McLaughlin’s Supercars dominance continues at Barbagallo

Scott McLaughlin pushing hard. Picture: Barnsiesphotos
Scott McLaughlin pushing hard. Picture: Barnsiesphotos

FORD star Scott McLaughlin has extended his Supercars championship lead with victory under lights in Perth.

The DJR Team Penske driver capped a near-perfect weekend by claiming his eighth win from 12 starts in 2019 ahead of Holden’s Jamie Whincup on Saturday.

Ford’s Cameron Waters came home third to give Tickford Racing their second podium of the event at Barbagallo Raceway, while McLaughlin’s teammate and main championship rival Fabian Coulthard finished fourth.

The result means McLaughlin holds a 142-point lead heading into the Winton SuperSprint event later this month.

With Coulthard winning Friday’s race, DJR Team Penske has sent an emphatic message in front of watching team owner Roger Penske after Supercars forced aerodynamic changes last week to the Mustang due to a parity issue.

“Stoked man, first night win … that’s the best way to respond, so stoked, Fabian’s win yesterday and a win for me today,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin emerges victorious. Picture: Barnsiesphotos

It’s Whincup’s first podium finish since race six of the season at the Melbourne Grand Prix.

McLaughlin, who had earlier in the day claimed his second pole position of the event, was once again unable to make that stick on the start.

Whincup got the jump on the Ford driver to lead the early laps before the pit-stop strategy got underway.

McLaughlin pitted eight laps before Whincup and emerged ahead of the Red Bull driver with Whincup taking on more fuel in an attempt to run longer at the end of the race.

The emergence of a safety car in the middle of the race when Scott Pye’s Holden was left stranded at the top of the main straight following contact with Andre Heimgartner threw those plans into chaos however.

McLaughlin and Whincup both pitted during the safety car period with the New Zealander emerging ahead for the restart.

While the lead was unchanged when the safety car left the track, there was drama on the straight with Shane Van Gisbergen making contact with Rick Kelly after the Nissan driver attempted to block him.

Lee Holdsworth’s showered with sparks from a car in front which hit the kerb. Picture: Josh Cochrane, of Barnsiesphotos

Kelly speared on to the grass next to the straight and slammed through a number of foam advertising signs, pitting a few laps later to remove a large chunk of foam from his brake duct.

Van Gisbergen, who had earlier labelled himself “Johnny No-Pace” after an underwhelming qualifying display, came home fifth.

It was a day to forget for Ford’s Chaz Mostert who was unable to finish the race after his engine dropped a cylinder early.

Mostert’s failure to finish drops him from third to fifth on the championship standings with Van Gisbergen and Holden’s David Reynolds both leapfrogging the Ford driver.

The Winton SuperSprint will be held from May 24 to 26.

Aldo De Paoli dominated the historic class, coming from last on the grid to win Saturday’s reverse-grid race. Picture: Barnsiesphotos

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