The seventh round of the Australian Supercars Championship sees the teams and drivers descend on Hidden Valley Raceway, which has played host to the championship since 1998.

The Circuit

Hidden Valley Raceway

Hidden Valley Raceway
Location Darwin, Northern Territory Circuit Length 2.870 km / 1.783 mi
Opened 1986 First ATCC Event 1998
Direction Anticlockwise Race Lap Record 1:06.5590 – Nick Percat  (2018)

Located just 10 kilometres from Darwin CBD, The Hidden Valley Motorsports Complex is home to a dirt track speedway circuit, motocross tracks, go- kart circuit, drag strip, and a racetrack.

The 2.87-kilometre racing circuit is known for its high speeds, fast lap times and a long 1.1-kilometre main straight running parallel to the drag strip on the inside of the track layout.

To be successful at Hidden Valley, the race car needs to negotiate the track’s 14 sweeping bends with enough grip along with plenty of straight-line speed for the main straight. The Turn 1 hairpin bring with it plenty of opportunity for overtaking. Passing opportunities also present themselves at Turns 5 and 6, while the rest of the lap is about following the car ahead closely enough to line up a pass down the straight.

Interestingly more winners at Darwin have started from second on the grid than anywhere else.

The Event

2019 Australian Supercars Championship – BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown
Event Dates 14-16 June 2019 Format SuperSprint
Free Practice Session 1 Fri 11:40-12:10 Free Practice Session 2 Fri 14:15-14:45
Free Practice Session 3 Sat 11:20-11:50 Race 15 Qualifying (Part 1) Sat 13:45-13:55
Race 15 Qualifying (Part 2) Sat 14:00-14:10 Race 15 Qualifying (Part 3) Sat 14:15-14:25
Race 15 (42 laps) Sat 16:45-17:45 Race 16 Qualifying Sun 09:55-10:15
Race 16 Top-10 Shootout Sun 11:35-12:05 Race 16 (70 laps) Sun 14:00-15:30

Session times quoted in Australian Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT + 09:30)

Rewind to 2018

Last year’s Darwin round saw David Reynolds of Erebus Motorsports take victory in Sunday’s 200-kilometre race thanks to qualifying on the second row of the grid. Reynolds propelled himself from fourth position, leapfrogging Rick Kelly and Scott McLaughlin with an aggressive overtake to take the lead of the race.

Reynolds managed to open up a gap on the rest of the field early on in the race. Even a late Safety Car did little to threaten the Erebus Motorsports driver’s lead. He went on to claim the sixth race win of his career and his second of the 2018 season.

Saturday’s race saw Scott Mclaughlin take a hard-fought victory on his way to what would be a Championship-winning year for the young Kiwi. Darwin’s hot and humid conditions placed a strain on tyre life management, and he managed to hold off Shane van Gisbergen on fresher tyres at the end of the race.

Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske - 2018 Darwin Triple Crown

McLaughlin’s victory in last year’s opening race marked the 100th touring car race win for DJR Team Penske.

The Form Guide

All eyes will be on DJR Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin in Darwin, the current points leader in the Supercars Championship standings. With DJR Team Penske winning 10 out of the last 14 races of the 2019 season thus far, McLaughlin will undoubtedly be targeting the ‘Triple Crown’ – a clean sweep of qualifying and victory in both races – which no driver has been able to pull off since its introduction in 2009.

2019 BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown Weather Forecast
Friday Partly Cloudy 21°C – 33°C Saturday 20°C – 32°C Sunday Partly Cloudy 20°C – 32°C

Images via DJR Team Penske

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