As we have sat and watched Sunday’s coverage of the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, this may be the last Australia Supercars Championship round that we see Kiwi Scott McLaughlin taking part in. McLaughlin will shortly depart for the USA and next weekend, take part in his first NTT IndyCar Series single seater race. Without confirmation from Team Penske, yet, it looks like 2021 and beyond, will be spent in the US competing in IndyCar.
Have we seen the best ever Supercars driver? Even better than the late and great Peter Brock?
The answer has to be yes.
The key reason for this is the level of competition currently in Supercars. There are so many good drivers competing and arguably more so than in the Brock years. McLaughlin has won three consecutive championship titles and in 2019 won the Bathurst 1000, ticking all the key boxes for a Supercars driver.
A key strength that sets him apart from the competition is his ability to bang out top qualifying laps and put his car on pole. This has been an essential key to winning races and that’s how you win championships.
There are those, and will be many others in the future, that have more Bathurst wins or championship titles, but few make it in Supercars and then start a new career elsewhere and this is what McLaughlin is doing and will achieve.
Let’s face it, and this is what I say to any young driver with aspirations on a career in Supercars. It is a dead end for racing drivers. It is a superb category with world class racing which is entertaining, highly professional and extremely competitive. But it leads to no where.
For those with the desire to race in the category, go and seek your fortune overseas. You can always come back to Supercars, particularly if you are any good.
For McLaughlin, his talent is so good that Roger Penske has recognised it and has a career path already for him in the US.
We may look back on Sunday 18 October 2020 with many fond memories of his last performance.
We may have lost the greatest full-time Supercars driver but we now may see, in the future, the greatest ever Bathurst co-driver.