Reigning Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin says he is expecting yet another tyre war at Sydney Motorsport Park which could throw up another surprise winner across the weekend.
The Supercars paddock was met with strict tyre restrictions last time out at the New South Wales venue, with drivers limited to 20 tyres to use across three races, two practice sessions and a qualifying and subsequent shootout.
Incidentally, the restrictions problematised team’s preparation for the event as drivers were compelled at certain stages of the weekend to run on worn rubber.
The rules proved to be a defining catalyst for strong results by drivers that otherwise would be mired down towards the rear of the field. Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat being the biggest beneficiary as the 31-year-old scored his first victory in four years in a wild race 8 of the championship.
This weekend will be slightly different with tyre supplier Dunlop bringing two sets of softs and three sets of hard compound of tyres for each driver.
Once again, all three races include a compulsory pitstop with a change of at least two tyres mandated meaning drivers will be forced to be more calculated in their tyre usage, something McLaughlin admits will throw a curveball and open the door for some surprise results.
“There are going to be some people who take a risk and go for glory,” McLaughlin said.
“There’s going to be a lot of thinking on your feet.
“There’s going to be people that might take their chance and run both [sets of] softs in one race and really stuff their weekend and go for glory in one race.”
But the Kiwi admits his goal for the weekend remains maintaining his championship lead which current stands at 49 over Red Bull’s Jamie Whincup.
“At the end of the day, the main objective for us is the most points across three races. We’ve had a little chat about it and what we’ll do, and whether we run tyres once or twice more even in qualifying.
“Our aim, right now, is to do the best job across three races. We’re probably not going to win every race. It’d be awesome if we could, but if we have a weekend like we do last time, that would be ideal.”
The Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint is set to take place over July 18-19 with the opening race slated for 8.25 pm NZT.