Motorsport: McLaughlin 'stoked' with clean sweep

By Eric Thompson

Scott McLaughlin leads the way with Andy Booth close on his tail. Photo / Geoff Ridder
Scott McLaughlin leads the way with Andy Booth close on his tail. Photo / Geoff Ridder

Young New Zealand tin-top driver Scott McLaughlin put the disappointment of his team having to withdraw from the previous round of the V8 SuperTourers behind him by taking a clean sweep of round four at Hampton Downs over the weekend.

McLaughlin's Supercheap Auto team had various mechanical issues at Manfeild, but came back with vengeance at the north Waikato circuit to win three from three.

He came home ahead of previous NZV8 champions including John McIntyre, Andy Booth, Paul Manuell and Craig Baird and V8 Supercars' stalwart Greg Murphy.

"We got every point we could this weekend. We're still in with a chance [overall series championship] and three good endurance rounds, we're there," said McLaughlin.

"I'm so stoked and I've wanted to be doing that with Murph [Greg Murphy] since I was 8.

Going door-to-door with my hero was so great."

It was, however, the three-time NZV8 champion John McIntyre who came away from the weekend with the main prize - the sprint series championship title - by just two points from the New Zealand Herald-driven car of Jonny Reid.

Coming into race two Reid's car lunched a gearbox and rolled to a halt on the entrance to the pit lane allowing McIntyre, who finished third, to move into the lead.

"Having something like this happen is an absolute disaster and I'm really gutted this had to happen so close to determining the championship fight," said Reid.

Reid's International Motorsport team worked like demons to get the car fixed and made the grid for the third and final race. Reid was soon making his up way through the field while McIntyre was slowly dropping back. At one point it looked as if Reid might just sneak the sprint title but McIntyre hung on to eighth place to secure the inaugural sprint championship.

"We struck a bit of a gearbox problem about five laps into the race and it wouldn't select gears on time," said McIntyre. "There was a bit of a panic going on in the car but it just proves you've got to be consistent to win a championship."

Next up for the drivers in the V8 SuperTourers is the Endurance series and the main championship. Drivers will start with a clean sheet at the first of the three endurance rounds at Taupo, August 10-12. Points from the sprint series will be added to those from the endurance series to determine the overall champion in October.

TABLE TOPPERS

Points after four rounds
* John McIntyre 2021
* Jonny Reid 2019
* Greg Murphy 1742
* Andy Booth 1651
* Kayne Scott 1498
* Ant Pedersen 1468.

- NZ Herald

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