Top 10 Supercars teams to watch at Bathurst 1000

RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM: Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell, car No.88, Holden Commodore VF

Until this weekend Whincup was the fastest man around Mount Panorama in a Supercar. With four Bathurst 1000 victories to his name - the last with co-driver Dumbrell - experience should be a key factor for the No.88, but the long-term pairing has struggled since their last podium finish in 2013. Whincup was unlucky to miss the top-10 shootout.

RED BULL HOLDEN RACING TEAM: Shane Van Gisbergen and Matthew Campbell, car No.97, Holden Commodore VF

It was not that long ago van Gisbergen was crowned Supercars champion. This season has been a whole lot tougher, but a win at the mountain could very quickly turn things around. Co-driver Campbell shared the wheel with Todd Kelly at Mount Panorama last year, but the pair did not finish. Van Gisbergen also crashed on Thursday, so there are questions about the No.97's chances.

TEAM VORTEX: Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards, car No.888, Holden Commodore VF

Lowndes hasn't had the best run this season, but you wouldn't rule out a six-time Bathurst winner. Lowndes' last win was in 2015, but his second placing in the championship that year suggests he was travelling better then than now. Richards is no slouch either with four Bathurst wins with four different co-drivers to his credit.

TEKNO WOODSTOCK RACING: Will Davison and Jonathon Webb, No.19, Holden Commodore VF

The pairing of Davison and Webb head into Sunday as defending Bathurst champions. The stars haven't exactly aligned in the lead-up to this year's race, with Webb having to get over causing a huge crash at Sandown, while contract dramas hover over the head of Davison. Still, Bathurst can produce anything - as it did when they took the chequered flag last year.

THE BOTTLE-O RACING TEAM: Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto, No.5, Ford Falcon FG-X

"Frosty" is another in the running who has had better years, having just one race win to his name this season. He is also another to stand atop the podium after a gruelling 1000 kilometres, though just once in an emotional 2013 breakthrough. The Winterbottom-Canto pairing linked up in last year's great race, but did not finish after Winterbottom suffered break failure at the end of the 300km/h Conrod Straight.

SHELL V-POWER RACING: Fabian Coulthard and Tony D'Alberto, No.12, Ford Falcon FG-X

Coulthard will no doubt have mixed emotions towards Bathurst after rolling his car six times in a horrifying crash in 2010. Since then, he has posted a number of top-10 finishes, but has never tasted the champagne on the podium. Car No.12 heads into the 2017 event looking to improve on a respectable fifth place finish at Sandown.

SHELL V-POWER RACING: Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat, No.17, Ford Falcon FG-X

Scott McLaughlin made an early statement of intent, posting a 2.04.14 - the fastest Supercar lap ever recorded at the mountain - during practice on Friday. His speed and his amazing season to date will make him favourite on Sunday. Co-driver Premat has raced with McLaughlin in the past, sharing Enduro Cup duties in 2014 and 2015 (including a fifth place finish at Mount Panorama), before being poached by Shane van Gisbergen last season.

MONSTER ENERGY RACING: Cameron Waters and Richie Stanway, No.6, Ford Falcon FG-X

This pairing wouldn't have made too many lists of contenders before their surprise victory at Sandown a few weeks ago. Critics might suggest Bathurst is a different game altogether, but an endurance win is an endurance win and will certainly give the young combination confidence. Don't forget, Waters finished fourth last year and Stanway was 11th in his first visit to the mountain. Anything can happen.

EREBUS PENRITE RACING: David Reynolds and Luke Youlden, No.9, Holden Commodore VF

Cult hero Reynolds was the fastest man around the mountain on Thursday and has been consistently near the top of the board as times tumbled. A podium finish in 2012 was followed by some disappointing results, but he did take pole in 2015. Reynolds certainly knows how to navigate the famed track, but a win here requires quality over 161 laps - not just one.

SUPERCHEAP AUTO RACING: Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen, No.55, Ford Falcon FG-X

Mostert can count himself among the drivers who have truly seen the highs and lows of Mount Panorama. A win in 2014 against all the odds stands in stark contrast to the heartbreak suffered in qualifying only a year later, when a crash left him not only unable to race but with a broken leg and wrist. The Fords have shown plenty of pace in practice and Owen is an experienced pedaller.

This story Top 10 Supercars teams to watch at Bathurst 1000 first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.