Virgin Australia Supercars Championship front-runner Scott McLaughlin has claimed a historic 17 wins in a single season after a dramatic weekend in New Zealand.
The record breaking feat saw McLaughlin eclipse the long standing record for most wins in a season - taking the record off Craig Lowndes.
As he has done on many occasions this year, McLaughlin never relinquished the lead once he obtained it, as fellow Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen crossed the line in second and Chaz Mostert rounded out the podium.
While a controversial safety car period caused heartbreak for some drivers, it caused elation for others, with fourth placed Nick Percat securing his equal best result for the year and Todd Hazelwood claiming a career-high finish of fifth.
“I completely forgot about it (the record),” McLaughlin said after being greeted by Lowndes post-race.
“I wanted so badly to do this on New Zealand soil and I’m stoked.
“Really proud of our team to be up there with a guy like him (Lowndes).
“I’m a lucky guy driving a cool car and just a proud New Zealander trying to do my thing.”
Earlier on in the weekend, van Gisbergen won his third race for the year after putting on a brilliant performance in the first leg of the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
The 2018 runner-up led an all Red Bull Holden Racing Team one-two in the first race, however his teammate in Whincup was later handed a post-race penalty demoting him to sixth.
Cameron Waters and David Reynolds gained from Whincup’s penalty with both drivers moving up a spot to second and third, while McLaughlin and Holdsworth were also promoted to fourth and fifth respectively.
With van Gisbergen placing first and second across the two races, the 30-year-old received the Jason Richards Trophy for the second time in his career – an honour the 2016 winner was proud to repeat.
“It's pretty awesome to have a great weekend like this, the support for us has been awesome,” van Gisbergen said.
“Especially having Jason’s daughters [Sienna and Olivia] up there, it was a hard moment but a special one, and seeing his parents every morning has been pretty cool and then [Richards’ widow] Charlotte and the kids.
“It’s awesome to race in his memory every year and to see the mock-up of his car parked every morning that you walk into the paddock.
“It’s a cool feeling.”
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship now has almost a month’s rest before heading to Mount Panorama for the iconic Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on 10-13 October.