WATCH: Scott McLaughlin sets new lap record at Bathurst

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    It will forever be known as the “Lap of the Gods”.

    Yet Greg Murphy’s legendary 2003 Bathurst 1000 time would have finished second-last in Friday’s qualifying after Scott McLaughlin led an assault on the Mount Panorama record books.

    Series leader McLaughlin sent an ominous warning when he clocked the fastest-ever lap in a Supercar at Mount Panorama – a scorching two minutes, 04.14 seconds – in Friday’s final practice before qualifying.

    He obliterated Holden great Jamie Whincup’s 2015 mark by a whopping 0.76 of a second.

    McLaughlin vowed to do it again in qualifying.

    In the end he fell an agonising 0.08 of a second short (2:04.22) of his mark but still emerged as the driver to stop in Sunday’s Great Race by grabbing provisional pole.

    McLaughlin’s DJR Team Penske’s race engineer Ludo Lacroix went nuts in the garage after the Ford ace registered the record mark.

    The rest of the pit lane dropped their shoulders after looking up at the timesheets and there was little wonder why.

    To put McLaughlin’s achievement in perspective, it is best to turn to fellow Kiwi Murphy’s landmark time 14 years ago that has gone down in Bathurst folklore.

    Murphy may be a four-time King of the Mountain but he will always be remembered for that lap.

    He clocked a new lap record of 2:06.85 in a single flying lap in the Top 10 Shootout to stun the Bathurst crowd.

    Murphy’s milestone is still much adored by the Supercars faithful despite being left behind after six-time Bathurst champ Craig Lowndes first eclipsed it in 2010 on a resurfaced Mount Panorama.

    But McLaughlin did his best to ensure it may become a distant memory after his scorching practice effort.

    All but one of the 26-strong field went faster than Murphy’s famous lap in Friday’s qualifying.

    McLaughlin, 24, now has a maiden Bathurst title – and perhaps another record – in his sights after topping qualifying ahead of Holden cult hero David Reynolds (2:04.47) and Ford star Chaz Mostert (2:04.53).

    McLaughlin admitted the portents were good for a record assault on Friday after watching a support category scorch the track in overcast conditions.

    But the master of understatement admits he was surprised after looking at the time as the Bathurst crowd erupted.

    “Looking at the (support category) Dunlop race before practice I knew the pace would be pretty decent, pretty fast,” McLaughlin said.

    “But it (record time) was a bit better than we thought.”

    And he didn’t rule out the prospect of shattering the 2:03.00 barrier if everything had clicked on Friday.

    “Maybe. But if I could tell the future I would be rich,” McLaughlin said.

    No one is ruling out another record plunge by McLaughlin in Saturday’s Top 10 Shootout, especially after hearing how he would approach it.

    “Have a go,” he said.

    “The car is really good so we will try to make the most of it.”

    © AAP 2018
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