Fords look to continue recent Supercars dominance in Sydney
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The blue oval of Ford has dominated the Supercars championship over recent rounds - winning 11 of the past 13 races and go into this weekend's Sydney SuperSprint with ominous history on their side.
Four of the top six drivers in the championship are Ford drivers and the runaway series leader Scott McLaughlin seems untouchable in his Shell V-Power Falcon.
New Zealander McLaughlin and last start winner Chaz Mostert (Prodrive Racing Australia) carry impressive records into this weekend's sprint round at Sydney Motorsport Park that will alarm their rivals. The pair has won every pole at Sydney Motorsport Park between them for the past seven races there - dating back to 2013. McLaughlin has won 11 pole positions this year and seems on another level in qualifying at present.
More concerning for the Holden contingent is how much they have been chasing their rivals in race pace this season. Jamie Whincup won a race in Townsville last month and reigning series champ and Red Bull Holden Racing teammate Shane van Gisbergen got a win at Winton back in June but aside from that you need to go all the way back to the second round of the championship to find more Holden success.
Some have assumed the Fords have adjusted better to the 2017 Dunlop tyre, that has taken some getting used to but Fabian Coulthard, who lies third in the championship sees it differently.
"I don't think it is the tyre that has made the difference," he told The Herald. "We have got some smart people at Shell V-Power Racing and we have a leader that is prepared to make some decisions.
"The driving group of me and Scotty [McLaughlin] are getting along well and working well together but the engineering group is working just as well.
"I think it is a lot of little things that have made the difference this year for us."
Meanwhile the Prodrive Racing Ford outfit is encouraged with Mostert's win at Ipswich.
"I am very excited to go back to SMP. I didn't realise the stats around our previous success but the car has been pretty lit there in the past," Mostert said. "I am excited to be coming off the win at Queensland Raceway.
"If we can come away with a podium and some champagne it will be another cracking weekend."
Man to beat: It is the same every round at the moment - Scott McLaughlin
Dark horse: Chaz Mostert has recent form and historic form at this venue
Pressure on: The championship chasers - Jamie Whincup, Fabian Coulthard and Shane van Gisbergen can't lose more ground going into the endurance rounds
Keep an eye on: Kiwi Richie Stanaway will push his case for a main game drive next year by racing in the development series