Live updates: Supercars Championship - Newcastle 500 Saturday: Scott McLaughlin vs Shane Van Gisbergen

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

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Wow! McLaughlin got home in second so it could have been worse. That was a 24-point turnaround on the last lap. Two-point lead for McLaughlin heading into tomorrow but now all SVG needs to do is finish ahead of his Kiwi rival and he will claim the title. Had McLaughlin got home it would have given him serious breathing space tomorrow but now it's all on.

Final Lap: SVG told to go and get him. here we go folks.SVG right on his tail. Van Gisbergen gets him at the final corner - Scotty ran out of gas right at the end and SVG got passed.

Lap 94/95: McLaughlin is in trouble now - he is in full fuel save mode with SVG flying. Less than a second.

Lap 93/95: Shane is now in McLaughlin's mirror as the gap closes. SVG is good for fuel according to his team so he may have a crack here. 3.3 seconds.

Lap 92/95: 3.7 seconds now - SVG is certainly on the throttle more than Scotty.

Lap 91/95: 4.2 seconds the lead now - it's coming down almost a second a lap.

Lap 90/95: Five seconds the lead now as Scotty is starting to really ease off the pedal in full fuel save mode, but so is SVG so a good spot for McLauglin if he can limp this thing home.

Lap 89/95: Gap down to 5.5 seconds between the two Kiwis - Van Gisbergen just told to save more fuel.

Lap 88/95:  Great drive from Andre Heimgartner. Started 26th and last - is now in eight spot. Stanaway is 16th after his incident with De Silvestro - Richie has had no luck this year- was looking like he could have pushed for a top 10 finish.

Lap 84/95: McLaughlin leads by six seconds from SVG, Reynolds, Whincup, Pye, Winterbottom, Courtney, Heimgartner, Waters and Hazlewood.

Lap 82/95: Van Gisbergen has the lead down to 5.8 seconds - McLaughlin just told he is doing a great job with his fuel management.

Lap 80/95: Heimgartner is now 10th after getting past Rick Kelly and Will Davidson on one lap. Stanaway is 13th but he's just been put in the fence by Simona so all that good work is done. He's lost a couple spots.

Lap 79/95: If these guys get home in first and second the lead for McLaughlin will be 26-points heading into tomorrow.

Lap 78/95: Simona De Silvestro pits from fourth - rejoins in 15th - Van Gisbergen is eating into McLaughlin's lead-6.7 seconds.

Lap 77/95: Stanaway makes a move on De Pesquale for 14th and Scott Pye pits from second. Seven seconds between McLaughlin and SVG at the front - both trying to save fuel.

Lap 76/95: McLaughlin, Pye, Van Gisbergen, Reynolds, De Silvestro, Whincup, Caruso, Winterbottom, Courtney and Davidson.

Lap 74/95: And as I wrote that, McLaughlin extended the lead by half a second. Van Gisbergen is eight seconds behind Pye.

Lap 73/95: Scott Pye is edging closer to Scotty at the front - just over a second is the gap. 

Lap 72/95: No change to the top 10. Heimgartner is 13th and Stanaway 16th - not bad given they shared the back row at the start. Fabian Coulthard isout after hitting the wal; 30 laps ago.

Lap 70/95: McLaughlin has been told to save more fuel by the team. He isn't quite hitting his marker. SVG being given the same message.

Lap 68/95: Scott Pye may not have to stop again - he is right on the edge of having enough, but so is everyone else around him aside from David Reynolds.

Lap 66/95: McLaughlin,Pye, Van Gisbergen, Reynolds, Simona, Whincup, Caruso, Winterbottom, Courtney and Davidson.

Lap 63/95: Mostert hits the wall so he is all but done for the day. Van Gisbergen up to third now with Reynolds right behind him.

Lap 61/95: Mclaughlin's lead to Pye is just over a second but he is conserving so that could tighten up but Pye will need to pit again for sure.

Lap 59/95: McLaughlin leads from Pye and Mostert who will both need to stop again, Van Gisbergen fourth from Reynolds, Simona, Caruso, Whincup and Winterbottom. McLaughlin and van Gisbergen are saving fuel and they both may need a caution to get home. Reynolds is fuelled to the end of the race.

Lap 57/95: SVG now fourth as he eases past Simona De Silvestro.

Lap 55/95: There is a slight question around McLaughlin and if he has enough fuel to get to the end. It's borderline but he can conserve given his track position. SVG also in fuel save mode at the moment despite his double stop. It's borderline for everyone who fueled during the caution as it was five laps before the 'critical' fuel lap as they call it. Will keep you updated.

Lap 54/95: Reynolds almost sends Van Gisbergen into the wall. Bumps him at thefirst corner but SVG holds on to his machinery and all is well. Reynolds with a huge lock up there. No love lost between those two blokes.

Lap 52/95: Holdsworth has copped a drive-thru for a saftey car infringemnet at the restart. McLaughlin will be gifted the lead. SVG all over Simona and he will jump to fifth with that penalty to car No.18.

Lap 50/95: Holdsworth, McLaughlin, Pye, Mostert, Simona, Van Gisbergen, Reynolds, Caruso, Davidson and Whincup.

Lap 48/95: Bit of contact for Van Gisbergen at the restart with Heimgartner but nothing serious. Holdsworth got a huge jump at the head of the pack. Gis is up to sixth spot.

Lap 47/95: Still under caution - Holdsworth leads but he has to stop again. McLaughlin is second and won't need to pit, Caruso is third from Pye, Mostert, Simona, van Gisbergen, Reynolds,Davidson and Whincup.

Lap 46/95: Percat, Coulthard and Blanchard all look done after that incident. Lowndes is in the pits as his team repair a broken left front after hotting Pye in the pits which wasn't his fault.

Lap 45/95: Coulthard lost it all by himself but his misfortune has given a huge assist to his teammate who is second on track but a long way ahead of SVG now. Once we are green again I will update you all on how this plays out.

Lap 44/95: SVG is back in for more fuelwhich could put hom at the bacl of the pack. Will see how this all plays out. Van Gisbergen didn't put enough fuel in the car the first time around. That is huge!.

Lap 43/95: SVG, McLaughlin and most of the paddock pit. SVG out in front but it will actually benefit McLaughlin as that four second fuel advantage is gine given the stopped under caution. Lowndes makes contact with Scott Pye in the pitlane. There is carnage everywhere.

Lap 42/95: Saftey Car: Coulthard is in the wall and his car is damaged badly.Tim Blanchard is also involved and so was Nick Percat who was behind him.

Lap 41/95: Heimgartner is 18th while Stanaway's troubles continue, down in 24th.

Lap 38/95: The lead at the front is swinging between half a second and a second. McLaughlin holding form with Reynolds three seconds behind him.

Lap 36/95: SVG, McLaughlin, Reynolds, Coulthard, Percat, Courtney, Whincup, Lowndes, Pye and De Pasquale.

Lap 35/95: Van Gisbergen's lead is just under half a second - and remember he has a four second fuel advantage so McLaughlin and his tean have to figure out a way of jumping that gap be it through strategy or passing the Holden driver.

Lap 34/94: Whincup did get out of the tyre wall, changed tyres and got out on the lead lap and is now in seventh ahead of Lowndes, De Pasquale and Pye.

Lap 32/95: Just Rick Kelly and Will Davidson to pit. SVG is third from McLaughlin, Reynolds, Coulthard and Percat.

Lap 30/95: Scotty has backed off a little bit which is smart, but as I said earlier SVG will have less fuel to put in at the stop but Coulthard could still play a role here as Shell could short fuel him to get in front of car No.97.

Lap 29/95: McLaughlin all over the back of SVG. looks quicker at this stage but he ma be blowing his tyres. we will see.

Lap 28/95: Have to say that Whincup only has himself to blame -was recless driving and gave Fabs no other option than run him wide.

Lap27/95: SVG rejoins just in front of McLaughlin. He's all over him. Six extra litres of fuel in SVG's car which could be crucial later in the race.

Lap 26/95: McLaughlin pits- great stop and rejoins in clean air. No further action over the Coulthard v Whincup incident. Gis is pitting to cover Scotty.

Lap 24/95: Whincup in the wall! He was dicing with Coulthard and it was getting ugly - bumps all over the place - could be ruled a racing incident. Not that it matters as Whincup's race is ruined and Fabs has kind of done his job there and scrubbed Whincup from the equation.

Lap 22/95: Whincup gets past Reynolds and is now right behind Coulthard on fresher tyres.McLaughlin quickets on track at the moment.

Lap 20/95: SVG,McLaughlin, Holdsworth, Percat and Pye is the top five - none of those guys have pitted.the lead car that has pitted is Coulthard in 11th. Whincup sets the fastest lap - McLaughlin is pretty quick at the moment - pulled back the gap from seven seconds to five and half.

Lap 19/95: Coulthard is ahead of Whincup now so they could play the cover game there so Whincup stops interfering with McLaughlin's race. 

Lap 17/95: Whincup pits freeing McLaughlin up for now - will be very interesting to see what Shell does now with McLaughlin.

Lap 15/95: Whincup now putting a tiny gap between himself and McLaughlin. The Kiwi may be driving to a fuel number as his team try's to work out how to get in front of Jamie. Whincup sets the fastest lap and looks like he may be coming in.

Lap13/95: Six second lead now for SVG - he's putting half a second a lap on his teammate and his fellow Kiwi. In clean air and in total control of the race.

Lap 11/95: McLaughlin all over the back of Whincup but car No.1 is very wide at the moment.

Lap 10/95: SVG, Whincup, McLaughlin, Holdsworth, De Pasquale, Courtney, Percat,Kelly, Pye and Blanchard. Van Gisbergen's lead is almost five seconds.

Lap 8/95: Coulthard pits from fourth - tactical play from Shell V-Power Racing. Hoping to get some clea air - set some fast laps and maybe reel in SVG by his pit stop.

Lap7/95: SVG's lead is almost four seconds already as Whincup backs up the field.

Lap 6/95: Whincup doing a great job holding up Scotty who looks quick - as it stands Van Gisbergen would lead the title race by 8-points. Long way to go. Quite a few of the guys down the pack have pitted.

Lap 3/95: Coulthard has let McLaughlin go so it's SVG, Whincup, McLaughlin, Coulthard, Holdsworth, De Pasquale, Courtney, Reynolds, Percat and Lowndes.

Lap1/95: Whincup gets a great start and leads, SVG was sloppy but held off Coulthard and McLaughlin. What does Red Bull do know? If there is a saftey car SVG would have to double stack and as I say that he lets SVG by.

5.46pm: Drivers head out on their formation lap. Almost set to go.

5.43pm: Okay so the grid is almost clear of the fans and teams leaving the drivers a few moments of silence to collect their thoughts before the green light.

5.32pm:12 minutes from race start. Will be interesting to see if Whincup looks to block off McLaughlin at the first corner and focus on ruining his race - you can bet Van Gisbergen will head off into the distance of that is the case.

5.20pm: Okay so we are about 30mins from the start of the race -cars heading out onto the grid for the final preperation.

4.50pm: There has been a bit of carnage during the Dunlop Super 2 Series race - this is an exciting track, with overtaking spots a plentybut also many a mistake can be made so we should be in for a great 250km this arvo.

4.29pm: It is a stunning day in Newcastle - the heat or lack of it could play a role with tyre degradation a big factor last year when it was super hot. Drivers were complaining in qualyfing about the grip levels when it cooled down halfway through the session.

3.45pm: So Shane Van Gisbergen can lead the Championship today if he wins and Scott McLaughlin finsihes any lower then second.

- Check out this cool foootage from Chaz Mostert taking Newcastle Knights chief playmaker Kalyn Ponga for a blat around the street circuit - 

3.41pm: Race start is scheduled for 5.40pm this afternoon (NZT).

3.40pm: Here are the results form the qualyfing session:

1. Shane Van Gisbergen (Holden) 1min10.6430sec

2. Jamie Whincup (Holden) 1:10.6600

3. Scott McLaughlin (Ford) 1:10.7140

4. Fabian Coulthard (Ford) 1:10.7690

5. Lee Holdsworth (Holden) 1:10.7690

6. Anton de Pasquale (Holden) 1:10.7910

7. David Reynolds (Holden) 1:10.7950

8. James Courtney (Holden) 1:10.8660

9. Craig Lowndes (Holden) 1:10.9950

10. Nick Percat (Holden) 1:11.0440

11. Rick Kelly (Nissan) 1:11.0610

12. Scott Pye (Holden) 1:11.0780

13. Tim Blanchard (Holden) 1:11.0840

14. Tim Slade (Holden) 1:11.1470

15. Jack Le Brocq (Holden) 1:11.1900

16. Cameron Waters (Ford) 1:11.2330

17. Chaz Mostert (Ford) 1:11.2610

18. Todd Hazelwood (Holden) 1:11.2630

19. Simona De Silvestro (Nissan) 1:11.2810

20. Michael Caruso (Nissan) 1:11.3060

21. James Golding (Holden) 1:11.3540

22. Mark Winterbottom (Ford) 1:11.3840

23. Garth Tander (Holden) 1:11.3840

24. Will Davison (Ford) 1:11.4690

25. Richie Stanaway (Ford) 1:11.4810

26. Andre Heimgartner (Nissan) 1:11.4830


Welcome to live commentary of the conclusion of an exciting 2018 Supercars season as the two Kiwi flyers battle it out for title honours.

Scott McLaughlin leads countryman Shane Van Gisbergen by 14-points but the Red Bull Holden driver has scored pole position for today's race.

His teammate Jamie Whincup starts alongside the No.97 with Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard on row two.