Top four in Super2 covered by just 90 points
Best, Allen, Wood and Murray combine for all eight wins this season
Stewart leads Super3 standings after McLeod's Sandown double disaster
If Sandown was the warm up to Bathurst then holy metal grate, we'd better all hold on tight.
The Dunlop Series has quickly cemented itself as unmissable. Sunday at Sandown was another reminder of how hard the next generation of Supercars drivers are willing to fight for trophies and recognition.
As he did in Perth earlier this season, Ryan Wood stood up as the star of the show and proved why Walkinshaw Andretti United saw fit to promote him to the main game after just three rounds of Super2.
He won from the pole on Saturday in dominant fashion opening up a six-second lead in a race that incredibly ran 31 Safety Car-free laps.
His aggressive recovery drive on Sunday was enough to secure the round victory, despite being the main instigator in a frantic battle that eventually ended with front runner, Aaron Love dispatched into the guardrail while fighting three-wide for the lead.
The complete antithesis to the race a day earlier, the curtain-raiser to the 500 was littered with Safety Cars, with Eggleston Motorsport’s Cooper Murray claiming his second win of the season.
In Super3, the story was equally remarkable. The flat out pace on Saturday pushed the race a lap too long for Cameron McLeod, who painfully ran out of fuel while leading by more than the length of the front straight.
Sunday didn’t go much better, out in an opening lap wreck that meant he would take zero points away from an event where he claimed both ARMOR ALL Pole Positions.
Conversely, Image Racing young gun Jobe Stewart kept his head and collected both race wins and the 300 points to go with it. The Super3 title is now his to lose.
Having said that, we all know what can happen at Bathurst. Anything.
This is the closest the Super2 title fight has looked in some years as we arrive at the second last stop of the season.
Incredibly, just 90 points cover the top four Super2 drivers, with Zak Best looking over his shoulder to see Kai Allen, Ryan Wood and Cooper Murray all within striking distance.
Bathurst will also mark the Supercars debut of Kai Allen, as he teams up with Simona De Silvestro in a DJR wildcard entry.
This means four drivers will have ‘double duties’ in both Super2 and the Repco Bathurst 1000, the other three being Zak Best, Jack Perkins and Aaron Love.
This wasn’t a huge advantage at Sandown with Ryan Wood still able to claim round honours while only competing in the feeder series, but it may play a bigger role at Bathurst.
The cars are obviously very different but these drivers have so few laps around Mount Panorama.
Best has the advantage of a pair of Bathurst 1000 campaigns to his name. Allen has Super3 experience, where he incredibly claimed the Super3 pole by over five seconds last year (yes you read that correctly). And Wood, Murray and Love have all won Porsche races at Mount Panorama.
The other thing to watch for this weekend, particularly if the weather is kind is a new qualifying and race lap record. Jack Le Brocq recorded the quickest ever Dunlop Series lap at Bathurst (2:05.3898) back in 2017.
But now that the next gen drivers are armed with the latest gen cars, we will see machinery that has dipped into the fabled 2:03 barrier.
As I said at the top. Hold on!