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)
Pos Driver Team Result
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 Kelly Racing NED Whisky Racing + 17.681
8. Rick Kelly Kelly Racing 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 Walkinshaw Andretti United 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 Walkinshaw Andretti United 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
Retirements Team Reason
DNF. James Courtney Boost Mobile Racing Collision
DNF. Mark Winterbottom IRWIN Racing Collision

Post-Race Penalties:

  • None.

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Geoff Burke

Journalist at MotorsportM8
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