Fast facts for this weekend's Townsville 400

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The distance of this year's races has been reduced to 70 laps each day, making an overall event length of 400.4-kilometres across the two races.

1. Jamie Whincup starts as favourite for the Sucrogen Townsville 400 and not simply because he's the V8 Supercars Championship leader by 159 points over teammate Craig Lowndes.

The Red Bull Racing Australia pilot has finished in the top two in seven of the eight races held in Townsville since the event began in 2009.

Whincup has also led laps in seven of the eight races held in Townsville and has collected five race wins on the Reid Park layout - he's the only multiple race winner in the event's relatively short history.

He's also won races from lowly grid positions (twice from ninth on the grid and once from eighth), proving that he's capable of racing his way through the field over 200-kilometres.

2. Supercheap Auto Racing's Russell Ingall will make his 226th ATCC/V8 Supercars Championship event start in Townsville, officially breaking John Bowe's record of most starts in the history of the championship.

Ingall made 82 starts with Perkins Engineering (1996-2002), 66 with Stone Brothers Racing (2003-2007), 56 with Paul Morris Motorsport (2008-2011) and will make his 22nd with Walkinshaw Racing this weekend.

He sits 18th in the V8 Supercars Championship with a best finish this season of fourth in Race 2 at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.

3. Two other drivers - Garth Tander and Jason Bright - are also making significant moves on the 'all-time' list this weekend.

The Holden Racing Team's Tander will move past the great Dick Johnson to seventh on the all-time list, making his 203rd ATCC/V8SC event start.

Team BOC's Bright will make his 194th ATCC/V8SC event start and tie HRT endurance driver Greg Murphy for ninth on the all-time list.

4. The Sucrogen Townsville 400 will be the first event since the season-opening Clipsal 500 Adelaide where refueling will occur within races.

Townsville is one of just six events this season with fuel stops, joining Adelaide, Sandown, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Sydney.

The tyre allocation for Townsville will be the same as the last event in Darwin with each car permitted 12 hard and eight soft Dunlop tyres.

Both types of tyre must be used in each of the 200-kilometre races on Saturday and Sunday.

The distance of this year's races has been reduced to 70 laps each day, making an overall event length of 400.4-kilometres across the two races.

This changes brings the actual on-track distance covered in line with the race's title as a '400'. In previous years each race was 72 laps.

5. Just four drivers have finished all 19 V8 Supercars Championship races this season - Red Bull Racing Australia's Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, Tekno Autosport's Jonathon Webb and Jack Daniel's Racing's Rick Kelly.

Whincup has more wins (7), podiums (13), pole positions (8), top five finishes (16) and top 10 finishes (16) than any other driver in the championship this season.

Webb, meanwhile, was the top point-scoring driver across the three races at the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin with Tekno teammate Shane van Gisbergen scoring the second highest number of points.

6. Co-drivers for the Endurance Cup will have their first dedicated practice session of the year at the Sucrogen Townsville 400.

'Practice 0' will be a 30-minute session on Friday morning where drivers that will compete in the Sandown, Bathurst and Gold Coast endurance races will be permitted time on-track.

Further endurance driver practice sessions will be held at Queensland Raceway and Winton.

Both of these events will have a pair of 75-minute practice sessions, with the first 30 minutes of the first session reserved for the use of the endurance drivers only rather than the championship regulars.

7. Five drivers are making their Sucrogen Townsville 400 debuts, though four of them have previous experience at the circuit in the Dunlop Series.

Scott McLaughlin (Fujitsu Racing GRM) won last year's DVS round in Townsville, while Tim Blanchard (Wilson Security Racing) won the development category round in 2010.

Chaz Mostert (Wilson Security Racing) finished third in last year's Townsville DVS round (and won the 2010 Formula Ford event) while Scott Pye (ekol Racing) competed there in the DVS last year for Triple Eight Race Engineering.

German Maro Engel (SP Tools Racing) is the only total newcomer to the 2.86-kilometre Reid Park layout.

8. They may have only taken two wins from the 19 races held so far this season, but one more for Ford Performance Racing will tie them with two of the all-time great teams in the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercars Championship.

One more win will take FPR to 38 race wins, tying it with the mighty Holden Dealer Team and Allan Moffat's famous team for eighth on the all-time team win list.

The Holden Racing Team still holds the record of most race wins at 169, though have been losing ground to Triple Eight Race Engineering in recent times - they have clocked up 107.

9. The appearance of the Pedders STP Chrysler Safety Car would be deemed highly likely in Townsville with 75% of races at the Reid Park circuit since 2009 affected by the Safety Car.

Only two of the eight races held have run to the finish under complete green flag conditions without an 'SC' deployment - 2010 Saturday and 2011 Saturday.

10. The Dunlop Series will make its return in Townsville after a nine-week break since its last round at Barbagallo in Perth.

For the first time in 'DVS' history, the soft Dunlop tyre will be used in the category with all drivers having a single set to use, though use of them is limited to Race 3 only.

Ash Walsh (Matt Stone Racing) leads the series by 27 points over Dale Wood (MW Motorsport) with both drivers recently announced as Endurance Cup signings for Dick Johnson Racing.

A total of 31 cars have entered for the round, the biggest field in Dunlop Series history in Townsville.

The previous highest was 28 in 2011 with an average of 23.25 over the four previous years the category has competed in Townsville.

V8 Supercars

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Series V8SUPERCARS
Article type Preview
Tags bright, kelly, lowndes, moffat, tander, townsville 400, v8supercars, whincup