Winners and losers: Repco Mt Panorama 500

01 Mar 2021
The Bathurst season-opener rewarded some, but not all
4 mins by James Pavey

The Bathurst season-opener rewarded some, but not all, with the Repco Mt Panorama 500 playing host to a number of key storylines.

The two races were vastly different affairs; one was punctuated by high drama and accidents, while the other was settled by a battle in BP Ultimate Pit Lane.

There were major talkings points everywhere you looked, but one driver stood taller than the rest to stamp his claim on the 2021 title, right from the very first event.

Supercars.com picks out the storylines that left some leaving Bathurst with confidence, and others with work to do heading to Sandown next month.


Shane van Gisbergen

SVG's epic burnout

The Kiwi recovered from a subdued Friday practice showing to dominate both races and leave the mountain with a maximum 300-point haul.

Van Gisbergen was the beneficiary of a Cameron Waters power steering drama on Saturday, but on Sunday, he defeated his Tickford rival thanks to sheer pace, with the #97 firing in several qualifying-style laps in the middle stint to create a race-winning gap.

Walkinshaw Andretti United

Chaz Mostert clinched podiums on both days, with Bryce Fullwood finishing an impressive fifth on Saturday. It marked the first instance since Albert Park 2018 that both WAU cars finished in the top five.

To Sandown, both WAU drivers are inside the top seven in the championship, with the Clayton squad second in the teams' standings.

Team 18

Charlie Schwerkolt's team took another major step forward on the mountain, with Mark Winterbottom impressing to leave Bathurst third in the championship.

Scott Pye was unable to translate his Saturday speed into a result following a first-lap incident, but he recovered to finish eighth on Sunday, helping Schwerkolt's squad to third in the teams' standings.

Will Davison

While seventh on Sunday would have disappointed Davison, the veteran's podium a day earlier ensured Dick Johnson Racing made the right move in signing the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner.

Davison and teammate Anton De Pasquale were largely matched on the time sheets, but race results win championships.

Blanchard Racing Team

A team which scored zero points and left Bathurst with a bent car wouldn't often be regarded as a winner, but Tim Blanchard's new squad operated out of its skin across the weekend.

Tim Slade was in with a shout of a fairytale podium before his devastating Race 1 accident, having shocked the paddock with a remarkable P2 in the ARMOR All Top 10 Shootout.


Erebus Motorsport

Betty Klimenko's team was another to leave Bathurst with a damaged car, but both Erebus rookies met the chequered flag in both races to mark a solid weekend for the team.

The team could have done without an all-nighter spent fixing Will Brown's car following his Practice 1 crash, but he hit the wall while running an impressive third at the time.

Brodie Kostecki also showed glimpses of his talent, reaching Saturday's shootout in his maiden full-time outing.


Anton De Pasquale

De Pasquale's race comes to an abrupt end

De Pasquale's DJR debut got off to a great start with provisional pole on Saturday morning, but an early-race crash that afternoon was a bitter pill to swallow.

He returned refreshed on Sunday, and was solid en route to fourth. However, he is already 180 points from the championship lead.

Tickford Racing

Offseason rust plagues front runners

All three Tickford drivers suffered separate dramas across the weekend, leaving the Ford team with just one podium across both races.

Waters impressed to second on Sunday, but it could have been better following a questionable pit call. He is already 117 points behind van Gisbergen, having dropped out of contention on Saturday following a power steering drama.

James Courtney's Sunday ended with an accident at the Cutting, while Jack Le Brocq, who was the team's best on Saturday with sixth, has been placed on antibiotics due to a severely-burned foot following Race 2.

Jamie Whincup

The seven-time champion battled to match van Gisbergen's speed across Saturday and Sunday, with Whincup recording finishes of seventh and sixth.

While pleased with his first weekend with new engineer Wes McDougall, the 122-time race winner is already 102 points adrift of his Red Bull Ampol Racing teammate after just one event.

Brad Jones Racing

Percat grinds to a halt

The mountain was cruel to the Albury squad, with the team forced to change engines for Macauley Jones and Todd Hazelwood on Saturday night.

Nick Percat's Saturday was scuppered by an electrical issue, but he recovered on Sunday to reach the top 10. Hazelwood also clinched a top 10 finish on Saturday, but the team was left wanting across its four entries.

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