Bathurst 2020: Kiwi Scott McLaughlin's parting tribute to Supercars mentor Dick Johnson

Three-time champion Scott McLaughlin will pay tribute to Supercars legend and mentor Dick Johnson in perhaps his last Australian outing at Bathurst this week, before heading to the US Indycar circuit.

The Kiwi ace, who wrapped up his third title at Tailem Bend, South Australia last month, has raced for the Dick Johnson Racing since 2017, when he narrowly missed out on the crown in the final race, but has dominated every subsequent championship. 

On Sunday, he will try to repeat last year's victory at Mt Panorama, wearing a helmet specially designed to honour the Supercars Hall of Famer, who won the Bathurst 1000 three times during his storied career.

"It's 40 years of Dick Johnson Racing and to celebrate, I'm throwing it back to 1980 with a tribute to DJ and the Tru-Blu Falcon," McLaughlin has posted on Instagram.

"I'm honoured to race the No.17 for the Johnson family, to bring success to them is just a bonus. Hopefully, we have 1981 Bathurst luck this time next week and are celebrating a victory!"

After the race, McLaughlin intends signing the helmet and presenting it to Johnson, 75, still one of the most revered figures in Aussie sporting folklore.

In 1981, Johnson captured the first of his Bathurst wins in controversial fashion, when a six-car pile-up blocked the track. Johnson and co-driver John French were leading at the time, and were declared winners of the only edition that hasn't gone the distance.

McLaughlin traditionally wears a helmet of yellow and red, so the blue theme marks quite a departure from the norm.

"In the paint is the Tru-Blue car and the old Bathurst layout, and how many championships the team has won, how many Bathursts we've won," he has told

"It's a massive tribute to DJ and what he has built as a team. It's based completely off DJ and that car, it's so famous in Australian history really."

Bathurst 2020: Kiwi Scott McLaughlin's parting tribute to Supercars mentor Dick Johnson

Straight after Bathurst - the last event on a coronavirus-disrupted 2020 Supercars calendar - McLaughlin will leave for St Petersburg, Florida, where he will make his Indycar debut, as fellow Kiwi Scott Dixon chases his sixth championship.

Many believe he will commit full-time to the open-wheel promotion next year.

Join us on Sunday for live updates of the 2020 Bathurst 1000 from Mt Panorama