The 2020 Supercars champion will be...

Who's going to win the 2020 Supercars title? Who has the most to lose? Who will be the surprise of the season? Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes and Mark Larkham gave us their tips.

The 2020 Supercars champion will be...

The promise of closer-than-ever parity. A reigning champion that wants to prove the detractors wrong after a controversial 2019 season. A factory team that wants to send Holden off with one last title. Some off-season movers wanting to make a splash.

The 2020 Supercars season is shaping up as an absolute belter.

To celebrate the new year, we got some hot tips from a panel of legends featuring Mark Larkham, Mark Skaife and Craig Lowndes.

Read Also:

Who has the most at stake in 2020?

MARK SKAIFE:

I think the one that still has a high level of pressure and expectation is Walkinshaw.

For many years they’ve underperformed and when James Courtney left last year, I made the comment that the thing that left the garage wasn’t the problem with the cars. I still rate James as one of the best in the field.

There’s a huge amount of expectation as to what Chaz Mostert and Adam De Borre bring. I see it with a fresh set of eyes walking into that garage, not going with traditional engineering outcomes, might actually find a window that’s been missing for a long time.

It used to be the factory Holden team, it has continued to decline to a point where some weekends you just say ‘how can those cars be so far away?’. Especially at longer radius corners, places like Phillip Island, they’ve just been shocking.

Chaz has the innate ability, he’s very McLaughlin, van Gisbergen, Whincup-like in terms of picking the car up and carrying it and I’m hoping some engineering discipline might bring that to the top.

MARK LARKHAM:

Fabian Coulthard, clearly. We’ve seen him a couple of years now come out strong, punching the first few races and then his campaign tapers off. The guy is clearly capable but he’s got to be able to stitch the whole campaign together.

Dave Reynolds as well, against Anton De Pasquale. He’s got to be able to show he can fend off that rookie coming at him.

And Cam Waters. He’s now leading that [Tickford] team. I’m not expecting the other guys in that team, as good as they are, to be ahead of Waters too many times. If he’s the team leader, he’s the one people go to for the answers, the direction, the discipline, the leadership.

CRAIG LOWNDES:

Walkinshaws Andretti United. If they don’t get out of that mid-pack, they’re in trouble, I think they’ve got a lot to lose.

They’ve eliminated the shock absorbers and the aero parity issue, and having Chaz come in, knowing his ability is not questionable. If they are not producing results, it’s another factor. So I think they’ve got a very big expectation to perform.

And Tickford. They’ve shown goodness, but they haven’t shown greatness – and as a four-car team they’ve got the ability to be able to do that. Again, for those elements of the technical changes this year, if they don’t perform better than last year, they’re under the spotlight as well.

Chaz Mostert, Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden

Chaz Mostert, Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden

Photo by: Bob Gloyn Photography

Who will be the surprise of the season?

MARK SKAIFE:

A couple of guys I'm really looking forward to watching, because I really rate them, are Scott Pye and Jack Le Brocq.

Scott will surprise some people and he'll liven Team 18 up a bit, because it's a fresh face and a new engineering understanding.

And Jack, I've always thought he drove well. But you've got the find the right home. Jamie Whincup is the best example of that; he parked at all those places until he got to Triple Eight.

MARK LARKHAM:

Anton De Pasquale, definitely. I think the dynamic between him and Dave will be a really interesting thing to watch.

Dave hasn’t really responded well to having a teammate around him that’s really putting him under pressure, so Dave’s got to pick that back up again.

Can he? Yes, I think he will – but Anton has done his learning now, we’ve given him a car that’s less technical, I think he’s going to be great to watch.

CRAIG LOWNDES:

Jack Le Brocq will benefit coming from Tekno, which was under-resourced, to a Tickford operation where things will be better funded. Watching him at the test he was more in his element.

Jack Le Brocq, Tickford Racing Ford Mustang

Jack Le Brocq, Tickford Racing Ford Mustang

Photo by: Tickford

Who will win the 2020 Supercars title?

MARK SKAIFE:

I reckon van Gisbergen. [Because of] some of the parameters – cars moving around a bit more, control shock, stability of the team, I’m sure the parity will be better from the start of the season...

On a day where the car is not quite good enough I think he’s still as good, if not the best of the group, in terms of grabbing it and getting a result.

If he can get the consistency that bit better, I think he’s probably the hardest to beat.

MARK LARKHAM:

I’m going to put Scott McLaughlin's nose just in front, and the reason I’m going to do that is for the reasons I said earlier.

The less aero, the fact the cars will move around a bit more, will play to his driving style and I reckon Ludo [Lacroix] will give him a car that fits him like a glove, even with the changes.

I think the car will play to Scott – the caveat being if he can overcome the huge distraction of driving an IndyCar in the middle of the year.

That’s huge, but let’s face it, the kid is disciplined.

CRAIG LOWNDES:

I still reckon that Shane van Gisbergen, just from his ability to adapt.

The mega teams don’t have their advantage with the shock absorbers and all the technology [anymore], it’s literally going to come down to driving what you’ve got at the time.

I think Shane when he is in the right mind-frame can do that and adapt to whatever he’s got. I saw that at the test, he adapted to what the car was.

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering, and Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering, and Scott McLaughlin, DJR Team Penske

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

shares
comments
Supercars memorabilia to be auctioned for charity
Previous article

Supercars memorabilia to be auctioned for charity

Next article

Adelaide 500: Reynolds tops shortened first practice

Adelaide 500: Reynolds tops shortened first practice
Load comments
Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match Prime

Why Courtney and Tickford are a dream match

James Courtney has been around the block in his motorsport career it's fair to say. After a single-seater career cut short, he's won everything there is to win in Supercars. Following a rocky ride recently in the Australian category, he's found a happy hunting ground with Tickford Racing.

Supercars
Oct 21, 2021
How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star Prime

How taming his temper shaped Supercars' slow-burn star

His decision to leave Brad Jones Racing was the biggest shock of the Australian Supercars silly season so far. But for Nick Percat, it comes as the culmination of a personal journey that has made him into one of the most rounded drivers in the series, now in search of a seat that can make him a champion

Supercars
Sep 17, 2021
Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8 Prime

Why replacing Supercars' GOAT with a teenager is worth the risk for T8

On the face of it, picking an 18-year-old rookie to replace arguably the greatest Supercars driver of all time is a risky move. But as Jamie Whincup takes up a team principal role and hands his car to Broc Feeney, it's one that he is confident will be rewarded in the fullness of time - time which wasn't afforded to Whincup in his early days

Supercars
Sep 1, 2021
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020