After reigning champion Scott McLaughlin announced a move to IndyCar, 2021 will see a new winner crowned in the championship for the first time since 2018.
Here are the main contenders for this year’s Supercars Championship.
Cameron Waters – Tickford Racing
Waters recorded his best ever result in Supercars last year, finishing in second place. The 2021 campaign looks promising for Waters as Scott McLaughlin, the only driver who performed better in 2020, will not be competing in the series. The #6 Monster Energy charger ended 2020 in fine form, winning at Tailem Bend in the second last race of the year, before qualifying fastest in the top ten shootout at Bathurst, and finishing second in the race. Waters will be looking to win races more regularly this season – his win at the Bend in 2020 was his sole victory for the year. After five years driving full-time in the category, 2021 could be the year that Waters becomes a dominant force and wins his maiden Supercars Championship.
Jamie Whincup – Red Bull Ampol Racing
The 2021 championship will be Whincup’s last shot at winning another Supercars crown. In early February, the seven-time champion announced that he would be retiring from full-time driving at the end of the season. For the last 14 years Whincup has been a contender for the championship and 2021 will be no different. Since he won his first title in 2008, there have only been two occasions where he has not finished in the top three positions in the championship. While 2020 was one of those occasions, he still notched up four race wins. Whincup will be looking to end his full-time driving career on a high and with the absence of McLaughlin, it would not be a surprise to see Whincup win a record-breaking eighth title in 2021.
(Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Shane Van Gisbergen – Red Bull Ampol Racing
While it has been five years since Van Gisbergen claimed his first title, the Kiwi has still been a strong competitor in Supercars. In 2020, he recorded four wins, finished third in the championship, and ended the year with a Bathurst 1000 win alongside Garth Tander. Van Gisbergen had a slow start to 2020 and was unable to win a race until September, but then went on to win four out of the last nine races. The 2021 season kicks off with a sprint round at Bathurst, where Van Gisbergen will be hoping to start the year off like he ended the last one.
Anton De Pasquale – Shell V-Power Racing
The 25-year-old gets his first opportunity to mount a proper challenge for the championship in his new seat at Shell V-Power Racing. De Pasquale finished eighth overall last season, at Erebus Motorsport. The 2020 season also saw the Victorian claim his first victory, clinching the chequered flag in Darwin. With a move to the top team in the championship for the last two years, De Pasquale is expected to make an immediate impact and will likely be fighting for race wins from early on in the year. In a boost to De Pasquale’s title hopes, one of the best engineers in Supercars, Ludo Lacroix, will work with the new recruit in 2021. De Pasquale is the youngest of the main competitors for the title, although by the end of the season he will be a year older than McLaughlin was when he won his first championship.
(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Will Davison – Shell V-Power Racing
A Supercars veteran and two-time Bathurst winner, Davison lost his seat in 2020 after sponsor Milwaukee Tool Australia withdrew due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a fortunate turn of events, Davison will suit up for last year’s teams champion Shell V-Power Racing for 2021. A proven performer and race winner, Davison was in solid form just before he lost his seat – at the Adelaide 500 he finished fifth and fourth respectively in Races 1 and 2. In his last full-time season in 2019, Davison recorded two podiums and an eighth place finish in the standings. It has been five years since Davison’s last win, which was at Bathurst in 2016. Nevertheless, this season he will be in a car that is capable of challenging for the championship and he will relish the chance to win his first Supercars title.
Chaz Mostert – Walkinshaw Andretti United
Mostert will be looking to take a serious shot at winning the 2021 championship after building some momentum over the last year at WAU. He ended 2020 fifth in the standings after recording five podiums, including a third place at the Bathurst 1000. Mostert has 13 wins over his eight years in the championship but was unable to claim a race victory during 2020. After partnering with America’s Andretti Autosport and the UK’s United Autosports from 2018, WAU are hoping to be the next Dick Johnson Racing Team Penske. It remains to be seen whether the international partnership will be able to lift the team back to being a race-winning and championship-winning organisation. As one of the fastest drivers on the grid, Mostert will be hoping to take himself and WAU to another level in 2021.
It’s been a long off-season for the Supercars championship, having concluded the truncated 2020 campaign at the Bathurst 1000 back on October 18 – as Shane van Gisbergen with Garth Tander claimed the Great Race for Holden and Scott McLaughlin clinched a third championship.
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