1. Jamie Whincup leads the V8 Supercar Championship pointscore for the first time in just over five months after seizing the lead at Queensland Raceway. The Red Bull Racing Australia driver last led the points after the opening race of the season in Adelaide in March though he has not been in front since. He now leads by just 15 points over Mark Winterbottom heading to Sydney Motorsport Park. 2. It’s difficult to produce a form guide for the Sydney Motorsport Park round on a number of levels. This year is the first time the New Generation V8 Supercars have raced at the circuit with the last round held there in 2012 being prior to their arrival into the V8 Supercar Championship. Prior to that there had been no round at the venue since 2008 and there has been no dominant driver or team at SMP in the modern era of V8 Supercars. The 2014 field features eight former race winners at the circuit, though only one – Craig Lowndes – has won multiple races (five). Lowndes has the most wins of active drivers though trails Mark Skaife (10), Marcos Ambrose (seven) and Glenn Seton (six) on the all-time SMP championship race wins list. 3. James Moffat’s pole position at Queensland Raceway was Nissan’s first in the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercar Championship since Mark Skaife at Winton in 1992. Moffat became the 55th different driver in 55 years of championship history to score a pole position. A Nissan has not competed in a championship round at Sydney Motorsport Park since the very first ATCC/V8SC round was held there back in 1992 (when the track was known as Eastern Creek). On that weekend, Skaife finished second overall in his GT-R with fellow works driver Jim Richards fourth and privateer Mark Gibbs seventh. 4. Team BOC’s Jason Bright will make his 210th ATCC/V8SC round start at Sydney Motorsport Park, moving past Hall of Famer Glenn Seton into seventh place on the all-time starts list. Bright is still chasing his first championship race win at SMP with four second-place finishes to his name. The last came with Team Brock at the 2003 Grand Final round. Bright will tie the late Peter Brock on 212 ATCC/V8SC round starts at Bathurst in October. 5. Craig Lowndes scored the most championship points of any driver at the last round at Queensland Raceway and, in doing so, jumped from sixth to third in the pointscore. The last time he topped the weekend points was the 2012 Sydney Olympic Park finale. 6. Ford remains in an ARMOR ALL Pole Position drought in the V8 Supercar Championship – a total of 27 races have now passed since Mark Winterbottom scored the last ‘blue oval’ pole at Phillip Island last November. The last time a Falcon driver claimed a pole position at SMP was 2005 with Craig Lowndes and Triple Eight Race Engineering. 7. Lockwood Racing’s Fabian Coulthard will make his 250th V8 Supercar Championship race start on the Sunday of the Sydney Motorsport Park 400. The milestone comes in the Melbourne-based New Zealander’s 113th round since debuting at the now-defunct Oran Park Raceway in 2004. Coulthard’s best SMP race result is a sixth on Sunday in 2012. 8. The 2014 Sydney Motorsport Park 400 will be the first appearance at the circuit of Volvo and Mercedes-Benz in ATCC/V8SC history via the works Garry Rogers-run S60s and the Erebus-run E63 AMGs. Both brands have appeared previously at the circuit in the two-litre Super Touring series with Jim Richards winning a race in 1998 in a Volvo S40. A Mercedes-Benz 190E (in the hands of Phil Ward and John Goss) competed in the 1990 Eastern Creek 500 touring car race – the circuit’s inaugural race – though it was a non-championship event. 9. Heavy Haulage Racing’s Nick Percat has qualified and finished in the top 10 in five of the last six races at Townsville and Queensland Raceway. The only driver in the field with a better strike rate at the moment is championship leader Jamie Whincup – he’s the only pilot to have qualified and finished inside the top 10 in the last six races straight. Percat has climbed up to 18th in the championship after a slow start to the season and is just 91 points behind 12th-placed Michael Caruso. He has scored the sixth-most points across the Townsville and Queensland Raceway rounds. 10. Six drivers are competing in the V8 Supercars Championship at Sydney Motorsport Park for the first time given the championship did not race there last year and was not on the calendar in previous years. They are Chaz Mostert, Scott Pye, Dale Wood, Scott McLaughlin, Robert Dahlgren and Nick Percat]]>
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