Three hundred is the magic number this weekend, that being the points advantage McLaughlin needs to put the championship beyond doubt heading to Mount Panorama.
Whincup, meanwhile, needs to keep McLaughlin to within at least 299 points to ensure there's at least some pressure on the reigning Bathurst 1000 winner heading into the 2020 running of the Great Race.
As it stands McLaughlin leads by 215 points, a solid outing at The Bend last weekend helping him grow the margin from 143.
Crucially he seemed to have a speed advantage over Whincup throughout last weekend, the Triple Eight driver only managing a single podium.
This weekend will present a new challenge, though, with the 'West' layout in use for the first time. The shorter, sharper circuit is tipped to load the tyre less and could potentially shake up the form guide, following higher-than-expected degradation last time out.
The format will be the same for the second leg of The Bend's double-header, with three-part qualifying on Saturday followed by a Top 15 Shootout and the first of three 32-lap, 110-kilometre races featuring a single mandatory tyre stop.
On Sunday there will be back-to-back qualifying sessions and two more races.
Each driver will once again be restricted to five sets of soft compound Dunlop tyres for all competitive sessions.
There will be two support categories in action, a combined sports car field and the Hyundai Excels.
2020 Supercars The Bend SuperSprint session times
Saturday 26th September 2020
Rookie Session: 9:30-9:50 AEST (9:00-9:20 local) Practice 1: 10:05-10:35 AEST (9:35-10:05 local) Practice 2: 11:30-12:00 AEST (11:00-10:30 local) Qualifying 1: 13:25-13:35 AEST (12:55-13:05 local) Qualifying 2: 13:45-13:55 AEST (13:15-13:25 local) Top 15 Shootout: 14:05-14:40 AEST (13:35-14:10 local) Race 1: 16:10-17:13 AEST (15:40-16:43 local)
Sunday 27th September 2020
Qualifying Race 2: 9:40-9:50 AEST (9:10-9:20 local) Qualifying Race 3: 10:00-10:10 AEST (9:30-9:40 local) Race 2: 12:20-13:23 AEST (11:50-12:53 local) Race 3: 14:50-15:53 AEST (14:20-15:23 local)
2020 Supercars The Bend SuperSprint tyre allocation
Each driver will start the weekend with four pre-marked soft compound tyres and 28 new soft compound tyres.
At the end of Practice 2 the four pre-marked tyres and eight of the new soft compound tyres need to be returned to Dunlop.
That will leave each driver with 20 soft compound tyres for the remainder of the weekend.
2020 Supercars The Bend SuperSprint entry list
|2|| Bryce Fullwood ||Mobil 1™ Middy's Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|3|| Macauley Jones ||Team Cooldrive||Holden Commodore ZB|
|4|| Jack Smith ||SCT Logistics Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|5|| Lee Holdsworth ||Truck Assist Tekno Racing||Ford Mustang GT|
|6|| Cameron Waters ||Tickford Racing||Ford Mustang GT|
|7|| Andre Heimgartner ||NED Racing||Ford Mustang GT|
|8|| Nick Percat ||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|9|| David Reynolds ||Penrite Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|12|| Fabian Coulthard ||DJR Team Penske||Ford Mustang GT|
|14|| Todd Hazelwood ||Brad Jones Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|15|| Rick Kelly ||Castrol Racing||Ford Mustang GT|
|17|| Scott McLaughlin ||DJR Team Penske||Ford Mustang GT|
|18|| Mark Winterbottom ||Irwin Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|19|| Alex Davison ||Team Sydney||Holden Commodore ZB|
|20|| Scott Pye ||Team 18||Holden Commodore ZB|
|22|| Chris Pither ||Team Sydney||Holden Commodore ZB|
|25|| Chaz Mostert ||Mobil 1™ Appliances Online Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|34|| Zane Goddard ||Matt Stone Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|35|| Garry Jacobson ||Matt Stone Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|44|| James Courtney ||Boost Mobile Racing||Ford Mustang GT|
|55|| Jack Le Brocq ||Tickford Racing||Ford Mustang GT|
|88|| Jamie Whincup ||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Holden Commodore ZB|
|97|| Shane van Gisbergen ||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Holden Commodore ZB|
|99|| Anton De Pasquale ||Penrite Racing||Holden Commodore ZB|
|View full results|