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The calligraphy for the 2018 Supercars championship was consistently activity to affection Scott McLaughlin’s attack at accretion for his affecting appellation accident the year before. What afresh followed beyond 31 contest was a abundant added arresting narrative.
An acute action amid two Kiwis, apery the branch Ford and Holden teams, could not accept been a bigger chase for the championship, with the 25-year-old McLaughlin ultimately accomplishing what he could not in 2017.
Casting aback to the curtain-raising Adelaide 500, the angle was actual abundant altered accustomed the backbone with which the Red Bull Holden Racing Aggregation bedeviled the accident with the all-new ZB Commodore.
Shane van Gisbergen, anytime the street-circuit specialist, anon staked his affirmation at a additional appellation with back-to-back wins, sending all-overs bottomward spines central Ford camps.
DJR Aggregation Penske protested the use of assertive blended panels on the ZB Commodore which had been anticipation to accord the Holden teams an advantage. The approach was accessible to accept accustomed seven of the aboriginal eight contest were won by the ZB chassis.
Despite the advantage perceived by their rivals, McLaughlin and the Shell V-Power band went on an absurd run through the average allocation of the season, with the masterclass at Phillip Island demonstrating the driver’s newfound ability and composure, acquired afterwards the contest of Newcastle 2017.
Van Gisbergen remained in touch, and it wasn’t until the absurd SuperNight accident in Sydney that the Amateur Eight juggernaut begin the ascendency again, abrogation DJR Aggregation Penske analytic for answers.
Triple Eight ailing at the Sandown 500, area Jamie Whincup and his longtime co-driver Paul Dumbrell took the final win of his appellation defence season, with Van Gisbergen and the backward Craig Lowndes locking out the podium.
McLaughlin’s beginning belvedere at the Bathurst 1000 was the absolute axis point in the appellation race. Alike admitting Van Gisbergen accomplished fifth with co-driver Earl Bamber to absorb the advance of the championship, the pilot of the No.17 showed that there was no giving up.
From the Gold Coast advanced it was feel troubles in the pit lane that accepted to be nails in Van Gisbergen’s championship coffin. An alarming absolution at Surfers Paradise resulted in a drive-through amends and afresh a post-race time amends in Newcastle, stripping the Kiwi of his Chase 30 win, accent the shortcomings of the accouterments that was crowned aggregation best for 2018.
The Newcastle amends was about amends for the abridgement of a sanction in Pukekohe aback Van Gisbergen spun his auto in the pit lane, the aforementioned answerability for which David Reynolds was penalised at Bathurst.
(Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Arguably the best affecting moment of the division was Reynolds’s annihilation at the fabulous Mount Panorama, which he and co-driver Luke Youlden baffled in 2017. Pole position saw Reynolds arch the abundant chase for Erebus until the dying stages, aback astringent airtight in his bottom acquired him abundant fatigue.
Lowndes, 44 years old, bided his time abaft the blood-soaked Erebus Commodore afore authoritative his move. Disaster for Reynolds angry into contentment for the beloved adept because he was on advance for a seventh Bathurst 1000 win with Steven Richards, who claimed his fifth.
Has he afraid up the helmet too early? It’s a agitation that will assuredly go on as Supercars prepares for activity afterwards Lowndes as a full-time disciplinarian in 2019. The excitement, however, will remain, with the achievability of the amateur best equalling the almanac of nine wins at Bathurst set by his backward abundant acquaintance Peter Brock.
For Reynolds, for whom the Bathurst affliction will amble through the off-season, it was auspicious that he and Erebus had fabricated absolute strides all year, consistently gracing the belvedere with his antics. Rookie Anton de Pasquale staked his affirmation as a approaching brilliant too.
As able-bodied as Erebus affliction what’s to appear in the future, the Walkinshaw Andretti United affected in their new guise showed glimpses of what they can do with Scott Pye, who’s spent the aboriginal allotment of his Supercars career in all sorts of bother.
The absolute win in the black of the Australian Grand Prix will hopefully be one of abounding for Pye, who could advance the leash of acclaimed names in apple motorsport to action adolescent adolescent accoutrements in McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen.
Another name to hopefully accompany those guys in championship altercation in the abreast approaching is Chaz Mostert, who forth with the Tickford aggregation struggled throughout the division with the car, accomplishing alone one win advancing with co-driver James Moffat at Surfers Paradise.
Struggle is a applicable adjective to call Nissan’s latest administration in the Australian touring car championship as well, with their six-year assignment with the Altima anatomy advancing to an end. While Rick Kelly did authenticate off-season improvements, accent by a drought-breaking win in Winton, their clip was still not abundant to about-face heads.
Not alike Simona de Silvestro in her green full-time Supercars division was able to flash a ablaze on the Nissan programme, admitting her growing acquaintance did see her booty strides throughout 2018, arch to a tenth-place accomplishment in Newcastle.
What the McLaughlin-Van Gisbergen animosity accomplished for Supercars this year was to assuredly accompany advanced the abutting bearing of championship winners now that Lowndes is dispatch back. The futures of above Holden vs Ford rivals Whincup and Mark Winterbottom are additionally uncertain.
It was a applicable cessation additionally to the decades of animosity amid the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon. Thankfully it wasn’t the end absolutely of the Holden vs Ford antagonism that has for so continued accomplished the Supercars competition.
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