Jamie Whincup turned the tables on title rival Scott McLaughlin to claim victory in the final race of the Darwin Triple Crown.
The pair spent the entire race split by less than a second, with McLaughlin holding the early lead from pole position before getting jumped by Whincup during the compulsory pit stop cycle.
Whincup attempted to undercut McLaughlin by pitting first and was lucky to avoid being hit by McLaughlin’s teammate Fabian Coulthard as he exited his pit bay just as the DJR Team Penske driver was trying to turn into his. Coulthard was forced to slam on the brakes to avoid contact, and somehow Whincup escaped any sanction from the Race Stewards for an unsafe pit release.
McLaughlin suffered a fractionally slow tyre change when he pitted a lap later, which proved just enough for Whincup to claim the effective race lead.
Coulthard’s slower transition through the pit lane was enough to see him jumped by Chaz Mostert for fourth place, denying the DJR Team Penske driver the distinction of winning the Darwin Triple Crown round – he and Whincup finished equal on points, but the Red Bull Holden driver claimed the mantle on countback.
Whincup’s teammate Shane van Gisbergen completed the podium, although he nearly lost the position when he ran wide at Turn 1 in the final laps. Luckily for him, the Mostert/Coulthard battle was far enough behind.
Nick Percat finished sixth in his BJR Holden ahead of the Team 18 Holden of Mark Winterbottom, who opted for a long opening stint and a late pit stop to climb to seventh on fresher tyres in the final laps.
Jack Le Brocq (Tickford Racing Ford), David Reynolds (Erebus Holden) and Rick Kelly (Kelly Racing Ford) rounded out the top ten.
The Supercars field will remain in Darwin for a second SuperSprint round over the weekend of 22-23 August, with McLaughlin leading Whincup by 101 points in the Drivers’ Championship standings – the same margin the pair was separated by before this weekend.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship Darwin Triple Crown – Race 15 Final Classification (38 laps)|
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||44:07.248|
|2.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 2.122|
|3.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 14.355|
|4.||Chaz Mostert||Mobil 1 TM Appliances||+ 17.258|
|5.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 17.758|
|6.||Nick Percat||R&J Batteries||+ 22.614|
|7.||Mark Winterbottom||IRWIN Racing||+ 22.983|
|8.||Jack Le Brocq||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 23.857|
|9.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 25.468|
|10.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 26.690|
|11.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 28.475|
|12.||Lee Holdsworth||Truck Assist Racing||+ 29.520|
|13.||Garry Jacobson||Yellow Cover Racing||+ 29.905|
|14.||Jake Kostecki||UNIT Racing||+ 36.045|
|15.||Jack Smith||SCT Motor Sports||+ 39.938|
|16.||Andre Heimgartner||NED Whisky Racing||+ 40.951|
|17.||James Courtney||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 42.010|
|18.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 42.453|
|19.||Bryce Fullwood||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||+ 42.785|
|20.||Todd Hazelwood||Brut Military Grade||+ 44.626|
|21.||Chris Pither||Team SYDNEY||+ 45.727|
|22.||Scott Pye||DEWALT Racing||+ 47.251|
|23.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 1:01.438|
|24.||Alex Davison||Local Legends Racing||2 laps behind|
Image via Supercars Championship
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