It feels like an eternity, but it’s actually just fourteen races: Scott McLaughlin has delivered Volvo’s first V8 Supercars Championship victory with an impressive driving display in today’s opening SuperSprint race at Barbagallo Raceway.

McLaughlin had tasted victory in a non-championship race during the Australian Grand Prix, and after claiming his fourth pole position of the season, he delivered with a controlled drive over the 42-lap race.

The 100-kilometre sprint races held to-date have, historically, not features pit stops, but such was the abrasive nature of the West Australian circuit that almost the entire field opted to pit for fresh rubber during the race.

Only Shane van Gisbergen and Jack Perkins – both starting well down the order and with nothing to lose – opted to dry and run non-stop. For van Gisbergen, who just cannot get it together here, the gamble failed: he ran in the lead as other pitted, but was overhauled by his freshly-shod rivals and finished last.

Perkins showed better race pace and didn’t quite suffer the same fate, falling to twelfth in the end, which was still a significant improvement on his starting position.

Up at the sharp end of the field, pole-winner McLaughlin wasn’t able to vault into the lead, getting jumped by Craig Lowndes and a rapid-starting Russell Ingall at the start.

But the Kiwi ultimately proved quickest of all, making amends on Ingall early in the race and then getting ahead of Lowndes just as the field opted to head to the pits.

He ran untroubled to the end, keeping enough in hand from a fast-closing Fabian Coulthard to claim victory.

Chaz Mostert completed the top-three, overtaking teammate and championship leader Mark Winterbottom in the closing laps, courtesy of fresher tyres as a result of pitting five laps after his team leader.

Winterbottom – along with former teammate Will Davison – was actually one of the first to pit and actually held the lead once the pit stops had been cycled through, but ultimately the pair were passed by McLaughlin’s quicker Volvo, with the Kiwi then setting about passing Perkins and van Gisbergen.


2014 V8 Supercars Perth 400 – Race 1 Results (42 laps):

Driver Team / Entry Result
1. Scott McLaughlin Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo 41:12.485
2. Fabian Coulthard Lockwood Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 0.754
3. Chaz Mostert Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 1.336
4. Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 3.823
5. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 6.292
6. Craig Lowndes Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 6.592
7. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport / Mercedes E63 AMG AMG + 12.363
8. Todd Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 15.589
9. James Courtney Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 15.958
10. David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 16.199
11. Russell Ingall Repair Management / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 18.768
12. Jack Perkins Jeld-Wen / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 20.293
13. Jason Bright Team BOC / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 21.210
14. David Wall Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 21.491
15. Garth Tander Holden Racing Team / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 21.775
16. Dale Wood Team ADVAM / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 22.172
17. Jamie Whincup Red Bull Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 22.460
18. Scott Pye Wilson Security Racing / Ford Falcon FG Ford + 22.705
19. Rick Kelly Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Altima Nissan + 28.038
20. Michael Caruso Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 28.518
21. James Moffat Nissan Hornets / Nissan Altima Nissan + 28.724
22. Nick Percat Walkinshaw Racing/ Holden Commodore VF Holden + 30.444
23. Tim Slade SuperCheap Auto Racing / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 30.883
24. Robert Dahlgren Valvoline Racing Polestar GRM / Volvo S60 Volvo + 33.838
25. Shane van Gisbergen TEKNO VIP Petfoods / Holden Commodore VF Holden + 39.550

Image via V8 Supercars Championship Media

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Geoff Burke

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