The Bend Supercars: McLaughlin crowned 2020 champion

Andrew van Leeuwen
·3-min read

Only needing to finish ahead of Jamie Whincup to seal the title, McLaughlin wasted little energy trying to race Waters across the 32-lapper.

Instead his focus was on the third-placed Red Bull Holden, McLaughlin covering off Whincup's Lap 8 stop on Lap 9 to ensure his track position was never under threat.

He seemed to have his rival covered on pace anyway, McLaughlin cruising to second place, 3.3s behind Waters but crucially 1.6s ahead of Whincup, to put a third-straight title beyond doubt ahead of next month's Bathurst 1000.

"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." 

Whincup added: "Big congrats to Scotty and his team for an amazing year. 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."

It's the first time since Mark Skaife in 2001 and 2002 that a driver has won the title with a round to spare two years in a row, McLaughlin having sealed the 2019 crown at Sandown last November.

Waters, meanwhile, took advantage of the title fight to secure a first single-driver career race win. Thanks to a clean getaway from the outside of the front row he was able to muscle across on McLaughlin, knowing the points leader would yield with an eye on the bigger picture.

The plan worked a treat, Waters never looking back once in front as charged to a first win since he and Richie Stanaway won the Sandown 500 in 2017.

"The car was awesome, we made it a bit better between the two races," said Waters. "I just needed to get a good start and I was away. I'm absolutely pumped." 

Nick Percat finished fourth, while Shane van Gisbergen put in a huge drive to go from 22nd on the grid to fifth. The T8 driver made good progress on a long first stint, before using his superior tyre condition to charge into the top five by the finish.

Race 3 results:

1

6

Australia
Australia

Cameron Waters

Ford Mustang GT

2

17

New Zealand
New Zealand

Scott McLaughlin

Ford Mustang GT

3.359

3

88

Australia
Australia

Jamie Whincup

Holden Commodore ZB

4.953

4

8

Australia
Australia

Nick Percat

Holden Commodore ZB

7.360

5

97

New Zealand
New Zealand

Shane van Gisbergen

Holden Commodore ZB

7.703

6

25

Australia
Australia

Chaz Mostert

Holden Commodore ZB

10.536

7

14

Australia
Australia

Todd Hazelwood

Holden Commodore ZB

11.347

8

12

New Zealand
New Zealand

Fabian Coulthard

Ford Mustang GT

11.942

9

5

Australia
Australia

Lee Holdsworth

Ford Mustang GT

14.248

10

44

Australia
Australia

James Courtney

Ford Mustang GT

20.733

11

99

Australia
Australia

Anton De Pasquale

Holden Commodore ZB

21.264

12

20

Australia
Australia

Scott Pye

Holden Commodore ZB

21.461

13

2

Australia
Australia

Bryce Fullwood

Holden Commodore ZB

24.165

14

7

New Zealand
New Zealand

Andre Heimgartner

Ford Mustang GT

25.074

15

15

Australia
Australia

Rick Kelly

Ford Mustang GT

27.052

16

18

Australia
Australia

Mark Winterbottom

Holden Commodore ZB

27.762

17

9

Australia
Australia

David Reynolds

Holden Commodore ZB

28.579

18

3

Australia
Australia

Macauley Jones

Holden Commodore ZB

30.351

19

55

Australia
Australia

Jack Le Brocq

Ford Mustang GT

30.633

20

34

Australia
Australia

Jake Kostecki

Holden Commodore ZB

32.752

21

35

Australia
Australia

Garry Jacobson

Holden Commodore ZB

39.065

22

4

Australia
Australia

Jack Smith

Holden Commodore ZB

43.577

23

22

New Zealand
New Zealand

Chris Pither

Holden Commodore ZB

47.552

View full results