McLaughlin: Supercars title fulfils promise to late grandmother

New Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin says his breakthrough title win fulfils a promise he made to his late grandmother

McLaughlin: Supercars title fulfils promise to late grandmother

Reflecting on his maiden championship, secured in Newcastle on Sunday, McLaughlin spoke of a deep connection with Supercars that extends back to his childhood in New Zealand watching his hero Greg Murphy.

He also dedicated the crown to his late grandmother, who passed away in 2015, explaining that he promised her he would add his name to Supercars' roll of honour.

"I never had dreams of going to Formula 1 or anything like that," he said.

"I dreamt of being on this [championship] trophy and the Bathurst trophy like my hero Murph.

"It's a pretty emotional day for my family. I promised my gran, before she passed away, that I'd do it for her, and I did it.

"It's been a pressure-cooker year, last night [Saturday] I was struggling to get some sleep. I'm just so bloody proud to get it done, it's a massive weight off my shoulders."

McLaughlin debuted in Supercars as a 16-year-old in the second-tier Super2 series in 2010.

With so little circuit racing experience - he missed the first round in Adelaide as he had not acquired the appropriate licence - his spot in the Stone Brothers Racing outfit was not without controversy.

But by the end of 2012 he was a Super2 champion, then became a Supercars winner just six races into his full-time career with Garry Rogers Motorsport.

He headlined GRM's Volvo line-up before departing to join DJR Team Penske in 2017, going agonisingly close to winning the title last year before succeeding in '18.

"I had a lot of haters before I started," he said.

"Sixteen years old, I was a young kid, coming to Super2, we had tremendous backing from Fujitsu and whatever. I stalled on my first go and got hit up the arse and that didn't really help my cause.

"From that start I've had the right people around me, whether it was Ross and Jimmy [Stone] or Garry Rogers.

"I owe a lot to them, especially Garry Rogers. He's been tremendous.

"When I left his team it was a hard decision, but he is the one who gave me my start and is still a massive supporter of mine.

"It's amazing to get my first championship. It pays off mum and dad's hard work; my dad put his balls on the line business-wise to do it.

"If it didn't work out he was in the crap, so I owe a lot to my mum and dad."

McLaughlin spent Sunday night celebrating in Newcastle, which included fitting 40 chicken McNuggets inside the Supercars trophy.

"[The celebration] was amazing. [It was a] relief for everyone," said McLaughlin.

"It was just fantastic. I certainly had a couple of sherbets here and there, and the trophy was filled up with beer, and spirits, and chicken McNuggets.

"You can actually fit 40 McNuggets in the trophy, which is quite interesting. That's a fun fact for everyone."

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Series Supercars
Drivers Scott McLaughlin
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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