McLaughlin relishing Supercars title fight
Scott McLaughlin is relishing the Supercars championship title fight as he prepares to go on the offensive at this weekend’s Vodafone Gold Coast 600.
The Shell V-Power Racing Team driver heads to Surfers Paradise having relinquished the championship lead following a rough run at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
An engine drama at The Great Race has left the Kiwi third in the standings some 97 points adrift of team-mate Fabian Coulthard, with three rounds of the season remaining.
However, being in contention to win the championship at the business end of the season is new territory for McLaughlin, who is showing no sign of nerves as the season heads towards its climax.
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Rather than being content to pick up points, the 24-year-old believes the best way to secure the title is to push forward for race wins.
“I’m not nervous, I just enjoy the battle,” McLaughlin told Speedcafe.com.
“I can attack and I’m going to have a good crack.
“To win this championship now you have got to win races and be the fastest car.
“I certainly feel we have been up there as one of the fastest cars for most of the year and we now have to turn that into results.
“I’m excited. I love this Gold Coast track and I love this event.
“It is one of my favourites and I have always gone reasonably well here.”
McLaughlin says he has moved on from the disappointment of Bathurst after a strong victory shot alongside co-driver Alex Premat was curtailed by a rare engine failure.
“It was rough but we couldn’t do anything about it but we took some positives and we moved on,” he added.
“At the end of the day we are not that far behind in the championship.”
The team is confident that it will avoid a repeat of the issue.
“With the turn around between Bathurst and the Gold Coast it is hard to really dig deep (on the engine issue),” Shell V-Power Racing Team managing director Ryan Story told Speedcafe.com.
“We are pretty confident of our understanding of what took the #17 car out and we will continuing to do further analysis.
“We have taken the necessary steps to avoid a repeat but it is something we will continue to evaluate.
“It was a failure that we have not seen in my time at the team. It was a rare one.”
The Vodafone Gold Coast 600 begins today with opening practice scheduled for 1055 local time.