Scott McLaughlin was the man to beat in Supercars in a record-breaking 2017, challenging for the title until the very end of his first season with Shell V-Power Racing.
While he ultimately missed out on a maiden championship in dramatic circumstances, the young Kiwi was named the year’s best driver by Supercars.com and fans voted him the Most Popular Driver.
McLaughlin broke the record for the most ARMOR ALL Pole Positions in a single season with 16, headlined by that 2:03.8312s lap of Mount Panorama.
He also led the way for race wins, taking out eight of the year’s 26 starts to go with 17 podiums, settling into DJR Team Penske’s Falcon quickly.
That followed third in the championship with Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2016, the final season of its Volvo program.
The driver with the most jandal stepped up to Supercars with Rogers’ outfit as the defending Dunlop Super2 Series winner, making his solo debut just hours after wrapping up the title in Homebush when Alex Premat was sidelined with heatstroke.
He didn’t waste any time stamping his mark on the category as a full-timer in 2013, qualifying in the ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout at the season opener in Adelaide and winning his first championship race on home soil in New Zealand at the third round.
McLaughlin finished 10th in his rookie season, earning the 2013 Mike Kable Young Gun Award.
But it was Adelaide 2014 that really raised his stocks, racing GRM’s new Volvo S60 Supercar with great results – and a memorable post-race interview.
He won five races, took 10 podiums and claimed 10 pole positions ending the year fifth in the championship standings and being awarded the coveted Barry Sheene Medal, before finishing eighth in a 2015 plagued by mechanical issues.