SCOTT McLaughlin will look to extend his lead in the V8 Supercars drivers’ championship this weekend in the 60th edition of the Bathurst 1000.
The McLaughlin/Premat team heads up CrownBet’s Bathurst 1000 outright market at $4 odds, but experts are predicting the tightest race at Mount Panorama in living memory.
Chaz Mostert ($5), Shane Van Gisbergen ($8), Fabian Coulthard and Jamie Whincup (both $9) are all expected to give the championship leader a real run for his money.
Russell Ingall also believes Prodrive Racing Australia’s Cameron Waters ($17) will push the big boys at Red Bull Holden and DJR/Team Penske all the way.
“We have three super competitive big teams all in form as we head into the biggest race of the year,” Ingall said.
“It is almost unheard of to have a trio of teams all equal heading into Bathurst.
“Nine times out of 10 one team will be kicking away and another will be holding on.
“What this means is that we will have one of the most competitive battles ever.
“Good luck picking a winner.”
Ingall is not the only former Bathurst winner who rates Waters’ chances on Sunday.
According to six-time champion Mark Skaife, the PRA team cannot be overlooked after winning in Melbourne last time out.
“It is strange calling them a dark horse after they won Sandown,” he told News Corp.
“But they are still outsiders here at a much harder event.
“But I think Sandown would have done them the world of good, their confidence especially, and they will be a shot.
“They are certainly in contention and don’t be surprised if they end up on the podium somewhere.”
However, Skaife reckons the Whincup/Dumbrell team is the one the beat.
“The favourite has to be Whincup and Dumbrell based on the speed Whincup showed here last year,” he said.
“The quality of the combination between he and Dumbrell is unquestionable. They are compatible, they have outright speed and they are driving for the factory Holden team.
“Whincup will be motivated to put what was an unfortunate finish last year behind him. I think they are the form combination.”
Last year’s race was won by Will Davison and Jonathan Webb, who are paying $51 to defend their title.
Bathurst 1000 outright betting
$4 – McLaughlin/Premat
$5 – Mostert/Owen
$8 – Van Gisbergen/Campbell
$9 – Whincup/Dumbrell
$13 – Winterbottom/Canto
$17 – Lowndes/Richards, Reynolds/Youlden, Waters/Stanaway, Tander/Golding
$34 – Courtney/Perkins
$51 – Davison/Webb, Pie/Luff, Bright/Jacobsen
$67 – Kelly/Wall, Percat/Jones
$81 – Caruso/Fiore, Slade/Heimgartner, Kelly/Le Brocq, Holdsworth/Reindler
$101 – Moffat/Muscat
$251 – Wood/Pither
$501 – Blanchard/Hazelwood
$1001 – De Silvestro/Russell, Rullo/Davison, Russell/Douglas
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