McLaughlin in driver’s seat for Bathurst dream
SCOTT McLaughlin will go all out for Bathurst glory with the Ford top gun declaring his 598-point championship lead will allow him to "win it or bin it'' at Mount Panorama next month.
The DJR/Team Penske pilot declared this week his back-to-back championship bid would be put on hold in a whatever it takes bid to win his first Bathurst.
"We have the luxury of being almost 600 points ahead in the championship,'' McLaughlin said.
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"That is basically two rounds so I can afford to drop a round like Bathurst if it all goes wrong. I have the opportunity to throw the championship out the window and have an almighty crack.''
A Bathurst crown is the glaring omission in McLaughlin's bursting at the seams trophy cabinet.
"Everybody knows this is the last box I need to tick,'' McLaughlin said.
"I still have a lot of time to get it done and I don't have to win it this year. But I have a fast car and I feel I have a very good shot.''
Leading nearest rival Shane van Gisbergen by 598 points following his last-start win in New Zealand, McLaughlin is not concerned about the prospect of a crash at Bathurst in a mindset that will allow him to push for the win.
"It is more a luxury than a pressure release,'' McLaughlin said.
"It means I do not have to worry about the championship when I go through all that thought process stuff. It gives me a chance to just have a crack and it is nice to be able to go to Bathurst thinking about the one race only. I am treating it as one race only which is cool.''