Scott McLaughlin, Cam Waters take home post-season awards
The Supercars Championship post-season awards have been handed out swiftly after the conclusion of the Bathurst 1000, also signalling the end of a shortened but draining season for the teams.
Held in the pit lane at Mount Panorama, the usual awards reserved for the traditional Gala Night were handed out after the 161 lap race with DJR Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin and Tickford Racing’s Cam Waters sharing the spoils.
As well as being crowned champion for the third straight year, McLaughlin takes home the Barry Sheene Medal for the third time, voted by the sport’s media as the driver of the year.
After taking his first pole position at Bathurst yesterday and second in today’s race, Waters won his first Driver’s Driver Award, as voted by his peers for his drives throughout a year where he came of age in the category, ending up second in the title race.
Speaking to a crowd of his peers after taking his first Barry Sheene Medal since 2016, McLaughlin says he was proud to take the award again and that the DJR Team Penske team was a big motivator in his success.
“It’s a proud moment,” McLaughlin said.
“It’s obviously a medal that is very highly regarded within the category.
“Barry was a great man, although I didn’t meet him, but to display the qualities that obviously I’ve heard about and stuff like that is a very proud moment for me, my family and the team.”
“Everyone on the team has been pushing me to be ready for the next event even when we didn’t know when that was going to be; you’re prepping for a race while at another.
“We had to be on the ball and sometimes I wasn’t that, in the first Townsville weekend we weren’t quite there and we had to battle it out to come through but I’m proud that we came back the next week and bounced back.
“That’s what the championship’s about; being good on your bad days but being able to be good, consistent and use what you learned the week before to come back stronger.”
Waters too had to thank the Tickford squad, a team which has spent over 100 days on the road and away from family in Victoria after the state’s lockdown forced them to run for the border over three months ago.
“It’s absolutely amazing, thanks to every one of the guys who voted for me,” Waters said.
“Just building on last year, having a fair bit of pace but not being able to back up every weekend. This year’s been the turning point with that stuff and this weekend has been amazing.
“Obviously the pole award yesterday was pretty cool and I gave it absolutely everything today but Shane (van Gisbergen) and Garth (Tander) did a better job.
“I couldn’t have done it without my boys, they’ve had so much sacrifice this year as have all the other teams, they’ve been putting in a massive amount of work and I can’t thank them enough.”
With McLaughlin most likely leaving for Indycar next year, Waters is a favourite to be a championship contender in 2021, having stepped up as a leader within Tickford this year.