How Bathurst could alter drivers’ and teams’ championship standings

There will be changes to the pit lane order for 2022. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

Shane van Gisbergen and Red Bull Ampol Racing might have sealed both of Supercars’ titles last time out at Sydney Motorsport Park, but there’s still plenty to play for in the championship standings.

Each year, the Bathurst 1000 is the sole race that brings with it a full 300 points in one hit for any driver who can find their way to the top step of the podium. For a team, 576 points is on offer for a one-two.

Contrast that with the very real potential of a DNF and zero points from the brutal 161-lap enduro, and there can be dramatic implications for points tallies.

Seven days out from the season-ending race, every position from second down in the drivers’ championship is still up for grabs.

Three drivers remain in contention for runner-up status: Jamie Whincup, Will Davison, and Chaz Mostert.

Whincup and Davison have both been the bridesmaid before, but Mostert has never finished a season better than fifth. But if things go wrong at The Mountain, either he or Davison could drop as low as sixth.

The latter equation is not quite as simple as being possible to drop below every driver currently less than 300 points behind.

For example, Erebus Motorsport young gun Will Brown is less than 300 points clear of 13th-placed James Courtney – but it’s not possible for Courtney and Tim Slade (12th) to still collect enough points to both leapfrog Brown.

Brown’s team-mate Brodie Kostecki faces stiff competition to hang onto a top 10 ranking, with just 164 points covering his spot in 10th all the way back to Jack Le Brocq in 16th. To put that into perspective, ninth place in the Great Race is worth 168 points.

Outside of Mostert, and rookies Brown and Kostecki, there are career-best placings on the line for the likes of Anton De Pasquale, Nick Percat, Todd Hazelwood, Andre Heimgartner, Le Brocq and Bryce Fullwood.

There’s even more at stake when it comes to the teams’ championship.

That table at the end of any given year crucially determines the pit lane order for the following season, with strategic advantage gained by securing a bay closest to pit exit.

Triple Eight Race Engineering and Dick Johnson Racing are already locked into the top two spots, and they’ll switch places in the 2022 pit lane.

Beyond that, Tickford Racing faces immense pressure to hang onto third.

The Tim Edwards-led squad has finished third in the teams’ championship in each of the past four seasons, but has Walkinshaw Andretti United, Erebus Motorsport, Brad Jones Racing and Team 18 all within striking distance.

Closest to pit entry, there’s set to be a position swap, with Matt Stone Racing holding a 396-point advantage over Team Sydney.

No bonus points will be awarded for fastest lap at Bathurst; that initiative being exclusive to sprint events.

Supercars Championship track action at Mount Panorama kicks off on Thursday with Practice 1 at 10:00 local time/AEDT.

Drivers’ championship: Best- and worst-case scenarios

Current rank Driver Current points If win Bathurst Best possible rank Worst possible rank
1 Shane van Gisbergen 2828 3128 1st 1st
2 Jamie Whincup 2479 2779 2nd 4th
3 Will Davison 2233 2533 2nd 6th
4 Chaz Mostert 2194 2494 2nd 6th
5 Cameron Waters 2093 2393 3rd 7th
6 Anton De Pasquale 2075 2375 3rd 7th
7 Nick Percat 1804 2104 5th 10th
8 Will Brown 1748 2048 7th 12th
9 Mark Winterbottom 1611 1911 7th 16th
10 Brodie Kostecki 1530 1830 7th 17th
11 Scott Pye 1489 1789 8th 17th
12 Tim Slade 1459 1759 8th 17th
13 James Courtney 1455 1755 8th 17th
14 Todd Hazelwood 1419 1719 9th 18th
15 Andre Heimgartner 1394 1694 9th 18th
16 Jack Le Brocq 1366 1666 9th 19th
17 Bryce Fullwood 1269 1569 10th 20th
18 David Reynolds 1126 1426 14th 23rd
19 Zane Goddard 1088 1388 16th 24th
20 Jake Kostecki 1025 1325 17th 24th
21 Jack Smith 917 1217 18th 24th
22 Garry Jacobson 877 1177 18th 24th
23 Macauley Jones 850 1150 18th 24th
24 Fabian Coulthard 840 1140 18th 24th

Teams’ championship: Best- and worst-case scenarios

Current rank Team Current points If 1-2 at Bathurst Best possible rank Worst possible rank
1 Triple Eight Race Engineering 5307 5883 1st 1st
2 Dick Johnson Racing 4308 4884 2nd 2nd
3 Tickford Racing (#6 & #44) 3548 4124 3rd 7th
4 Walkinshaw Andretti United 3463 4039 3rd 7th
5 Erebus Motorsport 3278 3854 3rd 7th
6 Brad Jones Racing (#8 & #14) 3137 3713 3rd 8th
7 Team 18 3075 3651 3rd 8th
8 Kelly Grove Racing 2674 3250 6th 9th
9 Matt Stone Racing 2113 2689 8th 11th
10 Brad Jones Racing (#4 & #96) 1767 2343 9th 11th
11 Team Sydney 1717 2293 9th 12th
12 Blanchard Racing Team* 1459 1759 11th 13th
13 Tickford Racing (#5)* 1366 1666 12th 13th

*Single-car team

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