Supercars Championship leader Scott McLaughlin has come one step closer to putting his hands on this year’s trophy after clean-sweeping this weekend’s Winton SuperSprint.
The DJR Team Penske driver took a lap record pole position en route to his tenth victory of the year in Race 14, extending his lead in the standings to teammate Fabian Coulthard out to nearly a round above his countryman.
It was a commanding drive for both of the Kiwis, McLaughlin leading from lights to flag after getting the jump over Coulthard off the line in another front row lock-out for the Queensland team.
All the drama happened behind them in the race with Chaz Mostert struggling on Sunday, the Saturday pole sitter ending up off the road on Lap 1 due to a self-inflicted error. A strong fightback saw him wind up tenth after a burst of speed at the end of the race on fresh tyres after a late Safety Car.
With less than ten laps remaining, the weekend’s only Safety Car came out to allow the recovery of Will Davison’s Mustang which had suffered a transaxle drama, forcing the 23Red driver to park up off the road at Turn 5.
The Safety Car was a saving grace for Mostert after dropping to the back of the pack on Lap 1, only to fight back up the order and cop a 15-second penalty after bumping James Courtney off the circuit before his last pit stop. On fresh rubber, he made his charge up the order to take a top-ten result in a race which could have been a write-off.
Jamie Whincup came home in third to give Triple Eight their only podium of the weekend, struggling in qualifying throughout the round with Shane van Gisbergen who had to fight from down the grid on both days to salvage a solid result.
David Reynolds proved himself as one of the more consistent performers, coming home in fourth on the back of his first ever Winton podium on Saturday, cementing himself as one of the “best of the rest” in the pack.
Although McLaughlin would have been nervous to see the Safety Car at the end of the race, nothing would stop him from taking the victory, completing a near perfect weekend for the defending series champion.
|2019 Australian Supercars Championship Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint – Race 14 Final Classification (67 laps)|
|1.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||1:35:22.659|
|2.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 0.767|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing||+ 1.988|
|4.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 4.354|
|5.||Lee Holdsworth||The Bottle-O Racing||+ 5.393|
|6.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 7.767|
|7.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing||+ 8.261|
|8.||Scott Pye||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 9.014|
|9.||Nick Percat||Honda Motorcycles Dealer Team||+ 9.240|
|10.||Chaz Mostert||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 9.491|
|11.||Andre Heimgartner||Plus Fitness Racing||+ 12.779|
|12.||Tim Slade||Freightliner Racing||+ 13.087|
|13.||James Courtney||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||+ 13.824|
|14.||Mark Winterbottom||Irwin Racing||+ 14.314|
|15.||Chris Pither||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 14.940|
|16.||Todd Hazelwood||Bigmate Racing||+ 15.217|
|17.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 15.566|
|18.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 15.917|
|19.||Garry Jacobson||RABBLE.club Racing||+ 17.378|
|20.||James Golding||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 37.975|
|21.||Jack Le Brocq||Truck Assist TEKNO Racing||1 lap behind|
|22.||Jack Smith||SCT Logistics Racing||1 lap behind|
|23.||Simona de Silvestro||Team Harvey Norman||1 lap behind|
|DNF.||Will Davison||Milwaukee Racing||Transaxle|
|DNF.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||Engine|
- Jack Le Brocq was awarded a 15-second post-race time penalty for causing avoidable contact with Garry Jacobson.
Irwin Racing was fined $3,000 and docked 30 Teams’ Championship points for a line locker failure during one of Mark Winterbottom’s pit stops.
Image via Supercars