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Teams’ championship a ‘massive deal’ for McLaughlin, DJRTP

Simon Chapman

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Friday 9th October, 2020 - 6:00am

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Scott McLaughlin

Supercars champion-elect Scott McLaughlin says securing the teams’ championship at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 remains a “massive deal” for the Shell V-Power Racing Team.

With the drivers’ championship all but sewn up, two major titles remain up for grabs in this year’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

DJR Team Penske currently sits atop the teams’ championship standings, exactly 100 points clear of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.

The other major crown is this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, which will conclude the 2020 season.

Having won last year’s drivers’ championship, the Bathurst 1000, and the teams’ championship, DJR Team Penske has the opportunity to achieve the three-peat for two years running.

Speaking with Speedcafe.com, McLaughlin said that while the drivers’ championship was the priority for him, the two remaining titles are still just as important.

“It’s one of those deals; we’ve got the Bathurst 1000, we want to win, but at the same time, the teams’ championship is a massive deal for the team,” McLaughlin explained.

“So yeah, we’ve just got to have a solid race and see where we end up at the end of it.

“That won’t be our sole focus,” he said of the Bathurst 1000 win.

“At the end of the day, I think the best thing you can do, especially in the teams’ championship, is just literally do the best job for both cars and then the rest will take care of itself.

“If we’re good enough on the day, we’re good enough.”

McLaughlin said winning the teams’ championship over Triple Eight Race Engineering would be a major coup.

Should the team take the title, it would mark its third teams’ championship in four years.

“It’s not just (pit) position and stuff, but it’s a massive accolade for the team, especially when you’re going up against these guys that won it basically 10 years straight,” said McLaughlin.

“It’s something that, for us, it is a massive thing of pride and we take a lot of pride in winning that and really enjoy it just as much as we’d enjoy winning the drivers.”

McLaughlin said he’s approaching this year’s crown jewel event as “just another race” on the calendar.

With the drivers’ championship in hand and an IndyCar Series debut looming, the 27-year-old said there’s no pressure to go back-to-back.

“I’m actually heading into this probably more relaxed than I probably ever have, because I’ve won it,” said McLaughlin.

“For me, I’ve ticked that box. It’s a bonus if we go even better and I think that just puts you in a mindset that feels good.

“A lot of people talk about last year and it’s obviously been asked a lot, but I have no doubt in my mind that I won that race fair and square.

“We had the best car on the day, best track position, all that sort of stuff.

“You’re always going to have people that are going to try and undermine it, but at the end of the day, what’s done is done.

“We’ve been able to move on from that and I still think we’ve got a really good chance.

“Yeah, we don’t have to prove anything, we just need to go there and be as solid as we have been this year.

“When we arrive at the track, go through our process, do all that stuff, execute, and if we’re there we’re there, if not we’re not.”

This year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 takes place on October 15-18.

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