STATS WEEK: T8 tops all tyre formats

Speedcafe.com

Thursday 11th August, 2011 - 12:45am

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Jamie Whincup leads Craig Lowndes in Townsville

Jamie Whincup leads Craig Lowndes in Townsville

With the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship currently at its halfway mark, Speedcafe.com puts the first 15 races under the microscope in a five-part STATS WEEK analysis. Yesterday’s edition of STATS WEEK split the points standings into hypothetical Street Circuit and Permanent Circuit Championships. Today we look at the form across the three tyre formats.

Soft Tyre Championship

Just 12 months ago, Jamie Whincup’s form on Dunlop’s softer compound tyre was supposedly a weakness. The eight all-soft tyre races held so far in the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship have firmly put that myth to bed.

While collisions accounted for Whincup’s chances in both races at the ITM400 Hamilton, the TeamVodafone driver has finished no worse than third in any of the other six soft tyre races, giving him a clear lead in the ‘Soft Tyre Championship’.

Shane van Gisbergen has also been a standout on the softer rubber this year, winning in both Hamilton and Hidden Valley to sit second behind Whincup, while Bright – with race wins at Barbagallo and Winton – rounds out the top three, seven spots higher than his actual championship placing.

Somewhat ironically, the second biggest mover when only the soft tyre races are counted is David Reynolds. While the Stratco Kelly Racing driver has qualified an average of 5.5 places better on the hard than the soft, Reynolds’ points total is skewed somewhat by his strategy-assisted fourth place finish on the softs in Abu Dhabi.

Others to gain five places over their regular championship tallies are James Courtney, whose only race win of the season so far came on softs in Abu Dhabi, and IRWIN Racing’s Alex Davison.

Conversely, Tim Slade falls eight places (largely due to crashing out of three of the soft tyre races), while Ford Performance Racing pair Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison drop six and four spots respectively.

See below for the Soft Tyre Championship standings

Rank

Driver

Points

Actual Champ Pos

Gain/Loss

1

Jamie Whincup

846

1

0

2

Shane Van Gisbergen

716

3

+1

3

Jason Bright

696

10

+7

4

Alex Davison

683

9

+5

5

Craig Lowndes

682

2

-3

6

Garth Tander

630

7

+1

7

Rick Kelly

624

4

-3

8

Steven Johnson

597

8

0

9

Lee Holdsworth

563

11

+2

10

Will Davison

547

6

-4

11

Mark Winterbottom

506

5

-6

12

Fabian Coulthard

502

12

0

13

Michael Caruso

435

14

+1

14

James Courtney

411

19

+5

15

Steve Owen

399

17

+2

16

Paul Dumbrell

392

15

-1

17

Jason Bargwanna

392

16

-1

18

Greg Murphy

388

18

0

19

David Reynolds

388

24

+5

20

Jonathon Webb

382

22

+2

21

Tim Slade

367

13

-8

22

James Moffat

366

21

-1

23

Todd Kelly

348

23

0

24

Russell Ingall

293

20

-4

25

Dean Fiore

273

26

+1

26

Karl Reindler

248

27

+1

27

Warren Luff

226

28

+1

Hard Tyre Championship

Jamie Whincup has also been exceptionally strong on the hard tyre, finishing in the top two in three of the four all-hard tyre races held so far.

With just four races run on the ‘control’ tyre, several make major jumps in the points standings, with Tony D’Alberto, Dean Fiore and James Courtney leaping 12, 10 and nine places ahead of their regular championship positions respectively. The other major gainer is Coulthard, up five places having shown particularly strong form in Adelaide.

On the flip side, Steve Owen missed scoring points in two hard tyre races thanks to his Saturday crash in Adelaide and hence drops 10 places, while tough runs at Clipsal also affect Alex Davison and Lee Holdsworth, who both lose nine places.

 See below for the Hard Tyre Championship standings

Rank

Driver

Points

Actual Champ Pos

Gain/Loss

1

Jamie Whincup

447

1

0

2

Craig Lowndes

419

2

0

3

Rick Kelly

413

4

+1

4

Will Davison

377

6

+2

5

Garth Tander

356

7

+2

6

Steven Johnson

349

8

+2

7

Mark Winterbottom

326

5

-2

8

Fabian Coulthard

285

12

+4

9

Shane Van Gisbergen

268

3

-6

10

James Courtney

235

19

+9

11

Jason Bright

224

10

-1

12

Tim Slade

224

13

+1

13

Tony D’Alberto

221

25

+12

14

Jason Bargwanna

216

15

+1

15

Greg Murphy

208

18

+3

16

Dean Fiore

196

26

+10

17

Michael Caruso

192

14

-3

18

Alex Davison

190

9

-9

19

Jonathon Webb

179

22

+3

20

Lee Holdsworth

178

11

-9

21

Todd Kelly

169

23

+2

22

Karl Reindler

166

27

+5

23

Paul Dumbrell

152

16

-7

24

James Moffat

136

21

-3

25

Russell Ingall

135

20

-5

26

David Reynolds

134

24

-2

27

Steve Owen

114

17

-10

28

Warren Luff

93

28

0

Mixed Tyre Championship

Not surprisingly, including only the mixed tyre races provides the most radical shake-up of all, due to the dual effects of there having been only three of the multi-tyre affairs run thus far, and the typically chaotic nature of the racing when both tyres are involved.

Finishing second-third-second in the three mixed tyre events, held consecutively across the Hidden Valley and Townsville meetings prior to the mid-season break, give Lowndes the edge over Whincup in these standings, while Ford drivers Mark Winterbottom, Shane van Gisbergen and Will Davison round out the top five.

Those gaining the most are Russell Ingall (up 14 places to sixth) and Tony D’Alberto (up six places to 19th), while Jason Bright (down 11), Rick Kelly (down nine), James Courtney (down eight) and Garth Tander (down seven) all suffer.

See the Mixed Tyre Championship standings below

Rank Driver Points Actual Champ Pos Gain/Loss
1 Craig Lowndes 396 2 +1
2 Jamie Whincup 390 1 -1
3 Mark Winterbottom 369 5 +2
4 Shane Van Gisbergen 333 3 -1
5 Will Davison 276 6 +1
6 Russell Ingall 273 20 +14
7 Lee Holdsworth 264 11 +4
8 Tim Slade 246 13 +5
9 Alex Davison 237 9 0
10 Steven Johnson 219 8 -2
11 Paul Dumbrell 219 16 +5
12 Steve Owen 216 17 +5
13 Rick Kelly 207 4 -9
14 Garth Tander 204 7 -7
15 Fabian Coulthard 201 12 -3
16 Jason Bargwanna 186 15 -1
17 Michael Caruso 183 14 -3
18 James Moffat 180 21 +3
19 Tony D’Alberto 135 25 +6
20 Greg Murphy 132 18 -2
21 Jason Bright 123 10 -11
22 Todd Kelly 117 23 +1
23 David Reynolds 111 24 +1
24 Karl Reindler 102 27 +3
25 Jonathon Webb 99 22 -3
26 Dean Fiore 93 26 0
27 James Courtney 81 19 -8
28 Warren Luff 78 28 0

STATS WEEK concludes tomorrow with a detailed look at qualifying.

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