Scott McLaughlin to put aside differences with rival Kiwi ahead of Supercars showdown
It will all come down to the Newcastle 500 to decide this year’s Supercars champion.
As it stands, Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin leads Red Bull Racing rival Shane Van Gisbergen by a slender 14 points in the Drivers Championship ahead of this week’s final round.
And what’s more – it’s Holden vs Ford – you couldn’t script it any better.
It’s been a fierce battle which has ebbed and flowed between the two Kiwis all season – and it hasn’t just been on the track either.
The pair clashed in Pukehoe at the conclusion of Race 28 earlier this month – when Van Gisbergen parked beside McLaughlin – not allowing enough room for the 25-year-old to get out of his car as both drivers pulled up at the podium for the presentation.
But McLaughlin says the two have put aside their differences and the focus will be switched to performing on the track this weekend.
“Obviously he says it was a mistake, I think that’s debatable, but anyway it was one of those things,” McLaughlin said.
“Shane can drive his car at 200 kilometres an hour between walls, millimetres off them, but he couldn’t park there.
“I might have to buy him some parking lessons for Christmas or something.”
McLaughlin has eight race victories for the season as he searches for his first Drivers Championship, while Van Gisbergen who has won a Championship previously – has notched seven race wins.
Both men recorded a win each in the last Supercars round at the Auckland SuperSprint.
McLaughlin also said the lure of being New Zealand’s top driver would be an honour.
“Absolutely, we want to be in some ways the top driver for New Zealand,” McLaughlin said.
“It’s just great for New Zealand.
“I think me and Shane are pretty grateful for the opportunity and I just treat Shane as any driver, but certainly if you thought about it, probably you’d think about the New Zealand thing.
“But he’s just another driver and we’ve got to get on with it.”
Practice for the Newcastle 500 is underway today ahead of the Race 30 on Saturday and Race 31 on Sunday.
Listen to the full interview below: