Live updates: Supercars Championship finale - Newcastle 500

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Final Lap: So the final lap of the seaon, the final lap of Falcon in Supercars and the final full time lap for Craig Lowndes and Tim Blanchard. Scott McLaughlin has done it! The demons of 2017 are well and truly behind him! Awesome job from the Kiwi - he is the Supercars Champion for 2018. 

Lap 94/95: Reynolds from McLaughlin, Whincup, SVG, Courtney, Heimgartner, Mostert, Tander, Holdsworth and Pye.

Lap 93/95: Provisional points has Scotty in front by 71-points. SVG coasting in fourth but a title slipping away with a few laps left.

Lap 91/95: McLaughlin lets him through on the order of Roger Penske who spoke with the Kiwis race engineer. Smart to not cross the boss. 

Lap 89/95: McLaughlin holding firm at the front - not keen to give up a race win. Reynolds is right there as his team reminds him of the huge gap back to SVG in fourth.

Lap 87/95: Scotty's team have told him to let Reynolds through if he gets any closer. No point risking something silly happening.

Lap 85/95: Craig Lowndes is 11th in his final race. SVG may have to stop - both of his front guards are hanging loose. Team has told him to stay out. Reynolds eating up Scotty's lead at the front- under a second now.

Lap 81/95: Reynolds just closing the gap - just under a second at the moment. SVG is 32 seconds behind in fourth. 

Lap 79/95: Percat has dropped out of the top ten - he didn't have enough fuel. McLaughlin leads by just under two-seconds from Reynolds,Whincup, Van Gisbergen, Courtney, Heimgartner, Mostert, Tander, Holdsworth and Pye.

Lap 77/95: Simona was turned around by Tim Blanchard - that was poor from the BJR driver. Simona pits to remove the bumper. Fabian Coulthard is done for the day - parked up in the pits.

Lap 76/95: Big damage for Simona De Silvestro - the back bumper is hanging off after contact at the wall. McLaughlin was close to her on the track but avoided any trouble.

Lap 75/95: If Scott can bring this home it would cap off a remarkable year for Roger Penske Motorsport. Indy 500 win with Will Power, Joey Lagano just won the NASCAR title and Penske won it's 500th race during the year. SVG has damage on the left front- the guard has come half off - he may cop a black flag for that.

Lap 72/95: McLaughlin from Reynolds, Whincup, SVG, Courtney, Percat, Heimgartner, Mostert, Tander and Holdsworth. Craig Lowndes is 12th in his final drive. Coulthard and Stanaway having days to forget.

Lap71/95: SVG is over 20-seconds behind McLaughlin - his title charge is losing steam. Just a strange day for the Kiwi after copping that penalty this morning. Regardless, even if that hadn't happened McLaughlin would still be in control of the title hunt.

Lap 68/95: McLaughlin coasting now - just needs to avoid any trouble and the title will be his. 

Lap 63/95: McLaughlin building a nice little lead at the head of the pack. Just under two-seconds ahead of Reynolds. Whincup and De Silvestro 14 seconds further back in thrid and fourth. SVG is fifth, another three-seconds back from Courtney, Percat, Heimgartner and Mostert.

Lap 60/95: Lowndes makes his final stop as a fulltime driver from first. McLaughlin leads from Reynolds, Simona and Whincup. Simona still needs to make her final stop.

Lap 58/95: Richie Stanaway is down in 17th, Coulthard is two laps down in 25th and Heimgartner is eighth.

Lap 55/95: So on track Lowndes leads but he has yet to stop. McLaughlin is second from Reynolds, De Silvestro, Whincup, SVG, Courtney and Percat.

Lap 52/95:McLaughlin is in for his final scheduled stop of the season. Reynolds stopped aswell and Scotty kept his lead on corrected order.

Lap 51/95: McLaughlin leads by just over four seconds from Reynolds. He needs just a tick over 3.5 to keep the lead.

Lap 49/95: McLaughlin from Reynolds, Whincup, Courtney, Heimgartner, Lowndes, Pye, Slade, Blanchard and Caruso.

Lap 48/95: SVG pits - he was been held up by Courtney - he will need to fuel save or need a caution to get home from here.

Lap 45/95: We are about five-laps away from the critical lap when everyone can get to the end of mone more stop so expect some carnage in about five-minutes.

Lap 41/95: Scotty's lead at the front is almost four-seconds now.

Lap 39/95: Andre Heimgartner's strong weekend continues - he is up to seventh.

Lap 37/95: McLaughlin from Reynolds, Whincup, Courtney and Van Gisbergen who is six-seconds behind his Championship rival.

Lap 35/95: As it stands McLaughlin leads the Championship by 95 points. His lead at the front is now over two-seconds.

Lap 30/95: McLaughlin's lead is out to 1.4 seconds at the front. He has less fuel on board than Reynolds in second place - he needs just over three-seconds to stay in front at the next stop.

Lap 28/95: McLaughlin from Reynolds, Whincup, Courtney, Van Gisbergen, Percat, Tander, Heimgartner, Kelly and Winterbottom.

Lap 27/95: Richie Stanaway has been turned around at turn six- a season to forget for the very talented young Kiwi.

Lap 25/95: Whincup looks very quick behind Reynolds while McLaughlin is gapping them just a tad.

Lap 23/95: No further action regarding the Whincup v Coulthard incident so he is free to continue.

Lap 22/95: McLaughlin from Reynolds, Whincup, Courtney, Van Gisbergen, Percat, Rick Kelly, Winterbottom, Tander and De Pasquale. Coulthard rejpoins but he is a lap down.

Lap 21/95: McLaughlin jumps Reynolds in the pits - they short filled in order to gain track position. Reynolds in front of SVG. 

Lap 20/95: Whincup sets the fastest lap of the race - no surprise given he is finally in clean air after being held up for the first 15 laps. As I say that he turns around Coulthard at the second corner - that was a bit of payback for yesterday - Whincup might cop a drive-thru for that. Saftey Car.

Lap19/95: Reynolds lead is out to two-seconds - McLaughlin is a second in front of The Giz.

Lap 17/95: Whincup pits from seventh - he was been held up by Holdsworth- he rejoins in 18th behind Coulthard.

Lap 15/95: Reynolds leads by 1.3 seconds from McLaughlin, SVG, Tander, Courtney, Holdsworth, Whincup, Slade, Lowndes and Heimgartner.

Lap 13/95: Richie Stanaway having a good run - he is up to 18th from 26th. Coulthard is down in 20th but he has pit.

Lap11/95: Reynolds leads by almost two-seconds with McLaughlin a half-second in front of SVG

Lap 10/95: Heimgartner is 10th in the Nissan with Stanaway up from 26th to 20th in the Falcon. Winterbottom pits from 12th.

Lap 8/95: Coulthard pits from ninth spot.

Lap 7/95: Golding is back out there but well out of it.Giz is stalking Scotty with Reynolds gapping the two Kiwis at the front.

Lap 5/95: Reynolds leads by half a second at the front, McLaughlin and SVG seperated a car length.

Lap 4/95: Reynolds, McLaughlin, SVG, Tander, Courtney, Holdsworth, Slade, Whincup, Coulhard and Lowndes. 

Lap 2/95: Huge lock up for SVG at the first corner - has that damaged his tyres? We will see. James Golding is in trouble - in the pits and already on the jacks. He may have hit the wall.

Race Start: No dramas at the start - Reynolds leads from McLaughlin, SVG, Tander, Courtney and Holdsworth.

5.40pm: Drivers head out on their formation lap - minutes away from the green flag.

5.37pm: Will do my best to keep you updated on how the title battle is playing out.The rule of thumb for McLaughlin is to finish within five cars of SVG and he will collect the crown.

5.25pm: If you are the betting type I would get some money on David Reynolds to win this one with the two title rivals behind him. Can see him driving away at the front.

Here is the how the grid shapes up today:

1. David Reynolds (Holden)

2. Scott McLaughlin (Ford)

3. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden)

4. Garth Tander (Holden)

5. Lee Holdsworth (Holden)

6. James Courtney (Holden)

7. Jamie Whincup (Holden)

8. Tim Slade (Holden)

9. Andre Heimgartner (Nissan)

10. Fabian Coulthard (Ford)

11. Cameron Waters (Ford)

12. Craig Lowndes (Holden)

13. Nick Percat (Holden)

14. Chaz Mostert (Ford)

15. Anton de Pasquale (Holden)

16. Rick Kelly (Nissan)

17. Will Davison (Ford)

18. Mark Winterbottom (Ford)

19. Tim Blanchard (Holden)

20. Jack Le Brocq (Holden)

21. James Golding (Holden)

22. Simona De Silvestro (Nissan)

23. Scott Pye (Holden)

24. Michael Caruso (Nissan)

25. Todd Hazelwood (Holden)

26. Richie Stanaway (Ford) 

5.13pm: Hey folks - cracking afternoon in Newcastle sets the scene for a wonderful moment in New Zealand motorsport regardless of who gets the nod between SVG and Scotty. Also a big day for the legendary Craig Lowndes - his final race as a full-time Supercars driver. race start at 5.45pm.


Welcome to live commentary of the final race of an exciting 2018 Supercars Championship with Shell V-Power Kiwi Scott McLaughlin holding a 53-point lead over Shane Van Gisbergen.

The lead was only two-points at the end of yesterday but the Red Bull Holden driver copped a 25-second penalty for a pit lane infringement, costing the Kiwi a race win and potentially a Series title.

David Reynolds has earned pole for the final ace of the year with McLaughlin second and Van Gisbergen third.

Pit simply all McLaughlin needs to do is finish sixth and he will win the title regardless of SVG's result.