There is no doubting that Scott McLaughlin has been one of the top drivers of the current era of the Australia Supercars Championship. Now with his move to single seater racing and the NTT IndyCar Series in the USA, we take a look at what he has achieved in his eight-year tenure as a Supercars driver.
Collecting his third championship at Bathurst this year, McLaughlin is the only driver to have turned his first title into three, back to back, and one of only 10 to have three or more.
Though it is difficult to compare drivers from different eras, the way McLaughlin collected his records speaks for itself.
Granted, he may not top the record lists, as he hasn’t spent as much time in the category compared with those ahead of him.
He now sits fourth equal on the all-time winners list with 56. 48 of these have come in the last four seasons (since he joined DJR Team Penske).
His 106 podiums place him fifth on the all-time list, 80 of which came in the last 4 years.
Though those are impressive stats, it is the pole position numbers that truly stand out with 76 in his career compared with Jamie Whincup’s 89, placing him second on the list.
The key difference is that McLaughlin earned 59 of these in the last 4 years while Whincup was only able to secure 16 in the same time frame.
McLaughlin made his debut in the series in 2012 co-driving with Jonathon Webb for Tekno Autosports in the endurance series, before replacing Alex Premat in the Garry Rogers Motorsport (GRM) entry for the last race of that season.
In 2013 he made his full-time debut in the GRM Holden Commodore, becoming the youngest race winner at 19-years-old, taking victory on home ground at the ITM 400 Auckland at Pukekohe Park.
The team moved to run the Volvo S60 for the 2014 season with McLaughlin collecting 10 podiums including four race wins.
While 2014 went relatively smoothly for the team, 2015 was a different story. The win-less season saw the team struggling with mechanical issues yet McLaughlin was able to rack-up five podiums.
2016 saw McLaughlin collect eight podiums including two race wins, finishing third in the drivers’ championship.
McLaughlin moved to DJR Team Penske for the start of the 2017 season, racing alongside fellow Kiwi Fabian Coulthard in the Ford FG X Falcon.
The move saw McLaughlin now able to challenge in one of the most competitive cars in the field, something he was able to take full advantage of.
The championship battle came down to the last lap of the season with Jamie Whincup winning the championship by 21-points, despite McLaughlin collecting 18 podiums and eight wins in his first season with the team.
His first championship winning season in 2018 saw McLaughlin and the team come back stronger collecting 21 podiums and nine race wins from just 31 races, despite introducing the new Ford Mustang to the series.
McLaughlin and the team improved once again in 2019 with 22 podiums and a record 18 race wins in a single season, surpassing the record held by Craig Lowndes since 1996.
To cap off the season, he also collected his second championship and his first Bathurst 1000 win.
Through this unusual COVID-19 interrupted season, McLaughlin has continued his dominance with 21 podiums and 13 race wins, as well as his third championship in a row.
With McLaughlin leaving the Australian outfit, it opens a seat for 2021 with the replacement expected to be announced in the next few weeks Rumours suggest it may be Anton de Pasquale or Will Davidson.