Radio Sport Mornings' host Jason Pine counts down the top 15 sporting moments of the year. Today: Number 8 - Scott McLaughlin wins Supercars, and Bathurst 1000.
Newcastle 2017 will long live in the memory of Kiwi Supercar fans and Scott McLaughlin.
The Kiwi youngster, needing a finish of 11th or better, could claim his maiden Supercars crown by almost just finishing the race.
But, of course, we know what happened that fateful day, as McLaughlin handed Shane van Gisbergen the crown when he incurred three penalty points on the very final lap.
He came back in 2018 stronger for it, winning his first Supercars title after a season-long battle with van Gisbergen.
Then, in 2019, McLaughlin blew the competition out of the water.
In the first ten races of the season, McLaughlin won seven. By race 15, he had won 11. By the time Bathurst rolled around, he had won an astonishing 17 of 24 races. At the time, the next best was Shane van Gisbergen with just three wins.
McLaughlin had beaten Craig Lowndes' season record of 16 wins with still seven races remaining.
A Kiwi hadn't won the famous race since 2004 - when Greg Murphy won back-to-back crowns.
And for a race that has long created some of motorsports biggest theatre, the 2019 edition would go down in history as one of the most dramatic and controversial.
In the end, it boiled down to a four-car battle and an immense one-lap dash; McLaughlin and van Gisbergen stretching their fuel allocation to limp to the finish, while Courtney and Jamie Whincup were pushing as hard as they could behind.
It had been quite a straightforward race, but three quick-fire safety cars between laps 102 and 128 promptly turned the race on its head.
With 10 laps to go, another safety car came out for a crashed Garry Jacobson and Richie Stanaway. Whincup came in for a stop, while McLaughlin, van Gisbergen, and Courtney continued at the front. The crash set up a remarkable run to the flag, with McLaughlin and van Gisbergen in the front struggling for fuel, and with Courtney and Whincup able to push to the flag. And they would all restart the race relatively close together.
It was a nail-biting final stanza. McLaughlin was holding off van Gisbergen, however van Gisbergen was also able to make use of McLaughlin's draft to help him save fuel. There was very little passing, but the top four remained spread out by a hovering two seconds as teams set themselves up for a fight in the final few laps.
But, there was one final safety car in the tail. Heimgartner, battling for seventh with Winterbottom, clipped the inside wall at Forest Elbow on lap 157 — plowing into the outside wall at speed. The scale of the crash meant that a long clean-up was certain, meaning the race was either going to finish under safety car or finish with a one-lap dash depending on how quickly the broken Nissan could be retrieved. Sure enough, an unprecedented one-lap green-flag run to the finish-line would come; the top four all nose to tail, with one car separating Whincup and Reynolds in fifth.
The two front-runners both got sharp starts, with McLaughlin far enough ahead to defend at Griffins Bend.
Van Gisbergen's critical error was a wide run at McPhillamy Park, where he kicked up dust and lost precious ground to McLaughlin. And, that proved to be the difference at the end of the race — McLaughlin crossing the line with a skint six-tenth margin in hand.
Van Gisbergen and Courtney completed an unlikely podium led by a Kiwi one-two.
Scott McLaughlin had claimed his maiden Bathurst title and become the first Kiwi since 2004 to do so.
In a sport where fractions of a second mean everything, McLaughlin has put daylight between himself and the opposition following Bathurst with a ridiculously large 622-point lead.
He wouldn't win any more races following Bathurst. Two weeks later, he had the biggest crash of his career on the Gold Coast. He then had to drive a new car, due to chassis damage from the crash, for the last two rounds, but was still able to successfully defend his championship title, with a round to go at Sandown.
It was a remarkable year for the young Kiwi, arguably one of the most dominant in recent Supercars history.
Now, with the motorsport world at his fingertips, there are rumours McLaughlin could head overseas to take up a drive in America.