The 2020 Australia Supercars Championship hits the track for the biggest race of the season this weekend. Let’s take a look at this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 co-drivers and how they stack up.
With several driver changes at the end of last season, only four pairings are carried over from 2019, leaving most of the field to find new co-drivers.
With the Covid-19 pandemic limiting teams’ co-driver options, this has become one of the most experienced fields the series has seen in recent years, with only 7 of the 50 drivers not having experience in the 1000.
Even those making their Bathurst debut have previously competed on the mountain in various series, from Super 2, the Bathurst 12 Hour or Formula Ford.
Though this is the second consecutive year running that there hasn’t been an endurance round leading into Bathurst, this season has also missed the co-driver practice sessions we normally see at other rounds through the season.
Teams also haven’t had their regular sponsor ride days that would also give their co-drivers more time in the cars. Hence, most co-drivers have had very little seat time making those carry over parings and experienced co-drivers, that much more important this season.
This is a standout season when it comes to the entry list, but there are a few key cars to keep an eye on.
Triple Eight Race Engineering
The Red Bull Holden Racing team is the only one to retain all their drivers this season, also boasting the most experienced pair with Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes holding 11 Bathurst wins between them.
#97 Shane van Gisbergen will be looking for his first Bathurst victory and retains three-time winner Garth Tander.
DJR Team Penske
Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto competed together last year and are back again. Scott McLaughlin has chosen Tim Slade who has competed at Mount Panarama 11 times, but never finished higher than seventh.
The team has led the pack all season so there is no reason to think this weekend will be any different, especially as Coulthard is likely to want to make up for last year’s debacle on the mountain.
#6 Cam Waters and Will Davidson (Tickford Racing)
Davidson raced full time for the team until the pandemic hit. He has already proven to be good in the car and he will also want to be a standout on the mountain as he attempts to secure a full-time seat next season. The lead Tickford entry will be a big threat come race day.
It’s hard to know how much of a threat the Erebus Motorsport entries will be with Will Brown partnering David Reynolds, and Brodie Kostecki driving with Anton De Pasquale.
Reynolds has struggled for pace over the last few rounds but he works well with Will Brown. He and the team will be buoyed by the return of Reynolds race engineer Alistair McVean who has been absent since Covid struck.
De Pasquale is quick but Kostecki lacks Bathurst experience.
#25 Chaz Mostert/Warren Luff (Walkinshaw Andretti United)
Watch out for this pairing. Mostert has shown this season he has the speed while Luff has Bathurst experience and makes his 19th start in The Great Race. Though he has never stood on the top step, he has been on the podium five times in the last eight years.
#8 Nick Percat/Thomas Randle (Brad Jones Racing)
Brad Jones Racing has been extremely competitive this season and this pairing will be serious contenders come race day. Percat has been the driver to watch outside the top two teams.
Randle was one of the star co-drivers in last year’s endurance series and is currently leading the Super2 championship. This could be a formidable combination.
With the championship effectively wrapped up at the previous Supercars round and Bathurst being the final race of the season, expect no one to hold back.