Scott McLaughlin could have the Supercars title locked away for another season at the end of the weekend after a hot start to this weekend's OTR SuperSprint at The Bend in South Australia.
Qualifying in pole position for the opening race of the weekend, the 27-year-old Kiwi finished as he started, with countryman Shane van Gisbergen close behind.
Van Gisbergen took a later pit-stop than McLaughlin, which meant he had fresher tyres toward the back end of the race but despite gradually reducing the gap he was unable to get the better of McLaughlin, finishing 0.6sec behind.
"Shane was coming at me pretty hard there," McLaughlin said after the race.
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"I tried to leave a little bit in the bank when he was coming at me to charge on when he really got to me and try to get his tyres hot in the dirty air.
"That plan worked for me, the pitstop from the guys was fantastic, really proud of everyone at Shell V-Power Racing."
Taking the 100 points that come with the win, McLaughlin holds a 263-point lead over nearest rival Jamie Whincup, who could only muster a 10th-placed finish after a poor showing in qualifying saw him start the race 14th.
With two more races to come this weekend, should McLaughlin do enough to finish the weekend 300 points clear of Whincup, he will claim the Supercars title for a third straight year with a round to spare.