Let's get back to some groovy racing this weekend — apart from the MotoGP of course, which never fails to entertain, and Scott Dixon winning again in the IndyCar series. The Supercars are back strutting their stuff this weekend at Ipswich, and this year's championship is shaping up to be a bit of a doozy.
Some might say I'm being a bit parochial having been born and raised in New Zealand, but I reckon a couple of Kiwis might just dominate this weekend purely on form. Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen are sitting first and second in the championship respectively with a third Kiwi, Fabian Coulthard, poised in sixth.
Interestingly enough, in the run up to this weekend's race a number of Australian media outlets that focus on motorsport, and Supercars in particular, aren't mentioning much about the interlopers from across The Ditch starting to exert a healthy control on the series.
Yes, there has been the distraction of Craig Lowndes announcing his retirement from full-time racing, and the possible (early days yet) resurgence of Jamie Whincup in this year's championship. The interesting thing here is, if Whincup does reduce the 270-odd point's gap to van Gisbergen (second in championship), who does Roland Dane, Triple Eight principal, throw the resources behind?
There is no such thing as an egalitarian structure in a motor racing team with two or more teammates; no matter what category or style. First and foremost, you have to beat your teammate, and then you take on the rest of the field. In regards to the folk who have to pilot the machine, motorsport is not a team sport. And no matter how teams pitch the story, it's a serious dog-eat-everything-else scenario.
So, back to the Triple Eight, Red Bull Racing, Holden Racing Team (I still think at some stage in the future, just writing the race teams' name will take up half the story) dilemma might become evident this weekend.
Conspiracy theories are the diamonds of main stream press and online-only missives. The above comments are an observation re Dane's team, but it'll still be very interesting to see how this weekend will pan out.
Now, there will no doubt be some of you asking what's the difference between Dane's outfit and, here we go again, Dick Johnson Racing Team Penske Shell V Power's gig. Well, for a start there are two Kiwis in the team and it's quite obvious that McLaughlin is the favoured son who is quite capable of winning a championship. Teammate Fabian Coulthard is quite capable of picking up race wins, but consistency has been a bit of a problem. Still, Coulthard's experience is an invaluable asset to the DJR Team etc etc, and will continue to be a valuable and respected part of the team as a whole.
Almost forgot to mention, there's another Formula One event this weekend at the German Grand Prix. Breaking news by the way — Lewis Hamilton has re-signed (oh, who really cares). What I do care about though, is that Brendon Hartley will be able to have a decent run at qualifying, not get pinged with some sort of engine/gearbox change drama, which means he's starting from row 314, and doesn't get punted off by some numpty.
The Kiwi surely is due some sort of good fortune and the cards to fall his way. Let's hope it's this weekend.