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Cameron Waters smashed the Bathurst lap record to put his Tickord Mustang on pole for long-awaited 2020 Bathurst 1000, but thunderstorms are forecast to dispute the race. Join The Roar for a live blog and race updates from 10:45am (AEDT).
The countdown to Australia’s great race is over. The grid is set for the 2020 edition of the Bathurst 1000.
In a year that has tossed up all sorts of uncertainty, it is almost a tear-jerker of a sight that the Supercars endurance classic will ahead and as the championship finale for the truncated 2020 season.
Ahead of the 50 drivers is 161 laps of the famous Mount Panorama circuit for 1000 kilometres of endurance racing.
Weather-wise, there is much uncertainty about the stability of the conditions. Rain and storms are expected throughout the day.
It’s a race that’s difficult to win, as the 11 drivers on the grid who’ve won the Bathurst 1000 in the past can attest, though it’s an easy one to lose given the unforgiving nature of the mountain.
Pole position is no guarantee of victory, as we saw in 2014 when Chaz Mostert and Paul Morris won for Ford Performance Racing from dead last on the grid. But claiming the race form the front fo the grid is an opportunity dark horses Cameron Waters and co-driver Will Davison will relish for Tickford.
Waters and Davison, the latter a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, have been the pacesetters all weekend and are genuine favourites behind the usual suspects from Shell V-Power Racing and the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.
Joining the Monster Energy Mustang on the front row of the grid will be defending race winner and Supercars champion-elect Scott McLaughlin, who’ll be out for redemption following the controversial circumstances of his win last year. The Kiwi will be partnered this year by Tim Slade.
Leading the charge for Holden in what shapes to be their final Bathurst 1000 as a Supercars manufacturer will be Walkinshaw Andretti United combo Mostert and veteran co-driver Warren Luff.
They’re joined on the second row of the grid by Brad Jones Racing duo of Nick Percat and Thomas Randle, with team owner Jones searching for a first win on the mountain. Holden have a total of 33 wins in the Australian touring car enduro, well ahead of Ford’s 21.
Strategy-wise, there’s a minimum of 54 laps required for the co-drivers to complete and a minimum of seven compulsory pit stops for fuel and tyres. How this takes shapes will depend on the impact of the weather.
In terms of the Supercars championship, the drivers title has already been decided in McLaughlin’s favour. Mathematically Waters has a chance of taking second from four-time Bathurst champion Jamie Whincup from his current 200-point deficit. There’s also 100 points between Shell V-Power Racing and Red Bull in the team standings.
Whatever the outcome, here’s to another 1000 kilometres of exciting racing at one of the best circuits in world motorsport, for which there’ll be live blog coverage of the race on The Roar from 10:45am AEDT.
Lights out: 11:00am (AEDT)
Track: Mount Panorama
Race length: 161 laps (1000 kilometres)
TV: Network Ten, Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, 10 Play, Foxtel
1. Cameron Waters/Will Davison (Tickford Racing), 2. Scott McLaughlin/Tim Slade (DJR Team Penske)
3. Chaz Mostert/Warren Luff (Walkinshaw Andretti United), 4. Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander (Triple Eight Race Engineering)
5. Lee Holdsworth/Michael Caruso (Tickford Racing), 6. Anton De Pasquale/Brodie Kostecki (Erebus Motorsport)
7. Fabian Coulthard/Tony D’Alberto (DJR Team Penske), 8. James Courtney/Broc Feeney (Tickford Racing)
9. Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes (Triple Eight Race Engineering), 10. Nick Percat/Thomas Randle (Brad Jones Racing)
11. Bryce Fullwood/Kurt Kostecki (Walknshaw Andretti United), 12. Scott Pye/Dean Fiore (Charlie Schwerkolt Racing)
13. David Reynolds/Will Brown (Erebus Motorsport), 14. Andre Heimgartner/Dylan O’Keeffe (Kelly Racing)
15. Jack Le Brocq/James Moffat (Tickford Racing), 16. Todd Hazelwood/Jordan Boys (Brad Jones Racing)
17. Macauley Jones/Tim Blanchard (Tim Blanchard Racing), 18. Mark Winterbottom/James Golding (Charlie Schwerkolt Racing)
19. Rick Kelly/Dale Wood (Kelly Racing), 20. Alex Davison/Jonathon Webb (Team Sydney by Tekno)
21. Garry Jacobson/David Russell (Matt Stone Racing), 22. Jack Smith/Jack Perkins (Brad Jones Racing)
23. Chris Pither/Steve Owen (Team Sydney by Tekno), 24. Tyler Everingham/Jayden Ojeda (Garry Rogers Motorsport)
25. Jake Kostecki/Zane Goddard (Matt Stone Racing)