Scott McLaughlin has taken home the maximum 300 points from this weekend’s Supercars round after a dominating showing in Perth.
The DJR Team Penske pilot produced a calculated drive to take his second win on the trot, clean-sweeping victories this weekend.
McLaughlin took another pole for the team with Chaz Mostert lining up along side him. Mark Winterbottom, Shane van Gisbergen, Jamie Whincup and Fabian Coulthard completed the top six as they did in Saturday’s race.
Off the line, McLaughlin and Mostert both got away with tardy starts, Winterbottom tapping the rear of the DJRTP Falcon into turn one. He and Whincup went sideways up the hill, Whincup having to relegate the spot before going toe-to-toe with van Gisbergen.
A few laps in and it was evident the entire pack had learnt from the previous day, everyone pushing hard with the confidence in Dunlop’s super soft rubber. Leader McLaughlin stretched his lead to around a second only a tenth of the way through the race.
On the entry to the pits, Craig Lowndes, who started last, was spun by Alex Rullo, the latter copping a 15 second penalty for his troubles. Coulthard was the first of the lead pack to pit, struggling with grip thanks to being on used rear tyres to save fresh rubber for later.
While McLaughlin and Mostert put a solid gap on the rest of the pack, Winterbottom held up the Triple Eight cars, everyone seemingly running at their own pace. Matthew Brabham was surprisingly making up spots at the back of the field, passing James Courtney and Dale Wood.
The first round of stops saw Whincup pit first ahead of van Gisbergen, Mostert and McLaughlin. The gaps to the effective lead closed up but not enough to make a significant difference.
Coulthard, who had pitted early, became the leader of the race but let his team-mate past shortly after, then losing positions to most of the pack at the sharp end. He pitted again on lap 39, cementing the three-stop strategy.
Further up the road, Mostert was having a hard time passing Rullo and Simona de Silvestro who were engaged in their own battle. The balk in traffic allowed McLaughlin to pull out a bigger lead, cruising at the front.
Rullo fired off at the final corner, rejoining the track but dumping a desert worth of sand in the braking zone to turn one. Will Davison was the first to arrive on the scene, saving a slide as the rest of the pack filtered through with ease.
On the three stop strategy, Coulthard clearly had car speed but not track position. The inability to simply glide past his opponents was a sacrifice to be made on the strategy to have good car speed at the end.
For the final round for those on the two stop strategy, Whincup was the first to blink, taking on fuel to the end and green tyres. Mostert was the next, coming out in front of Whincup but not on fresh tyres.
McLaughin followed suit soon after and on the projected lap they planned to stop, coming out in relatively clean air, only behind backmarkers and his team-mate. Coulthard moved out of his compatriot’s way without hassle, giving McLaughlin a big gap to the next car.
The #12 car came in about five laps after the leaders, taking on green tyres on the working side and little fuel, being sent out with a clear road in front of him. Van Gisbergen was the last of the front bunch to stop, coming out just ahead of Coulthard who got by at the start of the next lap.
McLaughlin clearly had a gap but Mostert was slowly chipping away at his lead. A few positions, and about 20 seconds, behind it was Coulthard on the charge, setting good lap times to be in touch with the front-runners at the end of play.
While it seemed like Davison would be passed by Coulthard in the dying laps, the DJRTP driver chewed up his tyres, allowing van Gisbergen to catch up and pass him heading in to the final lap.
At the front, it was McLaughlin who produced a faultless driver to take a second win of the weekend and close the gap in the championship standings. Mostert came home a strong second while Whincup again produced a solid drive for the final spot on the dais.
|2017 Australian Supercars Perth SuperSprint – Race 8 Top-10 Finishers (83 laps)|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Result|
|1.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power DJR Team Penske||1:22:17.642|
|2.||Chaz Mostert||SuperCheap Auto Racing||+ 4.612|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 5.881|
|4.||Mark Winterbottom||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 13.155|
|5.||Will Davison||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||+ 14.700|
|6.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 15.074|
|7.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power DJR Team Penske||+ 16.418|
|8.||Craig Lowndes||TeamVortex||+ 31.213|
|9.||Garth Tander||Wilson Security Racing GRM||+ 36.810|
|10.||Nick Percat||Clipsal Brad Jones Racing||+ 40.711|
Image via Motorsport.com