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Motorsport: Scott McLaughlin hits back at critics as he reflects on Supercars success

Kiwi Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin has taken aim at his critics as he reflects on a successful year on the track, but a tough one off it.
The 26-year-old claimed his second consecutive Supercars Championship with a round to go yesterday, clinching victory at the Sandown 500.
He accomplished that despite having to deal with a messy aftermath from his Bathurst victory, which yesterday saw him stripped of a lap record and relegated to the back of the grid for the Sandown race, in addition to an atmosphere around Supercars which he called "toxic"
Speaking to Radio Sport's D'Arcy Waldegrave this afternoon, McLaughlin said his success – having won a record 18 races this season – has seen him come under fire from detractors.
This year hasn't been a fun year off the track, absolutely not, there's been a lot of bickering," McLaughlin explained.
"It's that tall poppy syndrome - when you're winning everyone just wants to drag you down. That's cool, we'll just move on and get on with it but certainly for me, getting away from the Supercars paddock is a lot better.
"Probably one of the best things I've done since being in Supercars is separate myself from the other drivers and just enjoy the camaraderie from my team and my family."
McLaughlin's team, DJR Team Penske, were penalised on multiple occasions for infractions at Bathurst, including for McLaughlin's teammate Fabian Coulthard driving slow on purpose during a safety car intervention, and were fined nearly $300,000 for their indiscretions.
That was one of the reasons why McLaughlin and his team came under fire, but the Kiwi driver says it only makes his overall success sweeter.
"There's a lot of drama. Absolutely there's been times where it's been up and down like a yo-yo for us, it's full-on and to get through all of that as a team and stick together when we could easily folded in, that's what makes you proud of this whole thing. It's not the wins, it's not the poles, it's the way that we've come out of it as a team.
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