Scott feels Holden heat

Scott McLaughlin leads the Supercars field.
Scott McLaughlin leads the Supercars field.

CHAMPIONSHIP leader and Ford driver Scott McLaughlin knows he only has to look over his shoulder to see a nest of Holdens emerging from the Darwin heat.

McLaughlin, who turned 25 on Sunday, has five Holden teams, including Shane van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, between him and DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard.

"It's a bit of a party for those boys at the moment, but we're trying to slide a Ford on top of them this weekend to make sure we stay clear,'' McLaughlin said on Tuesday.

The last season of the FGX Falcon before the Ford teams get behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang has been good to the Penske cars in the first 14 races.

A total of five race wins, including four in a row at Phillip Island and Perth has McLaughlin in front of the Holdens.

But the Kiwi driver who lost last year's championship to Whincup on the last day of racing, is wary of the long trek to Newcastle in November.

Scott McLaughlin leads to field at the Barbagallo Raceway in Perth.
Scott McLaughlin leads to field at the Barbagallo Raceway in Perth.

"It's all going well, everything is going to plan while we're just trying to collect as many points as we can,'' he said as he added the finishing touches to his preparation ahead of this weekend's Darwin Triple Crown event.

"Darwin and a lot of rounds to come with a lot of points up for grabs means it's only the midway point of the season and you really have to make the most of every race.

"The car has been a great beast for all of us and now it's in its last year before we go to Mustangs next year, we're hoping to finish off in style.''

McLaughlin is in his sixth trip to the Top End since 2013, culminating in a first and second on the Hidden Valley track last year.

"That (six trips) almost makes me a local,'' he said.

"It's an enjoyable track up there, very hot obviously so you have to train hard beforehand and we'll have to adapt to the conditions again when we get up there.

"But it's a great event. All of Darwin gets behind it which makes it really cool and with the really long straight (1.1km) it makes the racing very fast.

"So you've got to have a bit of everything set up, including straight line speed when there are some tough turns and tight hairpins to get through.''

Triple Crown action begins on Friday with the first of the practice session with the first race on Saturday.