Scott McLaughlin is on course to claim a hat-trick of Supercars Championship titles thanks to victory in the third race of the double-header at The Bend Motorsport Park.
The DJR Team Penske driver had a comfortable lights-to-flag victory ahead of DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard – the winner of Saturday’s race – who slotted into second place at the start and assumed an effective rear-gunner role.
The pair was separated by 1.8 seconds at the flag, with McLaughlin’s main championship rival Jamie Whincup atoning for a difficult weekend by completing the podium in his Red Bull Racing Holden.
Whincup had to fight to get onto the final step of the rostrum, coming out on top of an exciting battle with Anton de Pasquale. His first attempt at passing the Erebus Motorsport Holden driver saw him make contact and redress the position to avoid any penalty, and he later made a clean pass on the penultimate lap of the race.
By finishing behind McLaughlin once again, however, he dropped further points to the New Zealander who now leads the table by 215 points with four races and a maximum of 600 points available.
Whincup’s teammate Shane van Gisbergen was unable to repeat his race win earlier in the day after deservedly copping a 15-second time penalty for triggering a multi-car accident on the opening lap when he tipped Andre Heimgartner’s Kelly Racing Ford into a spin at Turn 17.
That checked up a number of midfield runners, with James Courtney (Tickford Racing Ford) and Mark Winterbottom (Team 18 Holden) suffering race-ending damage to their cars as a number of runners made contact.
Van Gisbergen’s penalty dropped him well down the order and the best he could manage was a 14th place finish by the chequered flag.
Heimgartner was able to recover from his spin to finish in seventh place behind de Pasquale, Cameron Waters (Tickford Racing Ford) and Scott Pye (Team 18 Holden).
The Supercars Championship field will stage another trio of races at The Bend Motorsport Park next weekend, likely to be run on the shorter ‘West Circuit’ configuration, before the season-ending Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama next month.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship The Bend SuperSprint I – Race 27 Final Classification (24 laps)|
|1.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||45:39.807|
|2.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 1.865|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 5.758|
|4.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 8.601|
|5.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 11.032|
|6.||Scott Pye||DEWALT Racing||+ 11.371|
|7.||Andre Heimgartner||NED Whisky Racing||+ 17.681|
|8.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 18.227|
|9.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 18.815|
|10.||Todd Hazelwood||TRG Transport||+ 19.200|
|11.||Lee Holdsworth||Truck Assist Racing||+ 25.724|
|12.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 26.558|
|13.||Garry Jacobson||Yellow Cover Racing||+ 26.981|
|14.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 27.027|
|15.||Chris Pither||Team SYDNEY||+ 29.804|
|16.||Chaz Mostert||Mobil 1 TM Appliances||+ 34.924|
|17.||Nick Percat||R&J Batteries||+ 35.517|
|18.||Alex Davison||Local Legends Racing||+ 37.618|
|19.||Bryce Fullwood||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||+ 38.063|
|20.||Zane Goddard||UNIT Racing||+ 51.401|
|21.||Jack Le Brocq||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 54.721|
|22.||Jack Smith||SCT Motor Sports||+ 39.764|
|DNF.||James Courtney||Boost Mobile Racing||Collision|
|DNF.||Mark Winterbottom||IRWIN Racing||Collision|
Image via Motorsport.com
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