SCOTT McLaughlin was again the Supercars qualifying king in 2020, topping the average qualifying position table for the fourth straight year.
That fact should surprise no one, given the #17 Ford scored 15 of the 29 pole positions and qualified outside the top five just four times.
McLaughlin’s 3.03 average in 2020 ranks as just his third-best season performance while at DJR Team Penske though, having clocked a staggering 2.04 in ’19, 2.46 in ’17 and 3.71 in ’18.
Regardless, the now United States-based triple Supercars champ tops the 2020 ‘Supercars Supergrid’, ranking the entire field on qualifying averages.
But the man on the outside of this hypothetical front-row may surprise – none other than McLaughlin’s 2021 replacement Will Davison!
Davison’s qualifying performances in the four qualifying sessions he took part in before 23Red Racing’s exit gave him a 3.25 average: beating even McLaughlin to that point in the year.
Bathurst 1000 polesitter Cameron Waters is fourth on the Supergrid at 4.97 – splitting Red Bull Holden drivers Jamie Whincup (4.79) and Shane van Gisbergen (6.14).
It was the third year in a row that Whincup beat van Gisbergen on qualifying averages but finished behind the Kiwi in the points standings.
Supergrid: 2020 Supercars Championship qualifying averages
|5||Shane van Gisbergen||6.14|
|9||Anton De Pasquale||9.55|
|13||Jack Le Brocq||12.52|
Not surprisingly, the 2020 Supergrid largely resembles the final championship order, with the vast majority either in the same position or only one or two places away from their points ranking.
When looking at Supergrid rankings versus championship positions, the key mover aside from the obvious outlier Davison is Scott Pye, whose qualifying struggles in 2020 were well documented.
He ranked just 16th on qualifying averages but finished ninth in the championship in his first season at Team 18.
Whether that means Pye’s qualifying was poor or racing performances were brilliant is open to interpretation, but it’s worth noting the numbers of teammate Mark Winterbottom.
The 2015 Supercars champion was five places ahead of Pye on the Supergrid but finished one place behind his new teammate in the championship.
While there will be plenty of new and fascinating teammate combinations to watch in 2021, the Pye-Winterbottom battle remains one to keep an eye on.
Looking forward to the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship? Pre-order the official season guide in the V8 Sleuth Bookshop.