Scott McLaughlin has taken out his third straight Supercars title to join some of the greats of Australian motorsport.
The Shell V-Power Racing team superstar has been easily the dominant force over the past three seasons, blowing away all the competition, and sealing his title the Bathurst 1000 the only race left in the Supercars season.
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Heading into the day, McLaughlin needed to take his championship lead from 263 points past 300 over Red Bull Holden Racing’s Jamie Whincup in order to take an unassailable lead into the great race.
McLaughlin increased his lead by 36 points – to 299 points – after he won race 29 while Whincup could only manage seventh.
It meant that McLaughlin just had to finish ahead of Whincup to seal the title, with McLaughlin finishing second behind Monster Energy Racing’s Cameron Waters, who claimed his second career win, and Whincup in third.
McLaughlin has become the fourth driver in the 60 year history of Australian tour car racing to win three straight titles alongside Ian Geoghegan (1966-69), Mark Skaife (2000-2002) and Jamie Whincup (2011-14).
It was a shortened and disrupted season in Supercars as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the season and meant it was raced behind closed doors, an element the 27-year-old champion pointed out.
“It’s awesome, credit to everyone at Shell V-Power Racing. It feels weird not being able to celebrate with the fans like normal,” McLaughlin said. “I got the main one now, we can fully focus on Bathurst and have a massive crack at it.
“It’s been an awesome battle with Jamie throughout the whole year and for Cam to get his first win of the year, congrats to him.
“At the start I was trying to be safe but wanted to get the lead. He did a great job and I’m stoked.
“I bet Sladedog’s (Bathurst 1000 co-driver Tim Slade) pretty happy at home watching because there’s not as much pressure now for him.
“We want to win the race. We’ll go hard and do what we need to, to win and have a crack. Bring it on.
“It’s good to get consecutive championships now and hopefully we can get consecutive Bathursts.”
McLaughlin has been the dominant force in the sport for some time now, having famously melted down in the 2017 finale, going into the final day of racing 78 points ahead and famously losing the title.
It continues to be the greatest of comebacks after a disappointing loss but McLaughlin admitting this victory was the best of all and that he never expected this to happen.
“It’s been well documented that it’s been a tough year for every team up and down pitlane,” McLaughlin said on Fox Sports.
“For me this feels probably the best out of all of them, because of the way we’ve had to bounce back from ups and downs, come back and fight the next week when everyone has raced the track the week before.
“It’s just been so different. We didn’t know where we were going, it’s just been a whole lot of adversity.
“For us to come through and still win the championship with a round to go, it’s a true testament to the character of the team and the people that are behind me.
“My wife Karly, my Mum and Dad, people who make me 100 per cent every time I get in the car. This year has really tested all of that.”
McLaughlin his set to head to the US to compete in IndyCar but didn’t offer much when asked if he was going to come back for a fourth straight series win.