McLaughlin toasts third Supercars crown

Three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin is expected to switch to IndyCar racing full time.
Three-time Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin is expected to switch to IndyCar racing full time.

Scott McLaughlin is likely to have bowed out of Supercars with a third-straight championship and one seriously impressive burnout.

The Ford superstar could not secure back-to-back Bathurst 1000 crowns - finishing fifth - but he left a mark on the famous Mount Panorama track.

McLaughlin had already wrapped up the title at Tailem Bend but it became official on Sunday.

As fellow New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen claimed his maiden Bathurst 1000 race victory, McLaughlin followed behind by spinning the tyres on his Mustang.

"Congrats to Shane and Triple Eight Racing, they were faultless all day," McLaughlin said.

"It's been an awesome year.

"But it's been hard for a lot of teams, including ours, and just proud to bring home the bacon.

"I thought Skyline would be pretty sick (for the burnout), come over the top, so I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures.

"Unfortunately for the (DJR Penske) boys after quarantine, they've got to go and fix the cars."

There will be barely a moment to rest for McLaughlin, who will fly to America on Monday morning as he prepares to make his IndyCar debut in Florida next weekend.

It is expected that will be the first race of a long career in the United States after an incredible run in Supercars.

He has 56 career victories - 40 coming since the start of the 2018 season - ahead of now four-times Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander (55) in outright fourth on the all-time race wins list.

"I've done everything I've wanted to achieve, regardless of how St Petersburg goes," McLaughlin said.

"I've got to grab this opportunity in America with both hands.

"I said I wanted to win a Bathurst, a championship and be a consistent frontrunner.

"I really wanted to move up that leaderboard with the wins and the poles and I'm really proud of all that.

"If it is (my last Supercars race) then I'm completely satisfied."

Australian Associated Press