Scott McLaughlin has extended his title lead in the Supercars Championship with victory in the Saturday night race at Sydney Motorsport Park. The defending two-time champion is now one win short of equalling Peter Brock’s record of race victories.
The DJR Team Penske driver had claimed pole position earlier in the day, but opted to start the race on the Hard compound Dunlop tyres while his countryman and fellow front-row starter Shane van Gisbergen went for Soft rubber.
McLaughlin was therefore easy meat at the start, initially outbraked by the Red Bull Holden driver at Turn 2 after the start and quickly falling down to sixth place over the course of his opening stint.
He made his compulsory pit stop on Lap 10 and rejoined the circuit almost a minute adrift of van Gisbergen in the lead but critically ahead of Anton de Pasquale who had opted to run two sets of Soft tyres for the race.
Another driver on the same strategy was Lee Holdsworth, who pitted at mid-distance and emerged in front of McLaughlin and de Pasquale as he exited pit lane. The Tickford Racing driver could not, however, stay in front of the pair on his out-lap.
Once his tyres were up to temperature, Holdsworth was able to overtake de Pasquale and zero in on McLaughlin. His tyres would not be up to the task for the remainder of the race, leaving him unable to mount a challenge.
Van Gisbergen, meanwhile, ran too long on his Soft tyres and eventually made his compulsory pit stop on Lap 20. That left McLaughlin to cruise to victory ahead of Holdsworth and de Pasquale, while van Gisbergen was able to nip by teammate Jamie Whincup on the final lap to snatch fourth place.
Cameron Waters finished sixth on a Soft-Hard strategy, while McLaughlin’s teammate Fabian Coulthard left himself well-placed for Sunday’s two races by finishing seventh without running one of his two allocated sets of Soft tyres.
Flattered with a Soft-Soft strategy, Macauley Jones claimed a career-best eighth place ahead of BJR teammate Nick Percat and Team 18’s Mark Winterbottom.
The result also leaves McLaughlin just one victory short of equalling the great Peter Brock on career ATCC/Supercars race wins.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship Sydney SuperSprint II – Race 10 Final Classification (32 laps)|
|1.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||50:10.046|
|2.||Lee Holdsworth||Truck Assist Racing||+ 1.315|
|3.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 4.727|
|4.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 17.406|
|5.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 18.278|
|6.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 19.128|
|7.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 24.504|
|8.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 26.136|
|9.||Nick Percat||Dunlop Super Dealer Racing||+ 26.294|
|10.||Mark Winterbottom||IRWIN Racing||+ 53.978|
|11.||Chaz Mostert||Mobil 1 TM Appliances||+ 55.464|
|12.||Scott Pye||DEWALT Racing||+ 57.148|
|13.||Todd Hazelwood||Brut Military Grade||+ 57.480|
|14.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 58.240|
|15.||Bryce Fullwood||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||+ 58.466|
|16.||Jack Le Brocq||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 58792|
|17.||Andre Heimgartner||NED Whisky Racing||+ 1:04.567|
|18.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 1:05.279|
|19.||James Courtney||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 1:12.926|
|20.||Alex Davison||Local Legends Racing||+ 1:15.525|
|21.||Chris Pither||Team SYDNEY||+ 1:19.407|
|22.||Garry Jacobson||Yellow Cover Racing||+ 1:20.285|
|23.||Jack Smith||SCT Motor Sports||+ 1:20.480|
|24.||Zane Goddard||UNIT Racing||+ 1:20.642|
- To be advised
Image via DJR Team Penske
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