Scott McLaughlin has become the first Virgin Australia Supercars Championship driver to claim the prestigious Triple Crown after an incredible performance in Darwin over the weekend.
McLaughlin never looked in doubt throughout the whole event, claiming two of the three practice sessions before comfortably securing both Qualifying and Race 15 on Saturday.
Leading from start to finish, McLaughlin crossed the line six seconds ahead of Chaz Mostert, while David Reynolds rounded out the podium.
On the final day of action, and with the first leg of the three obtained, McLaughlin went about his business in fine form, pinching the Armor All Top Ten Shootout by just one hundredth of a second over teammate Fabian Coulthard.
While Coulthard got within a whisker of his DJR Team Penske teammate in the shootout, it was the closest he would get as McLaughlin went to another level in the final race of the weekend.
The 2018 champion controlled the race throughout the full 70 laps, crossing the line 13 seconds ahead of Reynolds, while Coulthard came in third to cement second in the championship.
After becoming the first driver to secure the crown since its introduction in 2006, and continuing his outstanding title defence, McLaughlin put his weekend down to the car and team’s good efforts.
“It’s an awesome thing for all our guys and girls at Shell V-Power Racing, Ford Performance, to be the first to win the Triple Crown is really cool,” McLaughlin said.
“It’s a big team effort. We’re missing our boy Richard [Harris, data engineer] at home in the UK, our thoughts are with him.
“I’ve got a great car, great team, the pits tops were unreal. I had a good battle with Fabs at the start.
“I’m just lucky. I’m 26, just living the dream driving race cars and I’m lucky I drive a fast one.”
McLaughlin now holds a commanding lead in the championship with more than 300 points separating him and Coulthard in the standings, while Reynolds’ solid weekend saw him replace Mostert in third place.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship now moves out east for the next stop of the 2019 season with the Watpac Townsville 400 on 5-7 July.