Scott McLaughlin took a dominant victory in the final Supercars Championship race (Race 27) at The Bend over the weekend.
In a carbon copy of qualifying for the previous race, McLaughlin again claimed pole position and Coulthard in P4.
It was another great start to Race 27 by both McLaughlin and Coulthard who were P1 and P2 as they entered the first corner.
“We were 1st and 3rd overall for the weekend and we got a 1-2 today which is fantastic for the team,” commented McLaughlin. “For us, the car was fantastic to drive, it was just a pleasure to drive, and I’m really proud of everyone at the Shell V-Power Racing Team to be able to bounce back up here today. It was a fantastic day today.
“Our tyres were great all weekend. I had a couple of little blisters but nothing like we have seen up and down pit lane. We changed our strategy today and changed two rear tyres instead of two sides, and then I just had to play with my bars to get balance. Once I got that, it was good.”
Earlier it was Shane van Gisbergen who won the first race on Sunday (Race 26). In another intense race at The Bend where tyres were a key factor, McLaughlin finished on the podium in P3 and Coulthard just one sport behind in P4 in at the Repco SuperSprint.
“Today wasn’t too bad for us,” van Gisbergen commented. “We managed to qualify in the top six for both races which was great – it’s so important to qualify well at this track.
“I had a really good start in the first race and had a great battle with Scotty (Mclaughlin) and Chaz (Mostert) and ended up winning that race which was good. Getting a Kiwi one-two-three on the podium was pretty sick too.
“The crew did an awesome job making the car better and easier on the tyres, and the strategy we were using definitely made an improvement. We were looking quick in the last race again, but I made a little error and got penalised, unfortunately. We have really good speed which is the main thing, and we’ll try again next week, but we have a great base set-up to work off.”
Van Gisbergen was one of the last cars to stop and when he rejoined he was neck-and-neck with Mostert and McLaughlin who were the race leaders. He slotted in behind the No. 17, but on fresher tyres, it wasn’t long before he made his move on McLaughlin.
When McLaughlin challenged Mostert for position, Heimgartner took advantage of an opportunity to pass them both and bombed it down the inside to take P2. McLaughlin did overtake Mostert but was left in P3.
With 9 laps to go, Coulthard was in P5 and working to hold off Percat, but he couldn’t and dropped to P6. Five laps later, Coulthard was able to get Percat back and moved into P5 once again. He quickly closed the gap to Waters who had badly blistering tyres and was able to claim P4 with just two laps to go.
Mclaughlin closed the gap to Heimgartner but had to be content with P3, while teammate Coulthard crossed the finish line just one place behind in P4.
McLaughlin leads the Supercars Championship by 215 points from Jamie Whincup. The Shell V-Power Racing Team extends their lead in the Teams’ Championship and is 104 points ahead of Triple 8.
Race 27 Results (Top 10)
|1||Scott McLaughlin||24 laps|
|4||Anton De Pasquale||8.601|
Race 26 Result (Top 10)
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||24 laps|
|5||Anton De Pasquale||15.863|
|10||Jack Le Brocq||25.531|