With Scott McLaughlin poised to break his long-standing record for most race wins in a Supercars season, Craig Lowndes has hailed the Ford star’s 2019 form.
McLaughlin has won 16 races so far this year, equalling the record set by Lowndes in 1996.
A win in either of this weekend’s two 200km races at Pukekohe Park in New Zealand will make the DJR Team Penske racer the most successful in a single season in championship history.
Lowndes says McLaughlin’s dominance, which has enabled him to open up a whopping 573-point lead in the title standings, is no fluke.
« There’s no doubt that every decade or era you have a driver or a team that really click together. Scotty’s having that at the moment, » Lowndes told AAP.
« It’s great to see.
« I think he’s driving smart, he’s driving clever and he’s got a car that can deliver what he needs to do. »
McLaughlin’s bid to break the record hit a snag in Friday’s practice when an ignition issue cost him track time in the day’s second and final 30-minute hitout.
The defending series champion could only sit and wait until the issue was resolved before eventually hitting the track, completing seven laps and posting the seventh-quickest lap of the session.
« We didn’t get as many laps in as we wanted but it was alright, » McLaughlin said.
« At least we got back out, the boys were all over it. »
It was a rare misstep for McLaughlin but whatever happens this weekend, Lowndes is resigned to his long-standing record falling.
« It’s something I didn’t really think about when we achieved it back in ’96, » the three-time champion said.
« I suppose we had less races back then but at the same token to have a dominant year like he’s having, it is surprising that it’s lasted so long. »
The Auckland SuperSprint resumes with a final practice run on Saturday morning before qualifying and a 70-lap race in the afternoon.