Scott McLaughlin has labelled this year’s Supercars Championship title his best, after wrapping up the crown with a round still remaining at Bathurst.
The Shell V-Power Racing driver now holds an unassailable 305-point lead, with 300 available for the winners of the Mount Panorama classic.
It caps a stunning three-year run for McLaughlin, which started with a 2018 title that provided redemption for a heartbreaking loss in the Newcastle finale the year prior.
Last year McLaughlin won a second title in a cloud of controversy over the new Ford Mustang and his team’s conduct at Bathurst.
This year’s championship has been tough for all teams, with the calendar changing on multiple occasions due to restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 percent every time I get in the car. This year has really tested all of that.”
Further reflecting on his triumphs, McLaughlin added: “The 2018 one was pretty awesome, then the 2019 one obviously it was just crazy, the year, it was not my most enjoyable.
“There’s been a lot of chat about 2019 being a year where we had a better car or whatever.
“To come out when everything’s been changed [to achieve parity], everything’s been said about us, I feel like we’ve really bounced back and proved we’re a good team.
“I feel like I can wheel the thing pretty good too.”
McLaughlin said he didn’t expect to be able to secure the title this weekend but is now looking forward to an all-out attack at Bathurst.
“It wasn’t our goal to get to 300 points,” he said.
“Obviously we would have liked to, but when the problem for Jamie happened yesterday and a few other things, it was up to us to capitalise.
“To do that, I’m so proud of everyone and to hit the hill with all guns blazing, it’s a good feeling.”
McLaughlin will make his IndyCar debut a week after Bathurst, with speculation rampant he’ll move to the American open-wheel series full-time next year.