Scott McLaughlin is a three-time Supercars champion. He also becomes the first Kiwi in history to claim three successive titles.
The championship win came following a second-place finish in the final race of the OTR SuperSprint from The Bend Motorsport Park.
“It’s awesome,” said McLaughlin. “It feels weird not being able to celebrate with the fans.
“Now we’ve got the big one we can fully focus on, Bathurst. [We can] have a massive crack at it.
“It’s been an awesome battle with Jamie thought the whole year. I’m stoked.”
The race was won by Cam Waters who clinched only his second career victory after an emphatic drive. The Tickford Mustang elevated himself into the lead on the run into Turn 1 as pole-sitter McLaughlin slipped in behind.
The pair both made their compulsory pitstop on Lap 9 and followed each other line astern to the chequered flag. The margin between the two was 3.3 seconds at the stripe.
Jamie Whincup, the only driver able to keep the championship crown out of McLaughlin’s reach, rounded off the podium in third. An early pitstop from the Red Bull team kept Whincup within striking distance of McLaughlin, but he was unable to muster an overtake.
“Big congrats to Scotty and his team for an amazing year,” said Whincup.
“We did everything we could to try and take the championship to Bathurst, but we just weren’t quite quick enough. You’ve got to be consistent as well, and we just weren’t quite there.”
Nick Percat ran a strong race to leapfrog himself from 12th to fourth at the finish.
The biggest mover through the field was Shane Van Gisbergen. The Kiwi started a dismal 26th but found mammoth gains in speed in the window between race and qualifying, climbing 21 spots to finish fifth.
Once again, Van Gisbergen opted for the later pitstop and was paid dividends with the fresher rubber helping him scythe through the field.
Chaz Mostert bowled a wide in the dying stages after a desperate bid to overtake Percat. The mistake yielded a spot to Van Gisbergen, and the WAU Commodore driver eased himself home in sixth.
Todd Hazelwood led Fabian Coulthard home in the duel for seventh and eighth. The sister DJR Mustang survived a small scare with James Courtney as the Tickford driver skated across the grass after a wild side-by-side moment.
Courtney then experienced another hairy moment in a bid to overtake Bryce Fullwood. The pair made contact at the penultimate corner and allowed Holdsworth to slip by and finish ninth.
After his impressive podium finish in the day’s earlier race, Anton de Pasquale couldn’t replicate his earlier performance.
The final race of the championship will be the Bathurst 1000 on October 18.