Scott McLaughlin moves past Supercars pain

Scott McLaughlin has put a positive spin on last year's agonising end to the Supercars season after losing the championship in an unbelievable final race.

Despite his 2017 heartbreak, Scott McLaughlin is confident of winning this year's Supercars crown.

Despite his 2017 heartbreak, Scott McLaughlin is confident of winning this year's Supercars crown.

Rather than feel sorry for himself about letting a maiden championship slip in sensational fashion, the Shell V-Power Racing driver became engaged in New York to American partner Karly Paone, moving past the pain of the Newcastle 500.

"To come down to the wire and be a part of that amazing finish is quite special," McLaughlin said.

"Even though people go 'is it hard to swallow?', it's very cool and a proud moment for me to even be in that position."

The rivalry between McLaughlin and the legendary Jamie Whincup, having snatched a record seventh championship during the Newcastle 500, will be front and centre during the new Supercars season.

The Holden superstar looked to have blown his opportunity of winning another title when he crashed on the first lap of race one of the debut Hunter event.

But McLaughlin was hit with three penalties in the Newcastle Sunday race, leading Whincup to clinch the championship in one of the sport's most-remarkable climaxes.

Already the most-heralded driver for championships in Supercars history at age 35, Whincup said he "wouldn't go past his used-by-date" in his career.

But Whincup has heaped praise on his 24-year-old rival, declaring McLaughlin could win 10 championships.

The Supercars season was launched on Thursday at Sydney's Fox Studios ahead of the opening Adelaide 500 from March 1.

McLaughlin won a season-high eight races and set a new record of 16 poles, making him confident of taking out this year's championship.

"It's so hard for our sport. We can't just go out and kick a ball like in football, or drive our car any day of the week, so the match fitness for us is hard to get," McLaughlin said.

"Once you get through the Adelaide 500, you feel brand new again (for the season) but you have to get past the painful phase first."

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