Bathurst 1000 highlights: Supercars live race updates, blog

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    Australia’s greatest motorsport race is here with the 2017 Bathurst 1000 set to roar to life. Scott McLaughlin is favourite after shattering the lap record to take pole, but can he win the race? 161 laps are ahead, so join The Roar for live coverage from 11am (AEDT) to find out.

    It’s been a stellar week for McLaughlin and his co-driver, Alexandre Premat, and the pace of the DJR Ford has been second to none. Freakish almost, as he shattered the lap record in practice, again in qualifying and then began the first man to conquer the mountain in under two minutes and four seconds during the top-ten shootout.

    Putting the car on pole and having it stay reliable for 161 laps are two very different things though. Nothing is a formality on the mountain, and there are plenty of others to talk about, despite the pace and talent of McLaughlin and his team.

    Joining McLaughlin on the front row of the grid is David Reynolds. Paired with veteran Luke Youlden, the pair have improved all weekend.

    Speaking of veterans, and it’ll be Mark Winterbottom out of third spot. He and Dean Canto are a formidable combination, with Winterbottom a former champion both on the mountain and in the championship.

    While Winterbottom has struggled for pace at times in 2017, but the blue oval have been reliable this year and in a race that’s all about reliability, the pairings don’t get a great deal better than that.

    Chaz Mostert (with Steve Owen) and Shane Van Gisbergen (with Matt Campbell) round out the top five on the grid. While Mostert is a solid chance, it’s been a difficult weekend for the Triple Eight stable, with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes both missing the shootout.

    While a team of their quality can never be totally counted out, they have struggled with braking all weekend, suffering multiple runoffs through the chase, Murray’s corner and Hell corner. If they can’t get that worked out under a heavy fuel load, then it’s going to be a long day.

    Sandown winner Cameron Waters (with Richie Stanaway) comes from sixth on the grid, while the back end of the top ten has plenty of strength with Fabian Coulthard, Jason Bright, Garth Tander and James Courtney all positioned there.

    If last year proved anything though, it’s that qualifying means nothing. Will Davison and Jonathon Webb came from the back of the grid to win the race after not leading any laps.

    With rain forecast for most of the race, the scene is set for one crazy Bathurst 1000 where anything could happen.

    McLaughlin has the pace, but in Australia’s most unpredictable race, Mark Winterbottom is due for a win, and coming from the second row of the grid, I think he can get it done.

    If it rains, watch for Van Gisbergen, despite the noted issues for Triple Eight. He is superb in wet weather.

    Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto to win Bathurst.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the Bathurst 1000 from 11am (AEDT) and don’t forget to add your own comments throughout the course of the coverage.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.