POINTS SCENARIOS: HOW SVG OR MCLAUGHLIN CAN WIN TITLE

The updatedpoints scenarios after the penalty that stripped SVG of his Race 30 win …

STORY: WILL DALE
IMAGES: SUPPLIED

JUST one race remains in the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship before we can finally crown a champion.

It looked like we’d have a simple, winner-takes all title showdown in Race 31 at the Coates Hire Newcastle 500, Shane van Gisbergen snatching a dramatic victory in Race 30 from Scott McLaughlin with two corners remaining as the #17 Shell V-Power Ford ran out of fuel on the final lap, trimming McLaughlin’s lead to just two points with one race remaining.

It would have meant that whichever driver finished ahead – wherever they finished – would be crowned 2018 champion.

But the post-race time penalty handed down to van Gisbergen for a refuelling infraction at his final pit stop changes everything.

Read the full CAMS Stewards report on the penalty here, including Triple Eight’s defence.

The penalty elevated McLaughlin to first place and dropped his countryman to fifth, increasing the margin between them to 53 points.

That means that if van Gisbergen wins, McLaughlin only has to finish sixth to claim the championship by five points. If he finishes seventh, SVG wins by a single marker.

If van Gisbergen finishes:
– 1st, McLaughlin needs 6th
-2nd, McLaughlin needs 8th
-3rd, McLaughlin needs 10th
-4th, McLaughlin needs 12th
-5th, McLaughlin needs 15th
-6th, McLaughlin needs 18th
-7th, McLaughlin needs 20th
-8th, McLaughlin needs 22nd
-9th, McLaughlin needs 24th
-10th, McLaughlin could finish 26th and take the title.

In a twist of fate, if the #17 Falcon doesn’t finish the race, van Gisbergen needs to finish 17th or better to win the title.