A new era of Stadium Super Truck racing kicked off Friday as the SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks and Boost Mobile Super Trucks began the 2020 season with the Adelaide 500. The début race for the Boost Mobile Super Trucks as its own championship, Adelaide Street Circuit played host to a battle between the American SST and Australian Boost Mobile trucks. In the first of three races over the weekend, Robby Gordon started his year on the right foot by winning from the pole on Friday.
Of the twelve drivers, defending two-time champion Matt Brabham led the way in Friday qualifying with a lap time of 1:45.0834. Tailing him were a contingent of Australians in series newcomer Shae Davies, veterans Toby Price and Greg Gartner, Paul Weel in his first racing action in over a decade, and 2017 champion Paul Morris. The bottom half featured Matt Mingay in his motorsport comeback, Sara Price and Shaun Richardson in their first SST races since 2017, Paul Morris Racing Academy‘s Luke Vanna in his SST début, and series regular Bill Hynes who flipped his truck during practice on Thursday. Gordon did not set a time due to steering issues.
As the field is inverted for races, Gordon started on the pole ahead of Hynes; inverted poles are rare for Gordon, with only four such cases since he began the series in 2013. Following were Vanna, Richardson, Price, Mingay, Morris, Weel, Gartner, Price, Davies, and Brabham.
After a brief stint at the front, Gordon lost the lead to Hynes during the opening lap before retaking it on lap two. During said lap, Gartner spun in turn seven while Weel and Toby Price moved up to second and third, respectively.
Gartner and Mingay would experience misfortunes throughout the race, with the former spinning again on lap three after overshooting a corner. The latter, running his first SST race after recovering from serious injuries at Detroit Grand Prix in 2016, suffered an awkward landing off a frontstretch jump, followed by a spin and nearly hitting a tyre batter on lap four. Mingay later locked his brakes on lap six and was sent wide, forcing him to perform a three-point turn to rejoin the race.
Price attempted to chase down Gordon before the competition caution on lap five, but had to settle for second as the yellow flag came out. Behind the pair were Weel, Brabham, Sara Price, Davies, Morris, Hynes, Vanna, Gartner, Richardson, and Mingay.
Good restarts by Gordon and Toby Price provided them with separation from the field, while an aggressive move by Morris pushed him to sixth. Later on lap six, Brabham took third as Davies claimed fourth.
Nearing the white flag, Sara Price lost control through the grass as she was unable to hit the frontstretch jumps. As he fought with Gordon for the race win, Toby Price attempted a final move on Gordon’s inside in the final hairpin, but could not clear him as Gordon scored his second win at Adelaide and twenty-fifth in SST.
Brabham joined Gordon and Price on the podium. Davies and Weel rounded out the top five in their maiden SST runs, followed by Morris, Hynes, Gartner, Vanna, Sara Price, Richardson, and Mingay.
“Mid pack. Better than upside down,” Hynes quipped on Twitter.