Motorsport: Two teams clearly well ahead of the pack

Race winner Shane Van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden). Photo / Photosport
Race winner Shane Van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden). Photo / Photosport

With defending champion Shane van Gisbergen dominating the opening round of the Supercars championship and DJR Team Penske cleaning up in Tasmania in the last round, you could easily think this is the most open championship in recent times.

But I don't know that it is. You tend to think that just because it is happening in front of you but if you recall last year - out of the first 11 races, we had nine different race winners.

Last year was incredibly competitive because we had so many different winners and it was shaping up as a stellar season. Then we got 11, 12 and 13 races in and the Red Bull juggernaut began to find its rhythm and then started to run away with it.

This year I don't think we are going to have that kind of run-away dominance.The battle between Triple Eight and DJR Team Penske is going to be hard-fought and so this year's championship might be closer in that sense.

The thing with Red Bull is that once they see they need to tip in more time or effort or find something they tend to always do that. At the moment, the Penske guys are putting that pressure on them.

It looks like a different type of season this year where we have these two teams that clearly seem to have an edge.

Then we have the rest of them where we will see the odd person come through and have a little bit of success but I think the two big operations are the ones to watch. I think the championship will go to one of those four cars and three of those drivers are Kiwis.

Phillip Island should be a fascinating test this weekend. It is very difficult to tell who the fast and flowing circuit favours most.

Scott McLaughlin goes very well there but I think Volvo had a part to play in that the last couple of years. The speed of that car and the aerodynamics of it were very good and suited the high speed stuff.

I think the Falcon might suit that this weekend, which bodes well for McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard.

They might find that car works really well at the high speed corners but you obviously have van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup, who go pretty well at Phillip Island as well and then there is a bunch of other guys.

It should make for enthralling watching and I am pretty excited to see who comes out on top this weekend.

There is a new format this year with two 250km races which will bring a lot of strategy into it and I think that adds to the racing.

I think the new tyre is working very well - it has very good characteristics - and that means the cars can be pushed harder for longer and that will also lead to better racing.

- NZ Herald

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