Clipsal 500: Top performer

03 Mar 2015
After the weekend's intense racing around the concrete lined Adelaide street track, who was your best on track?

The season has officially started and we have a Championship leader in James Courtney after his impressive win in his Holden Racing Team Commodore after Sunday's intense racing at the Clipsal 500.

Courtney became the first driver to go back-to-back at the street event since Jamie Whincup in 2008-09 and once again has begged the question - how much will the HRT push Red Bull this season?

With just 0.25sec separating the top 10 in qualifying on Sunday, it's clear we will see the same close racing in 2015. And with all five manufacturers making appearances in the top 10 - with Rick and Todd Kelly's Nissans in eighth and tenth in the Championship, and Erebus' Ash Walsh making a stellar debut on Saturday - Whincup's challengers are sure to come from far and wide this season.

Here are our top five Clipsal 500 performers - vote for your best on trackhere and tell us why in the comments.

An honourable mention also goes to Garth Tander who starts the season third in the points after a podium on Sunday.


James Courtney - Holden Racing Team - finished 10th, 2nd, 1st.

He led from ARMOR ALL Pole Position on Sunday - which he earned by 0.04sec over Fabian Coulthard- and has cemented himself as a contender this year.

Courtney was the last man to beat Whincup to the title in 2010, and starting out strong sees him leading the points out of Adelaide.

The closing stint against Shane van Gisbergen was everything the Clipsal 500 stands for - hot, intense, precision racing that always crowns one of the field's most talented.

Fabian Coulthard - Freightliner Racing - finished 3rd, 1st, 6th.

Achieving his and BJR's first ever street track victory, it could be argued Saturday's race two was the most carnage-filled we saw over the weekend.

Coulthard was well in the title fight early last year and he kicked off his campaign well with two podium results, and two front row starts across the three races.


The kiwi said he was affected a little by strategy on Sunday, leading to a lower finishing position in the 250km race, but has come out of the weekend second in the Championship.

Shane van Gisbergen - Team TEKNO Darrell Lea - finished 6th, 13th, 2nd.

That final stint behind Courtney on Sunday is one of the great Clipsal finishes we have become accustomed to. The 2014 Championship runner-up showed great maturity redressing a pass he made on the HRT Commodore with slight contact, and said he wanted to get through cleanly if at all.

While his Saturday performances left a little to be desired, front and centre on Sunday SVG recorded the fastest time in qualifying and leaves the round fourth in the points.

Marcos Ambrose - DJR Team Penske - finished 16th, 16th, 12th.

The team was aiming for a midfield finish, so Ambrose was right where he wanted to be as he got reacquainted with the Adelaide circuit and learned more about the FG X.

His performance was the standout in Sunday qualifying, making the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout and giving himself the chance at pole position. He was so focused on a quick time, he'd forgotten about the shootout and was unsure why there was so much excitement around his ninth place!

As Roger Penske watched on, Ambrose showed he's still got it. Leaving the round 12th in the points, he's higher up than names like David Reynolds, Scott McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert and Will Davison.

Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Racing Australia - finished 1st, 21st, 4th.

He didn't get the airtime we're used to on Sunday, but the defending Champion was there behind the battle pack.

Winning the first race, it was like a carbon copy of last year, however he left Adelaide seventh in the points last time, in 2015 he is fifth.

Saturday's second race was the killer - but an incredible save as he approached one of the toughest corners in Australia with a blown tyre gets him onto the best on track list, paired with his win and two poles, this time around.

Related News