Scott McLaughlin and co-driver Alex Premat. Picture: Jerad Williams
Scott McLaughlin and co-driver Alex Premat. Picture: Jerad Williams

McLaughlin on cusp of Supercars’ greatest season

SCOTT McLaughlin can become the greatest single season driver in Supercars history this weekend by beating Shane van Gisbergen to claim the V8 crown.

Set to put his Bathurst 1000 controversy in his rear-view mirror to continue his assault on the V8 record books, the DJR/TeamPenske driver only needs to finish in front of his Red Bull rival at the Gold Coast 600 to become the first driver to claim the title with three rounds to go.

Almost certain to beat Jamie Whincup's record of wrapping the V8 title during the penultimate round in 2014, McLaughlin could also become the first driver to reach 4000 points or more after his all-conquering season.

During a season of utter domination that started with a double victory in Adelaide to open, McLaughlin has won 18 of 24 races to announce himself as a V8 great.

"It is a big weekend for us,'' McLaughlin said.

"We are pushing on to try and secure the championship here, if not put ourselves in a good position for later on down the track.

Scott McLaughlin flies around Mount Panorama. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Scott McLaughlin flies around Mount Panorama. Picture: Rohan Kelly

"It is exciting, but we need to make sure we don't take our foot of the gas" McLaughlin is hoping to avoid another final round showdown in Newcastle after his last two titles bids went down to the wire. The Ford flyer lost a final fight to Whincup in 2018, before hitting back to beat van Gisbergen last year to secure his first crown.

McLaughlin is hoping he can go back-to-back this weekend - and he could secure the championship as early as tomorrow if he places third or better and van Gisbergen fails to finish.

"I'd like to avoid the nervousness of it going to the final round like the last couple of years,'' McLaughlin said.

"And it would be great to wrap it up here, but if not I am still hoping to collect a lot of points so we are in a strong position to win it in Sandown the following round.''

McLaughlin was officially awarded 300 points for his Bathurst 1000 win earlier this week when a CAMS investigation found him not guilty of any wrongdoing in a team orders charge.

Will Scott McLaughlin be celebrating with champagne on the Gold Coast? Picture: Rohan Kelly
Will Scott McLaughlin be celebrating with champagne on the Gold Coast? Picture: Rohan Kelly

McLaughlin's team was fined a record-breaking $250,000 and stripped of 300 points for issuing an illegal go-slow order to Fabian Coulthard during safety car.

The move allowed McLaughlin to extend his lead.

"Obviously it is a controversy,'' McLaughlin said.

"But I knew we won Bathurst fair and square. I am proud to have our names etched in Bathurst history as champions. I am glad to put it all behind me and get on with racing.''

The Gold Coast 600 begins with practice on Friday.

News Corp Australia


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