Brad Lewis: Prepare for a decade of Kiwi Supercars dominance

Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen.
Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen. Photo credit: Getty

OPINION: This weekend's battle between Scott McLaughlin and Shane Van Gisbergen is a sneak peek into the future of Australian motorsport - a Kiwi revolution.

The two flying New Zealanders go head-to-head in Newcastle for one of Australia's most-prized domestic sporting titles - the Supercars Championship.

For Van Gisbergen, the final round of the year presents an opportunity to win his second title in three years.

McLaughlin hopes to exorcise the demons of 12 months ago, when he blew a near-certain series victory, losing the championship lead on the final lap of the season.

The dominance of these two very fast Kiwis has Australian petrolheads in genuine fear that the duo are set for a decade of dominance.

Not even defending series champion Jamie Whincup could halt the Kiwi charge to the 2018 title. The man regarded as the greatest in the history of the series has often been outgunned by Van Gisbergen's and McLaughlin's raw speed.

Three weeks ago, Pukekohe provided one of the most memorable NZ moments in championship history, when all five local lads qualified for the top-10 shootout.

Add Andre Heimgartner, Fabian Coulthard and the extremely talented Richie Stanaway to the two title rivals, and Sunday proved a Kiwi blackout for the home fans.

The level of Australian talent on the grid is unquestioned. Whincup holds a record seven series titles, but his days as the face of the Red Bull team appear numbered, with the emergence of Van Gisbergen as the alpha dog of that team.

Chaz Mostert is quick, but his Tickford team have struggled in 2018 and with a new car coming next year, there could be more teething problems ahead.

James Courtney is a former champion, but hasn't been a relevant series contender in nearly a decade, while Mark Winterbottom is leaving Ford after Newcastle - his future is unclear at this stage.

David Reynolds could be the great Australian hope. The charismatic New South Welshman is the most popular driver in the paddock.

He is quick and has a great team behind him, but he does have a mistake in him, which cost him dearly in 2018.

With three Kiwis filling seats in the two top teams, several championship wins are conceivably headed this side of the Tasman over the next 10 years.

Things change quickly in motorsport, as shown by Tickford's horror season this year, but McLaughlin and Van Gisbergen are good enough, driving for teams with a history of winning, that anyone else claiming a series title is at long odds.

Whichever way the two wind up in Newcastle, you can bet this won't be the last time a Kiwi stands with his arms raised on the final podium of the season.

Brad Lewis is Newshub sports producer and motorsports reporter.

Join us on Saturday and Sunday for live updates of the Supercars Championship final round.