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Generation now: The new pecking order in Supercars

The full-time retirements of Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander put an exclamation point on the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship’s most recent generation change.

23 April 2019

With a new champion in Scott McLaughlin, new contenders such as Cameron Waters, new veterans such as Jamie Whincup and new rising stars such as Anton de Pasquale, we attempt to make sense of this new pecking order by grouping the 2019 grid into their new roles in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #110.

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There have been a number of high-profile retirements in Supercars in recent seasons, with Craig Lowndes’ decision to step back from full-time driving the most significant.

He represented the changing of the guard in Australian touring cars in the mid-1990s, bursting down the door that saw Garth Tander, Jason Bright, Greg Murphy, Todd Kelly and more follow and take over the mantle of leading drivers from Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, Jim Richards, Larry Perkins and co.

The latter were a golden generation of Australian touring cars, but Lowndes and co. carried the sport through an era of expansion and growth.

The next great generation change took place in the mid-2000s, when Jamie Whincup, Mark Winterbottom, James Courtney, Rick Kelly and co. raised the bar in terms of preparation and fitness. They did battle with Lowndes’ generation in a fascinating era of Supercars, though they now face new foes from the next in line.

The new crop of leading drivers are products of the Dunlop Super2 Series, the second-tier category, which has produced well-rounded talent ready to hit the main game running at a younger age.

This is the generation led by reigning champ McLaughlin, with each driver in this category filling a different role in Supercars’ new-look pecking order, as we examine in issue #110.

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