Scott McLaughlin’s record Top 10 Shootout lap may stand the test of time ahead of technical changes made from next season.
The aero packages on the Ford and Holden Supercar models will be re-homologated ahead of the 2020 season, with an intended outcome a drop in downforce.
Engines from 2020 will also see a minor drop in horsepower to increase the life of the unit, while engine rebuilds will be capped at three per season.
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Times at Mount Panorama have dropped year on year since the circuit was resurfaced ahead of the 2014 event.
In 2017, McLaughlin broke new ground when he set the first ever 2:03s Supercars lap at Bathurst, a massive leap from the lofty 2:06s marker that set tongues wagging from 2003 following Greg Murphy’s ‘Lap of the Gods’.
On Saturday, McLaughlin scythed to a record-breaking 2:03.3783s lap in the Shootout, adding a second Bathurst pole to his burgeoning CV.
While he is yet to win the race, he may claim ownership of the lap record for some time ahead of the mooted changes.
Just McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert, Jamie Whincup, Cameron Waters, Will Davison and Andre Heimgartner have set times in the 2:03s bracket in a Supercar — and they could hold a place in history forever.
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According to Mostert, who was 0.4s off McLaughlin to second in the Shootout, slower cars suggest a lesser spectacle.
Mostert owns the second fastest lap at the circuit — a 2:03.5089s set in Practice 7 — but believes slower Shootouts at the mountain could be “disappointing”.
“Last year I was unlucky not to get into the Top 10, but I went and watched the [Shootout] as a fan at the top of the hill,” he said after Saturday’s fight for pole.
“As a fan on the fence, you want to see cars going faster and faster every year, records getting broken.
“To see Scotty’s lap … it’s pretty impressive.
“When you talk to [commentator Mark] Skaife on your cool-down lap and he says, ‘that’s the fastest ever sector across the top’ … we’re not going to quite have that any more.
“It will be slightly boring when it comes to qualifying and Top 10s.”
While pleased to again reset the record, McLaughlin was nonplussed about the speed of the cars, rather the execution by the driver.
McLaughlin agreed that his lap may stand for some time, but was less concerned about the impact slower cars will have on the famous single-lap dash.
“If you take grip away and less engine power, you’re obviously going to go slower,” McLaughlin said.
“We all go the fastest we can with whatever we have.
“I just wanna know that on the day, I’m the fastest, and that I have the best spot to start the Great Race.
“Whether it stays like that for ages, whether it doesn’t, I don’t really care.”