POLL: Will McLaughlin be overhauled in the title race?
There seems to be no stopping Scott McLaughlin in his pursuit of a second Supercars title after he dominated both races at the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint.
The reigning champion’s title defence is in rude health having racked up nine Armor All Pole Positions and a highly impressive 10 wins from 14 races.
That rich vein of form makes for some incredible statistics and ominous reading for his rivals when you analyse the Kiwi’s start to the season.
McLaughlin already has a 244 point lead over his nearest rival, Shell V-Power Racing team-mate Fabian Coulthard, leaving him 56 points away from having round’s worth of points advantage.
This margin could have been even bigger had he not thrown away a pole position starting berth in Race 5 at Albert Park when he and Cameron Waters failed to make the start following a collision on the way to the grid.
At the moment the 25-year-old boasts an average qualifying position of 1.9 and an average finish of 2.9, and has accrued more wins this year than he did in last year’s successful championship campaign.
This success has arrived amid a parity debate that has seen the Mustang twice been hit with adjustments regarding its centre of gravity and aero package.
However, what has remained a constant throughout the parity storm is McLaughlin’s impressive speed.
Speaking ahead of Perth, the championship leader declared that he has never driven better.
This was highlighted on Sunday with a stunning lap to secure his ninth pole by 0.5s over nearest rival Coulthard.
While the season is yet to reach its halfway mark, the task of overhauling him for the title seems an unlikely proposition at this stage.
Coulthard appears to be the only real threat at the minute with Shane van Gisbergen, in third, already 415 points adrift, David Reynolds (fourth) 426 shy, while Jamie Whincup (fifth) is 478 points back.
Comparing McLaughlin’s flying start to others also shows the significance of his form.
During Whincup’s dominant years during the last decade the Triple Eight driver has never claimed 10 victories after 14 races.
Five-time Australian Touring Car champion, Mark Skaife holds the most dominant season record in the Supercars era when he won 15 of 29 races in 2002 to win the title with three rounds to spare.
His run included winning the opening five rounds of the championship.
Given McLaughlin’s form, this year’s championship could be wrapped up early.
After another dominant display from McLaughlin, Speedcafe.com wants to know if you think he can be stopped or is a second title already within his grasp?