The flying Kiwis look set to continue their domination of the iconic Aussie Supercars series.

The title resumes at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia this weekend, and in what must irk some Aussie fans, three New Zealanders are at the top of the table.

The DJR Team Penske pairing of Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard sit one and two, with Red Bull Holden Racing's Shane van Gisbergen third. The best of the Aussies is Chaz Mostert in fourth.

Now well into the second half of the season, the field will be looking to up their respective games if McLaughlin is going to be caught, let alone challenged, in his pursuit of a back-to-back championship. The New Zealand driver already has a handy 433-point lead over teammate Coulthard.


The Weekend Herald caught up with four-time Bathurst winner and pitlane commentator Greg Murphy for his thoughts on how the season has panned out so far.

"Well, what do you say? Scotty McLaughlin has just been so fast and so consistent this year and has so much control," said Murphy.

"He was great last year with the championship coming down to the wire, but this year, he has been just so dominant. It's been amazing to watch and he has such a big championship lead.

"Watching what he has been doing in the car is pretty impressive."

The Mustang has been such a good car, and despite a number of small things being taken away from them during the season, the cars are still the ones to beat.

DJR Team Penske, in particular, have done an impressive job in building and preparing the cars and have gained an edge on everyone else in the competition.

"Watching the other teams fight and strive to close up has been interesting, especially when teams keep finding little things to make the cars better. As the rest of the field improve, the interesting thing is watching how Penske keep pushing on as well," said Murphy.

"The other side of that, though, is having to watch Fabian [Coulthard] struggle a bit. That's been hard to watch. You want him to do well, especially from a Kiwi point of view, but he just hasn't found that rhythm Scott has, or found that strength he needs to rival his teammate.


"That's hard on a driver not to be able to replicate what your teammate is doing, or to be as close as you'd like," said Murphy.

There is still lots to play out over the next five rounds, and until Bathurst is over, there is no way you can say a driver has the 2019 championship title locked away.

"I refuse to believe the title race is over, simply because of the 300 points available at Bathurst for that one race. Anything is possible in that race and if Scott does come out the other side of Bathurst with a healthy points lead, he probably will be the 2019 champion, or at least make a statement that he's the one to beat for a back-to-back championship.

"It's probably a bit too early now to be making a call like that but it's looking more and more like it will happen," he said.

Bathurst has always been the hardest race to pick a winner. There are just too many variables and it's so long. However, this weekend at The Bend, the song will probably remain the same where the Penske cars will be quick, and McLaughlin should win at least one race.

McLaughlin posted the fastest lap in the first practice session yesterday, with Tim Slade and Lee Holdsworth the next best.

Points after 9 rounds

1 Scott McLaughlin 2438

2 Fabian Coulthard 2005

3 Shane van Gisbergen 1918

4 Chaz Mostert 1898

5 Jamie Whincup 1798