With the new season set to get under this weekend at the Adelaide 500, it’s time to give you the hot tips for the season opening round for the Supercars Championship.
If you don’t put Whincup as one of the favourites to take out the Adelaide 500 crown, you’d be silly. He has had the most wins at the event, 10 race wins out of the total 40 races at the Parkland circuit. Qualifying has been important in this championship recent, and his 7 Armor-All pole positions in Adelaide is nothing to hide. The only thing could hold him back is the new ZB package, otherwise expect for him to be out in front.
Last year’s runner up will be coming into Adelaide with all guns firing. He would already have won an Adelaide 500 crown last year if he did make a late-race mistake at turn 9 to hand the win to Van Gisbergen. With a year under his belt at the DJR Team Penske team, expect the same level of performance or better this weekend.
Shane Van Gisbergen
Van Gisbergen is a two-time Adelaide 500 champion, and after his complete domination last year in Adelaide, he should be one of the key favourites for the victories.
Coulthard is someone who flies under the radar and sneeks onto podiums or stealing victories. He did that a few times last year, and don’t be surprised if he grab a podium or two this weekend – just like he did last year, 2nd and 4th.
Courtney doesn’t normally appear on this list, but as a two-time Adelaide 500 champion, he’s got to be on here. The Holden driver is a well-known street fighter and the Walkinshaw Holdens are known to be strong on street circuits. Knowing the Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Holdens were strong a selected tracks last year but I think he will be top five material in Adelaide.
The one’s to watch:
Tim Slade and Nick Percat at BJR
These two local boys at the Albury Holden team would make this list following the impressive speed that showed at the pre-season test. The last time BJR outpaced the field in a pre-season test, they had their best year to date, and a one of the fastest cars for the first few rounds. I expect them to be in the top 10 all weekend and don’t forget Percat is already an Adelaide 500 champion.
Michael Caruso and Rick Kelly at Nissan
Nissan isn’t someone you’d expect to make this list but their performance at Newcastle was strong. Their pace on street circuits last year were good and they usually start strong but their key to success will come down to qualifying. It would be a hit or miss for the Altimas.
Tickford Racing quads
The four Tickford Racing Ford have a super strong driver behind the wheel, but the team’s performance in Adelaide hasn’t always been where it should be for a team like Tickford Racing. Mostert and Winterbottom has been up and down at Adelaide but Waters first attempt at the Adelaide 500 in 2016 was something to an eye on. One of these cars could end up winning the thing.
Photos: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images AsiaPac