Home' Supercar Xtra : Dec 2017 Jan 2018 Issue 102 Contents 28
FORD’S NEW-GEN DRIVERS
Scott McLaughlin left pitlane gobsmacked
with his 2:03.8312-second lap time in the
Shooutout for the 2017 Bathurst 1000.
McLaughlin had already claimed the
qualifying award for 2017 and his Bathurst
performance drew inevitable comparisons to
countryman Greg Murphy’s ‘Lap of the Gods’
Shootout effort of 2003.
“All our fans, I could hear you guys that was
crazy! That was the most incredible moment
of my life,” said an elated McLaughlin, who
was embraced by Murphy following the lap.
McLaughlin was set to get down to a 2:03
in the fifth practice session until a mistake at
the Chase, but he made amends with a near-
faultless performance in the Shootout, despite
dropping a wheel and kicking up dirt on the
exit of McPhillamy Park.
“We were trying to keep a lid on it but we
knew was a three in the car if he put the lap
together. It had to be near perfect,” said the
data analyst for the #17 car, Richard Harris.
“Because he felt the grip on his warm-up
lap he had the confidence to push into Turn 1,
he matched all his markers from the practice-
five lap and we were surprised given it was
the Shootout. He maybe carried a bit too much
speed in, but he got out well. He was line ball
at Griffins, but the Cutting was really good
and we’d been struggling there.
“We rolled over Skyline and we were line
ball. He rode the kerbs though the Esses just
as he all weekend and hit the sector marker
coming out of the Elbow a little more than
three-tenths up on [David] Reynolds and on
track for the 2:03.”
Highlighting the development of Supercars
and gains from the resurfaced Mount
Panorama, Murphy’s time would have put him
in 26th place on the grid in 2017.
With Waters improving all the time, we asked if he feels
it’s just a matter of time before he fights for the title.
“Obviously, I’m here to win the championship, that’s
why I go racing,” he says.
“So I think I can do it in the years to come. Obviously,
a lot of things have to go your way. It is probably one of
the most competitive series in the world; it’s not easy.”
Former Formula 1 aspirant Stanaway has shifted the
focus in his career to Australia and his impending main-
game graduation comes after two eye-catching co-drive
seasons under the Prodrive banner.
The GP2 race winner adds to the list of talented Kiwis
in the field and, despite being just 26 years of age, has
a wealth of experience in a variety of open-wheeler and
“It will be good to get into an elite category like this
and have the opportunity to specialise with one car in
one championship,” he says.
“For the first time in my career I’ll be somewhere
where there is nowhere further up to go, you’re at the
top and then it is just a matter of trying to be successful
in that one category.”
Stanaway says he’s not thinking too much about red
or blue-blood loyalties at this early stage, with his main
consideration being where the team stacks up in terms
“It’s funny because I actually grew up as a crazy
Holden supporter but now that I’m older I don’t really
mind either way,” he says.
“Maybe some of the fans won’t like me saying that
but it’s certainly something that I haven’t thought too
“But I’d say if I can get in with one type of manufac-
turer and chip away at getting results then I’m sure the
fans will appreciate that.”
But if Stanaway did find himself in a Ford over the
long term, there is one modern-day Blue Oval hero he
“You’ve only got to look at Frosty [Mark Winterbot-
tom], he’s been a pretty good ambassador for the brand
for a very long time now,” he says.
“Everyone sees him as one of the icons for the Ford
brand. I’ve always looked up to Winterbottom.
“He’s always been a hero of mine and it’s quite sur-
real to be mates with him now and it’s easy to forget
how much I looked up to him as a kid. So it’s definitely
something I aspire to.”
With the uncertainty around Ford’s commitment to
Supercars in recent seasons, the arrival of these talented
drivers to the top is a credit to DJR Team Penske and
Prodrive Racing Australia and a reward for long-suffering
Blue Oval fans.
SECTOR 1 51.435
SECTOR 2 1:25.854
LAP TIME 2:06.8594
SECTOR 1 50.573
SECTOR 2 1:23.417
LAP TIME 2:03.8312
Greg Murphy 2003
Scott McLaughlin 2017
“I’M BIG ON RIVALRIES,
PEOPLE’S PERSON BECAUSE
THAT’S WHO I FEEL I AM...”
V8X102 p23-28 Blue Bloods.indd 28
30/10/17 1:37 pm
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