Scott McLaughlin has clinched his third consecutive Supercars championship.
The Kiwi driver has become just the fourth driver in the 60-year history of Australian touring car racing to win three straight titles, joining Ian Geoghegan (1966-69), Mark Skaife (2000-2002) and Jamie Whincup (2011-14).
It was Whincup who was his closest challenger this year, but with a lead of 305 points going into the final round at Bathurst, McLaughlin holds an unassailable advantage.
He led by 263 points coming into today's two races at the OTR SuperSprint in South Australia, and needed to extend that lead to 300 points or more to wrap up the title. By winning the first race of the day, while Whincup finished seventh, that lead was extended to 299 points, and McLaughlin finished in second in the final race of the weekend, behind Cam Waters, with Whincup following in third, as McLaughlin secured the title.
While he won't lift the championship trophy until October 18, today's result sets up a mouth-watering great race at Mount Panorama, where everyone will be gunning for victory, with the championship locked up.
"We've got the main one — now we can fully focus on Bathurst and have a massive crack at it." McLaughlin said.
"It's been an awesome battle with Jamie throughout the whole year.
"There's not as much pressure now (on winning Bathurst) it's more just we want to win the race, we'll go hard and do what we need to win and have a crack.
"Bring it on, it's good to get a consecutive championship now and hopefully we can go consecutive at Bathurst."
Whincup, who needed a perfect day of racing to have a realistic chance at the title, was left to rue a disastrous pit stop in the day's opening race, which saw him lose pivotal seconds which he never recovered.
He conceded McLaughlin was the worthy winner of the championship.
"Big congratulations to Scotty and his team for an amazing year," Whincup said.
"We did everything we could to try to take the championship to Bathurst but we just weren't quite quick enough.
"You've got to be consistent as well but we just weren't quite there. We feel like we worked hard this year, unfortunately not going to get the biggest trophy but we will try real hard to get the second biggest."
After Bathurst, McLaughlin is set to make his long-awaited IndyCar debut on October 25 in Florida.
- Scott McLaughlin 2354
2. Jamie Whincup 2049
3. Cam Waters 1849
4. Shane van Gisbergen 1795
5. Chaz Mostert 1700
6. Nick Percat 1641
7. Fabian Coulthard 1560
8. Anton de Pasquale 1469
9. Mark Winterbottom 1386
10. Scott Pye 1382