The Clipsal 500 Adelaide will get underway this Thursday, our editorial team at apexnews.co.nz have made their predictions on who they think will win the Clipsal 500 Adelaide crown (by winning on Sunday) this year.
For this one I’m going for an outsider contender, South Australian racer Scott Pye. Yes I know Pye is an outside chance but he will be in the all-new look Walkinshaw team without Holden backing and those Walkinshaw are traditionally strong on street circuits which was proven at Sydney 500 where Tander scored two podiums and a pole position. But Pye scored the first pole position of the year for DJR Team Penske last year and with the home locals supporting him could really boost his performance to score his maiden victory this time round.
While this may sound like a “Ludo Lacroix is god and will fix all” worship/prediction, It’s not. However, I am putting my money on Scott McLaughlin to take the 2017 Clipsal 500. Last time the kiwi heading into the unknown (GRM Volvo 2014) he absolutely killed it, not only on track but off track as well. While I don’t think the cars will have Triple Eight pace, they will be there or thereabouts and with some smart strategy and a little luck we should see Scott on the top of the podium come Sunday.
How can you not look past 2010 series champion, James Courtney. Walkinshaw Commodores have been arguably the best on street tracks in recent history. Not to mention Courtney has always gone well at Clipsal as proven last year where he secured back to back podiums in the opening two races before crashing out while leading in the final race. Come March 5, 2017, we will see a new Clipsal champion, and his name is James Courtney.
Garth Tander has always performed well at Clipsal in the Walkinshaw vehicles alongside James Courtney. Tander has also won the event twice in 2000, 2010, and came runner-up last year. He had a brilliant finish in 2016 to get a new contract at his debut team, GRM. However, with a new team and a brand new car in 2017, anything can happen.
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Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images AsiaPac.