DJR Penske McLaughlin's Supercars dominance reminiscent of Whincup

Two rival team bosses have likened Scott McLaughlin's Supercars form to the previous dominance displayed by seven-time champion Jamie Whincup

DJR Penske McLaughlin's Supercars dominance reminiscent of Whincup

DJR Team Penske's McLaughlin has won 10 of the first 14 races and has already taken one more victory than he did in his championship-winning 2018 season.

McLaughlin could have had 11 wins had he not missed out an almost-certain victory at Albert Park when he clashed with Cam Waters on the formation lap of the Saturday evening race.

The Penske driver's qualifying efforts have been equally as dominant, taking nine pole positions from a possible 14.

He has also held commanding race margins such as being four-tenths clear of the field on the Saturday in Perth over a 54s lap, and five-tenths clear of a pack led by team-mate Fabian Coulthard at Winton last Sunday.

According to Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards, those margins highlight his "enigmatic" form. "He's half a second faster than his team-mate," said Edwards.

"You see this every now and again. We saw it for years with Whincup as well.

"Sometimes drivers are just in the zone and become almost a bit of an enigma. The confidence levels are up, and he's obviously a very strong qualifier."

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton, who was race engineer for five of Whincup's seven titles, agreed that McLaughlin's current form is reminiscent of Whincup's peak.

"We've seen in the past, when Jamie was on song, especially with his qualifying performances, he'd be sometimes a decent gap to [Craig] Lowndes in P2," said Dutton.

"Sometimes they'd be right on each other, sometimes there would be a big gap.

"It's definitely not unheard of, because history shows it's happened before.

"[DJR Team Penske is] doing a really good job, obviously they've got a class outfit, and Coulthard is doing a good job as well."

Dutton added that he feels McLaughlin's advantage is not just superior car speed, but the strategic freedom that comes with it.

"We didn't target them in the race strategy [at Winton]," he said.

"That's, for them, an extra fortunate position to be in, when they can choose their strategy because no one is nipping at their heels.

"That's something that we're working hard to change, but in the meantime, we're not about throwing hail marys.

"We're about doing our homework, knowing what the capabilities and potential are, and trying to maximise that."

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