Of the five New Zealanders racing at the opening round of the 2018 Supercars' championship on the streets of Adelaide, three were in with a chance of getting at least one win.
As the dust settled late Sunday afternoon it was groundhog day. Shane van Gisbergen repeated his 2017 feat by clean sweeping both races to leave Adelaide with a 300-point haul. He leads the title race by 42 points from a hard-charging David Reynolds and a resurgent James Courtney a further 18 points back.
"It was a good weekend for us and although the car wasn't the best today [Sunday], we managed it," said van Gisbergen. "It was a shame Jamie's [Whincup] car had a problem as his was by far the fastest.
"It's a shame that Scotty [McLaughlin] and others had dramas and it's not really the way I want get a point's lead, but I'll take it."
The rest of the Kiwis in the field will probably scratch this weekend from memory and regroup for the next round in Melbourne at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
McLaughlin showed he had the pace, but the team couldn't pull a whole race together including getting a puncture in Sunday's race.
"Overall we made a lot of gains and in parts we're pretty stoked. But it was a weekend of 'what could have beens', however, we do have a straight car. Now we just have to push on and look forward to Melbourne where we were quick last year," said McLaughlin.
Teammate Fabian Coulthard definitely had a weekend to forget with a 21st and 16th placed finish to languish 20th on the point's table. Needless to say he wasn't in a talkative mood.
Richie Stanaway had good pedigree as a co-driver and was well aware that stepping up into a full-time gig in the main game would be hard. Just how hard hit home this weekend. A DNF in Saturday's race was compounded with a drive through penalty on Sunday.
"The drive through sort of ruined our race really. We didn't have great pace anyway and I'm pretty disappointed in the weekend [DNF on Saturday]. It's been tough and I'll use the other rookies as a reference and just try and get better as the year goes on.
"This was probably going to be one of the hardest ones of the year and hopefully we get better from here," said Stanaway.
Andre Heimgartner's return to the main game was thwarted on Saturday with his legs going dead due to an ill fitting seat, and on Sunday the car dropped a cylinder ending his race in the latter stages.
"The legs were good this time and I didn't have any issues with them, which was handy. I wasn't looking too bad early on [qualified 10th], but had a few incidents with a few people that put us back a few places.
"Overall not a bad weekend and we showed some good pace and I look forward to heading to Melbourne," said Heimgartner.
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