott Pye and Ash Walsh
Ash Walsh, Erebus Motorsport Mercedes

1. James Courtney is the V8 Supercars Championship points leader for the first time since he was crowned champion at Sydney Olympic Park in 2010.

His second consecutive Clipsal 500 victory also means a Holden Racing Team driver leads after the opening round of the season for the first time since Todd Kelly in 2007.

Courtney has never won a race at Symmons Plains, recording his best result of second last year.

2. Behind Sandown, Symmons Plains has hosted more Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championship rounds than any other circuit.

The first was held in 1969 and was won by Norm Beechey’s Holden Monaro GTS 327 - this year’s round is the 43rd held at the 2.4-kilometre circuit, which has hosted the championship from 1969-1999 and from 2004 onwards.

3. The Holden Racing Team and Triple Eight Race Engineering share the record for most race wins by a team in ATCC/V8SC history at Symmons Plains – 12 each.

HRT has won just once – Garth Tander on Saturday in 2009 - in the time Triple Eight has amassed its 12 wins. The latter has won 12 of the last 19 V8 Supercar races held at Symmons Plains.

4. The Saturday sprint races at this year’s round at Symmons Plains will be the shortest ATCC/V8SC races seen at the Tasmanian venue since 1999.

Each race will be 25 laps in length – 16 years ago the three sprint races were affected by Safety Car laps and were 24, 25 and 23 laps respectively.

Last year’s round at Symmons Plains saw a pair of 42 lap races on Saturday and an 84-lapper on Sunday.

5. Close qualifying at Symmons Plains is always expected given the short length of the circuit and the stats show it – 12 of the last 14 pole positions there have been decided by less than one tenth of a second.

Jamie Whincup’s 0.3155s pole-winning margin for last year’s second Saturday race was the biggest pole-winning margin in the ATCC/V8SC at Symmons Plains since Craig Lowndes took pole over Peter Brock by 0.4427s in 1996.

6. Garth Tander will make his 226th ATCC/V8SC round start at Symmons Plains, drawing level with John Bowe for third on the all-time starts list.

The Holden Racing Team driver now sits behind only Russell Ingall (247 round starts) and Craig Lowndes (making his 238th round start at Symmons Plains) in the record books.

7. The Ford Falcon FG has competed in its final V8 Supercars Championship round given Super Black Racing will upgrade to the new FG X model for Symmons Plains.

The FG has served Ford teams for just over six years in the V8SC, appearing in 84 V8SC rounds and racking up 55 race wins – more wins than any other model Falcon in ATCC/V8SC history.

8. Scott Pye will make his return to the V8 Supercars Championship at Symmons Plains, replacing Marcos Ambrose in the #17 DJR Team Penske Falcon FG X.

Pye has not raced since last December’s Sydney 500 but has competed at Symmons Plains the past two years.

He finished seventh in the second Saturday race last year for DJR and escaped a nasty crash in 2013 after brake problems in his Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Commodore.

Pye has amassed 29 rounds and 72 races of V8SC experience, recording his best finish of fourth last year at Queensland Raceway.

9. Starting on the front row at the ‘bullring’ Symmons Plains circuit is paramount to success – since 2005 a total of 21 of the last 26 race winners have started in either pole position or on the outside of the front row of the grid.

The lowest grid position of a race winner in that time is 10th – Todd Kelly started there in a weather-affected Race 1 in 2008. He is the only race winner to start beyond the top five in Tasmania in the last decade.

10. Ash Walsh (Erebus Motorsport V8) and Andre Heimgartner (Super Black Racing) are making their first V8 Supercars Championship starts at Symmons Plains.

Walsh has been there before, finishing fourth in the Australian Formula Ford Championship rounds held there in 2007 and 2010, while Heimgartner has never competed there before in any category.

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