Superloop 500 stuns as Port Elliot's Butch burns

Superloop champion: Back to back series champion Scott McLaughlin started his season in style, taking out the 2020 Adelaide Superloop.
Superloop champion: Back to back series champion Scott McLaughlin started his season in style, taking out the 2020 Adelaide Superloop.

For the first time in ten years Tim Slade, who grew up in McLaren Vale on the Fleurieu Peninsula, has not lined up for the traditional start to the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship.

There have been plenty of changes in the pre-season of Australia's premier motorsport category, not only to cars, and teams, but even the traditional rivalry in Australian motorsport as General Motors announced the demise of the famous, Holden.

All the behind the scenes action in the lead up to the first round of the 2020 championship left more questions than answers.

One of the more significant driver changes going into the 2020 Championship came when Slade announced he would no longer be a full time driver, but instead team up with reigning back to back series champion Scott McLaughlin for the Enduro races later in the season.

After signing with DJR Team Penske 2020 to co-drive for McLaughlin, it will prove to be Slade's best chance yet of winning Bathurst and the Peter Brock trophy, the prize many people value more even than the championship

Slade who was racing in Thailand over the weekend in the Asian Le Mans series, would have been keeping an eye on the progress of his new teammate in between his own stints at the wheel.

If the form of both drivers is anything to go by, it could be a very successful enduro season. Over the weekend, Slade, combined with Liam Talbot and Marcos Gomez won the GT category of the Four Hours of Buriram. At the same time, McLaughlin started the title defence in great fashion, winning the Superloop Adelaide 500.

With changes made to the aerodynamics and the engines of both the Ford Mustang and the Holden Commodores to bring more parity to the series, the win for McLaughlin and Team DJR Team Penske was not as convincing as 2019, but still at the right end of the field when the chequered flag was waved.

Even with changes to the cars, there has been no change in the rivalry of the two most dominant teams in V8 Supercars.

Holden Red Bull Triple 8 racing took the challenge right up to with Jamie Whincup, winning Saturdays 78 lap race of the Adelaide street circuit, ahead of McLaughlin in second place and Shane Van Gisbergen, also in a Red Bull Holden.

The 78 lap race on Sunday was a much tighter affair as McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen fighting it out for the lead throughout the day.

Just as it seemed like Red Bull Holden driver, Van Gisbergen had broken the shackles and started to break away from the rest of the field disaster struck.

Butch Burns: Port Elliot's very own RAAF FA-18 pilot, callsign 'Butch' burns through the Adelaide sky.

Butch Burns: Port Elliot's very own RAAF FA-18 pilot, callsign 'Butch' burns through the Adelaide sky.

First a minor re-fueling issue followed by a mechanical failure that ended his race just a few laps shy of the finish.

McLaughlin capitalised on the misfortune of his rival and pushed through for his first win of the season ahead of Chaz Mostert in his first weekend as a Holden driver and Cam Waters in a Ford Mustang.

A positive start for McLaughlin in his attempt to win a third straight championship, a venture Tim Slade will play a major role as he co-drives the #17 DJR Team Penske Mustang later in the year at The Bend, Bathurst and Gold Cost.

Arguably the biggest highlight of the weekend was the Fly By on both Saturday and Sunday of a RAAF F/A-18 Hornet piloted by Fleurieu Peninsula Flight Leuitenant Kyle, known by his call sign Butch.

One of the RAAFs leading Top Guns, he grew up at Port Elliot and was able to return home to SA for the opportunity to demonstrate his skills as one of the country's elite airman.