Skaife makes his championship predictions

Mark Skaife has made his predictions ahead of the 2021 season

Mark Skaife has identified the drivers he believes will be frontrunners during the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.

Speaking with Foxtel to preview the season, Skaife predicted Shane van Gisbergen, Cam Waters, and Jamie Whincup will round out the year as the top three in the championship.

The five-time Australian Touring Car Championship winner turned commentator also predicted Chaz Mostert will be a standout performer.

Last year’s championship winning team, DJR Team Penske, will sport a revised identity and new driver line up, with veteran Will Davison joined by Anton De Pasquale.

An engineering and management shakeup at Red Bull has seen Whincup and van Gisbergen swap engineers, with the former entering his final season as a full-timer before becoming team principal and managing director next year.

While Skaife suggests those changes may open the door for others, he still tips the two powerhouses operations to be front runners.

“Stability will be a huge factor in determining the 2021 champion,” he said.

“Cam Waters in the Tickford-prepared Monster Mustang will certainly be a frontrunner, so will Chaz Mostert in the Walkinshaw Andretti United Mobil Commodore. And the Triple Eight-assembled Commodores of Whincup and van Gisbergen.

“Look for Will Davison to capitalise on his ‘career-saving’ ride in the Shell V-Power/DJR-prepared Mustang and don’t be surprised if young Kiwi Andre Heimgartner grabs the odd podium in the Ned Racing-sponsored Mustang.

“2021 is going to be such an interesting year,” he added.

“No Scott McLaughlin and a recent full-time retirement [after the 2021 championship] announced by seven-time series champion Jamie Whincup.

“Who will take Scott’s mantle? No-one knows. And that’s why we love it.”

Queensland teams, plus Team Sydney, completed their pre-season test at Queensland Raceway last week.

Victorian teams, and Albury-based Brad Jones Racing, were scheduled to complete their own running at Winton on Tuesday, though the state’s five-day lockdown has seen that postponed until Friday.

The 2021 Supercars Championship is set to get underway with the Mount Panorama 500 from February 26-28.

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