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22 Feb 2018 6:10
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Motorsports

    McLaughlin talks up Supercars title hopes

    Ford's Scott McLaughlin has not shied away from his Supercars title hopes after completing a clean sweep of the Perth round on the weekend.


    With apologies to Seinfield, Ford's Scott McLaughlin proved he was Penske material at the Perth Supercars round.

    Now the New Zealand driver wants to show he is also master of his domain by vying for a maiden Supercars championship.

    For so long the cashed up DJR Team Penske outfit had been much like Jerry Seinfield's "show about nothing", winless in their first two seasons since forming in 2015.

    But after McLaughlin's clean sweep of Perth's Supercars round on the weekend, the Ford star is now finally ready for his close up.

    Unlike rivals, McLaughlin did not try to play down his title hopes after sealing back-to-back wins at Barbagallo Raceway with a dominant victory in Sunday's 200km race.

    And why not?

    The Perth round was like Festivus for McLaughlin who not only earned his first wins of the year, he achieved it with team owner - billionaire US motorsport great Roger Penske - looking on in a rare visit to Australia.

    McLaughlin is equal fourth in the drivers' standings after four rounds but just 31 points adrift of series leader, teammate Fabian Coulthard.

    "I'm excited. I think we've got a good chance (of winning the championship)," McLaughlin said.

    "My goal was to take points off the guys in the top four places and that is what we did.

    "It has got things nicely back into reachable stuff again."

    McLaughlin admitted to nerves heading into the Perth round knowing Penske - America's most successful motorsport racing owner - would be in town on his annual business trip Down Under.

    "I can't lie. There's obviously pressure having the big dogs in town," McLaughlin said.

    "But it is fantastic for the boys to show what they have got in front of the big boss.

    "I felt as a team we really smashed it this weekend which is really cool."

    Coulthard (802pts) leads the series before this month's next round in Winton ahead of defending champion Shane van Gisbergen (783) and Holden teammate Jamie Whincup (780) with McLaughlin tied with Ford's Chaz Mostert (771).

    "To have a clean sweep of Perth is fantastic for my championship," McLaughlin said.

    "We came in 100 odd points off and now we are 30 something behind - there's a good little gain there.

    "We've been consistent at the front, I just haven't been able to put it together - until now."


    NZN




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