This week we look back to 2014 and the Supercars at Phillip Island. It was the penultimate round of the championship, one that Kiwi Scott McLaughlin was to dominate. Here’s Sports Media NZ’s race report…..
McLaughlin grabs spectacular victory
Kiwi driver Scott McLaughlin added to his rapidly rising star with a remarkable victory in the third race at the Plus Fitness Phillip Island 400 today in a grandstand finish.
The Volvo driver scored his fourth win of the year and his second of the weekend when he flew past Holden’s Garth Tander in the last 100m on the main straight, stealing a win that should not have been his.
Tander had run out of fuel in the final corners after a 20-lap fight with McLaughlin that he managed not quite to the death.
Mark Winterbottom finished third behind them, importantly seven places ahead of Lowndes in their fight for second to Champion elect Jamie Whincup.
Shane van Gisbergen made up for his disasters on Saturday to finish fifth and moves to fourth in the championships, only 39 points behind third placed Craig Lowndes.
McLaughlin’s charge sees him up to fifth in the championship while Fabian Coulthard, 16th today in lack-lustre weekend after he was caught in the bizarre qualifying incident with van Gisbergen, is sixth.
With one round remaining in Sydney, there is a real chance for the Kiwi trio to claim the best ever showing by New Zealand drivers in the championship.
McLaughlin did to Tander what Chaz Mostert did to Whincup at Bathurst last month by claiming the win with the line in sight. He still found it hard to fathom that he won.
“That is sick. I feel sorry for Garth but I’m pretty ecstatic. It was so cool, I couldn’t believe it,” the easy-going young Kiwi said.
“They said to me about five laps to go keep the pressure on, he is tight on fuel. Then I made a bit of a blue and lost some time letting him get away.
“In some ways I was lucky but my car was great the whole time. Sometimes it happens … I’ve been out of luck as well.”
Tander was surprisingly upbeat despite not being able to add to his impressive list of wins in V8 Supercars at a track he has had great success, including the 2007 Championship.
“That’s the way the cookie crumbles. I’ve won a lot of fuel races over the years and lost a few,” said Tander.
“The boys told me it was really tight on the last lap and it was just that 100m short of the line. It’s not the end of the world.”
The V8 Supercars will race next at grand final the Sydney NRMA 500 from December 5-7, with Marcos Ambrose in the field as a wild card entry.
Race 35 – Top 5
1 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 45 laps
2 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +0.4521
3 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +4.9815
4 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +5.3950
5 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +12.9998
22 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +43.6639
Race 34 – Top 5
1 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore 23 laps
2 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +3.5940
3 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +6.3745
4 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +7.3985
5 Todd Kelly Nissan Altima +13.1304
6 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +13.5720
Race 33 – Top 5
1 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 23 laps
2 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +0.3763
3 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +0.9243
4 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +1.4138
5 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima +5.0894
Qualifying for Race 35 – Top 5
1 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore 1:31.1812
2 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +0.0739
3 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.2055
4 Garth Tander Holden Commodore +0.2122
5 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore +0.2479
Qualifying for Race 34 – Top 5
1 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore 1:31.0578
2 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.1315
3 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +0.2095
4 Todd Kelly Nissan Altima +0.2592
5 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima +0.2849
9 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 +0.4769
20 Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 +1.1106
Qualifying for Race 33 – Top 5
1 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1:31.3935
2 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore +0.0864
3 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore +0.2564
4 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon +0.4842
5 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima +0.5537
Championship positions – Top 10
1 Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore 3094 points
2 Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon 2642 (-452)
3 Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore 2547 (-547)
4 Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore 2508 (-586)
5 Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 2295 (-799)
6 Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore 2280 (-814)
7 Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon 2273 (-821)
8 James Courtney Holden Commodore 2265 (-829)
9 Garth Tander Holden Commodore 2064 (-1030)
10 Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1875 (-1219)