Scott McLaughlin took victory ahead of teammate Fabian Coulthard in a Shell V-Power Racing Team 1-2 in Race 7 of the Australian Supercars Championship round at Symmons Plains Raceway, with Shane van Gisbergen rounding out the podium.
Mark Winterbottom claimed his first pole position in Holden colours for the Irwin Racing Team, with a qualifying time of 50.692 seconds to edge out McLaughlin by just 0.004 seconds. At the other end of the grid Jamie Whincup started from fifteenth place after spinning his Red Bull Holden into the gravel pit at the Turn 4 hairpin during Q2 and causing the session to be red-flagged.
McLaughlin took the race lead immediately thanks to a well-executed start and looked comfortable throughout the race. Coulthard had a battle on his hands early on with the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore of David Reynolds, and on Lap 5 Coulthard got clear of Reynolds and had his eyes set on seonc-placed Winterbottom.
Whincup’s luck went from bad to worse after his Q2 disaster, colliding with Chaz Mostert on Lap 2 at Turn 6. The contact forced Whincup on an excursion through the gravel and grass with minor damage to the front right wheel that necessitated an unscheduled pit stop. Fortunately, this didn’t appear to affect Mostert at all.
James Courtney and Nick Percat were the first to pit after 17 laps and the rest of the field followed suit. Race leader McLaughlin’s pit stop didn’t go quite to plan as he overshot his markers before taking on fuel and tyres. The same happened to Winterbottom as he too, as he also made a clumsy pit stop.
With 11 laps to go van Gisbergen reeled in Courtney at Turn 6 to go to into fourth position. That left third-placed Winterbottom in his sights, who – like race leader McLaughlin – found himself being held up by wildcard driver Jack Smith as he attempted to lap the youngster.
Van Gisbergen forced his way past on the penultimate lap, almost making contact with Winterbottom to claim a much-needed third position to atone for the bad luck of teammate Whincup.
While the race’s build-up was dominated by talk of the impact that the new Centre of Gravity rules would have, after the race most drivers remarked that they didn’ty notice any difference in the feel of their cars. Time will tell if they will say the same after Sunday’s 84-lap race.
|2019 Australian Supercars Championship TyrePower Tasmania SuperSprint – Race 7 Final Classification (50 laps)|
|1.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing||43:55.521|
|2.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing||+ 1.764|
|3.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing||+ 4.818|
|4.||Mark Winterbottom||Irwin Racing||+ 5.597|
|5.||James Courtney||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 11.023|
|6.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 13.616|
|7.||Tim Slade||Freightliner Racing||+ 14.262|
|8.||Nick Percat||Dunlop Racing||+ 18.508|
|9.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 19.620|
|10.||Chaz Mostert||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 20.007|
|11.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 20.453|
|12.||Scott Pye||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 20.955|
|13.||Lee Holdsworth||The Bottle-O Racing||+ 21.225|
|14.||Todd Hazelwood||Bigmate Racing||+ 29.148|
|15.||James Golding||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 29.680|
|16.||Richie Stanaway||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 30.248
|17.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 30.772
|18.||Andre Heimgartner||Plus Fitness Racing||+ 33.129|
|19.||Will Davison||Milwaukee Racing||+ 34.509|
|20.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 40.635
|21.||Simona de Silvestro||Team Harvey Norman||+ 44.883|
|22.||Jack Le Brocq||Truck Assist TEKNO||1 lap behind|
|23.||Jack Smith||SCT Logistics Racing||1 lap behind|
|24.||Garry Jacobson||RABBLE.club Racing||1 lap behind|
|25.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing||2 laps behind|
Image via Shell V-Power Racing (DJR Team Penske)
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