It's on for young and old: McLaughlin and Lowndes lift V8 bar
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Well, well, well. I didn't think Supercars racing could get any better than the opening rounds of the season. More the fool me. Kiwi Scott McLaughlin and longtime V8 stalwart Craig Lowndes proved last Sunday that fiction is stranger than fact.
McLaughlin set a record by winning a race from P19 on the grid and in doing so eclipsed the previous Barbagallo record held by Peter Brock who won from P12. I realise by winning the race McLaughlin got the lion's share of the accolades, but how about Lowndes coming from the back row to finish on the podium?
You can lay all that races' excitement, drama and heart-in-the-mouth racing at the door of the new qualifying format. Not only has it shaken the grid up for the races afterwards, it's also allowed some drivers who may not have in the past been at the pointy end to have a crack. And, if the high-profile teams don't get it right, it's to the back of classroom for you.
If you haven't seen that race yet, find a rerun and get ready for the ride of your life. McLaughlin and Lowndes passed more cars between them than you'll see in two Formula One seasons. Speaking of the freight train event, the next follow the leader race is this weekend in Spain. Not much to say really other than it'll be a two-carriage exhibition between a Mercedes and a Ferrari.
One thing I do hope though, is that Kiwi Brendon Hartley can get going and at least have a bit of a battle mid field, rather than picking up the scraps at the back of the field. Here's hoping he can at least double his point's tally.
IndyCar racer Scott Dixon is at Indianapolis this weekend for round five of his championship. He sits seventh 51 points of the lead. It's unusual to see the four-time series winner struggle this much at the start of a season, and he had better get a move on if he wants to be in contention for a fifth title later this year.
One thing that has become apparent though, is there's a bit of a changing of the old guard. Youngsters Josef Newgarden and Alexander Rossi top the table and Graham Rahal and Robert Wickens are inside the top 10, while some of the elder statesmen haven't fired yet.
I'll be following the rest of the season to see whether experience will eventually topple speed and bravado.
It would appear we have a budding Hartley or McLaughlin on our hands. Young Kiwi Liam Lawson cleaned up in Formula Ford here in New Zealand, took off for Australia and raced Formula Four finishing second in the championship and is now giving it to a bunch of young European hotshots.
He's racing in the German F4 series where Richie Stanaway and Marcus Armstrong made a name for themselves. He has now notched up three podiums in his first six races. Kenny Smith is a man who knows talent when he sees it, having nurtured Dixon and Hartley as well as many others and he reckons Lawson is the real deal.
"It's either born in you that you can do, or it's not. You see a lot of kids who go alright and are good, and then there are those who are exceptional and he's [Lawson] exceptional", he said.
- NZ Herald