Scott McLaughlin will look to break his Bathurst 1000 duck and extend the lead in the Supercars championship when man meets mountain for another year at Australia’s most famous race track, on the nation’s biggest day on the motorsport calendar. Join The Roar for lap-by-lap live rolling coverage of the race from 11:30am (AEDT).
McLaughlin, despite the consistency he has shown over the last couple of years, has been unable to breakthrough at the Bathurst 1000, still failing to win Australia’s biggest race.
And while he comes in as the heavy favourite, the pole sitter hasn’t won the race since 2013 when Jamie Whincup did it alongside Paul Dumbrell.
Since then, David Reynolds, Whincup, McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen have sat at the front of the grid on race morning, only to come up well short of the mark when push comes to shove late in the afternoon.
While the pace of the Ford Mustang, and the driving combination of McLaughlin and Premat is a good one, there is an undeniable truth that the best on paper driving combinations are sitting in the Triple Eight garage for the Holden Racing Team.
Jamie Whincup, who finally found some pace during the top ten shootout after some strong showings in practice, will come from fourth on the grid alongside former teammate Craig Lowndes, while another former winner, Garth Tander, joins Shane Van Gisbergen.
The experience and driving talent in the garage at the factory Holden team has them right amongst the reckoning, while the man who should have won last year’s race, David Reynolds, will have to come from all the way back in 22nd.
While that might have been a death blow some years ago, there have been a number of winners in recent years coming from outside the top ten, which should fill drivers like David Reynolds, Fabian Coulthard, Rick Kelly and James Courtney with plenty of confidence as head into race day.
Without rain though, this race may go on a more familiar pattern with fuel strategy and luck on the day to play a big part as it always tends to do at the mountain.
While the Holden Racing Team combinations, and McLaughlin, gain all the credit as favourites, the strong pace of Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters, who round out the top three on the grid, shouldn’t be overlooked either, while Anton de Pasquale and Nick Percat will both look for a huge victory after qualifying their cars in the top ten, although they look outside chances.
Good luck picking a winner. Van Gisbergen and Tander looks a strong combination, and while their pace hasn’t quite ben there, I’ll take them ahead of Cameron Waters and Jamie Whincup. McLaughlin won’t break the pole-sitter curse this year.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 Bathurst 1000 from 11:30am (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Start time: 11:30am (AEDT)
Track: Mount Panorama, Bathurst
Lap distance: 6.213km
Race distance: 1000km
TV: Live, Fox Sports 506, Channel Ten
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, TenPlay
1. Scott McLaughlin/Alex Premat (Shell V-Power Racing, #17)
2. Chaz Mostert/James Moffat (Supercheap Auto Racing, #55)
3. Cameron Waters/Michael Caruso (Monster Energy Racing, #6)
4. Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Holden Racing Team, #888)
5. Shane Van Gisbergen/Garth Tander (Red Bull Holden Racing Team, #97)
6. Will Davison/Alex Davison (Milwaukee Racing, #23)
7. Anton de Pasquale/Will Brown (Penrite Racing, #99)
8. Nick Percat/Tim Slade (Brad Jones Racing, #8)
9. Tim Slade/Ash Walsh (Machineryhouse Racing, #14)
10. Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards (Irwin Racing, #18)
11. Rick Kelly/Dale Wood (Castrol Racing, #15)
12. Richie Stanaway/Chris Pither (Boost Mobile Racing, #33)
13. Andre Heimgartner/Bryce Fullwood (Plus Fitness Racing, #7)
14. Scott Pye/Warren Luff (Mobil 1 Racing, #2)
15. Todd Hazlewood/Jack Smith (Bigmate Racing, #35)
16. Fabian Coulthard/Tony D’Alberto (Shell V-Power Racing, #12)
17. Simona de Silvestro/Alex Rullo (Team Harvey Norman, #78)
18. James Courtney/Jack Perkins (Mobil 1 Racing, #22)
19. James Golding/Richard Muscat (Boost Mobile Racing, #34)
20. Lee Holdsworth/Thomas Randle (The Bottle-O Racing Team, #5)
21. Garry Jacobson/Dean Fiore (Kelly Racing, #3)
22. David Reynolds/Luke Youlden (Penrite Racing, #9)
23. Macauley Jones/Dean Canto (Team CoolDrive, #21)
24. Brad Kostecki/Jack Kostecki (Kostecki Brothers Racing, #56)
25. Alexander Rossi/James Hinchcliffe (Walkinshaw Andretti United, #27)
26. Jack Le Brocq/Jonathon Webb (Tekno Racing, #19)
To view the original article and author, click on the link above. Thanks!