Scott McLaughlin with Dick Johnson. Picture: Tim Hunter
Scott McLaughlin with Dick Johnson. Picture: Tim Hunter

McLaughlin ready for Supercars title showdown: DJ

FORD legend Dick Johnson is confident his star driver Scott McLaughlin has the maturity to handle the intense pressure of his last-round title showdown with Shane van Gisbergen.

McLaughlin heads into the season finale at Newcastle this week with a 14-point lead over Red Bull Holden Racing Team rival van Gisbergen as he chases his maiden Supercars crown.

The DJR Team Penske star's championship dream was shattered in Newcastle last year when a late collision with Craig Lowndes, resulting in his third penalty for the day, allowed Jamie Whincup to swoop and win his seventh title.

But Johnson said McLaughlin had learned from those mistakes last year.

 

Scott McLaughlin wins in Pukekohe ahead of Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.
Scott McLaughlin wins in Pukekohe ahead of Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.

 

"Scotty is a lot more mature now,'' the DJR Team Penske boss said.

"I think you will find he won't make those sort of mistakes that he made last year although some of them certainly weren't of his doing.

"We've just got to make sure we give him the best of what we can possibly give him which we are ... he is fast around (Newcastle) and the car will be fast around there, too.''

McLaughlin has claimed 13 poles, eight race wins and 19 podiums this year.