It could be McLaughlin's year, says Ingall

Scott McLaughlin now with  DJR Team Penske
Scott McLaughlin now with DJR Team Penske Daniel Kalisz

MOTORSPORTS: Rising star Scott McLaughlin is the early tip to win Clipsal 500 - and maybe the Supercars driver's title - if he can hold off the powerful Red Bull Holden Racing duo.

That is the word from Fox Sports commentator Russell Ingall, who said Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen would always be in contention to win, but it could be the young Melbourne-based Kiwi's season.

The 23-year-old's move from Garry Rogers Motorsport to DJR Team Penske was the biggest of the summer and put the spotlight firmly on him.

Ingall said last year Van Gisbergen won the championship in his first year with a major team, so there was no reason why McLaughlin could not do the same. He finished third behind van Gisbergen and Whincup last year.

Ingall expected him to hit the ground running in his Ford in Adelaide this weekend.

"He likes Adelaide,” Ingall said. "I think he's going to be a bit of a crowd favourite too.

"If you want to look outside (Red Bull), that'd be the one, and also for the year for the championship as well.”

Garth Tander's success at street circuits would also stand him well, as he also takes the grid for Garry Rogers Motorsport.

"He's back in a Holden at Clipsal, that's a benefit to him, rather than running a Volvo, and he's an outside chance,” he said.

"He's got a bit to prove. He'll have the elbows out.”

As for two-time Clipsal 500 champion James Courtney, Ingall said his hopes for the season might be better served by not doing well at the Adelaide event.

"James Courtney does well, he always does at Adelaide - mind you, he does well there and pretty average everywhere else,” he said.

"If he didn't do well there, he might everywhere else.”

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