Scott McLaughlin has claimed the Championship lead for the first time in 2020, after winning the Adelaide 500 on Sunday for the second year running.
Race 2 of the Championship was an up and down affair for the Shell V-Power Racing Team, but one where the team ultimately ended up on top.
Scott McLaughlin started on the front row of the grid, taking the lead into Turn 1 over poleman Shane van Gisbergen. He lead until the first pit stops, when Triple Eight short-fuelled Van Gisbergen to jump McLaughlin in pit lane.
McLaughlin remained second right through the second round of pit stops, however an error in refuelling meant that Van Gisbergen had to return to the lane late in the race to take on additional fuel gifting the lead to Car No. 17 . Six laps later his race ended for good with a sudden failure in the right front. A broken lower control arm ended his charge, and McLaughlin went on to take his second Adelaide 500 title.
“I’m obviously devastated,” said van Gisbergen. “We were competitive all day and were in a position for a good result to kick off the first round. I’m shattered but that’s the nature of the game.
“I felt even from the first stint that something had broken in the car, but it was manageable, and the car was fast so we kept pressing on.
“We then obviously had the fuel drama, but the boys got me back out there to compete for a podium. We were so close, and I was pushing really hard for the result, but it wasn’t to be.”
“Full credit to Shane [van Gisbergen] and his team, they really should have won that race,” commented McLaughlin. “They had the faster car, but I’ll take it. We’ve got to take the luck when we can. I’m just really happy to get one for the Ford fans in what has been a pretty big week for Holden.
“For a Ford to win is awesome. We’ll look at it all back at the shop, but the team always put me on a great strategy, just need to look at yesterday to see that. I was like, ahh damn, we didn’t get in front of him [Van Gisbergen], but I had to pull the socks up and have a crack. I’m really proud of everyone. Thanks to all the supporters out there, it’s going to be a great year.”
Coulthard started from sixth on the grid, and had great pace throughout the opening section of the race. He was forced to double stack behind McLaughlin in pit lane at the first pit stop, losing him more than 10 seconds, which dropped him back into the pack.
He worked hard to make his way forward across the remainder of the race, passing several cars and holding position in the battle pack to finish ninth.
At the end of the opening weekend, McLaughlin has claimed the championship lead and associated orange numbers, whilst Coulthard sits ninth. The team leads the Teams’ points by 63 points over Triple Eight.
Race 2 Results (Sunday)
1/ Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske
2/ Chaz Mostert – Walkinshaw Andretti United
3/ Cameron Waters – Tickford Racing
4/ Will Davison – 23Red Racing
5/ Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight Race Engineering
6/ Lee Holdsworth – Tickford Racing
7/ Nick Percat – Brad Jones Racing
8/ David Reynolds – Erebus Motorsport
9/ Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
10/ Andre Heimgartner – Kelly Racing
11/ Mark Winterbottom – Charlie Schwerkolt Racing
12/ Jack LeBrocq – Tickford Racing
13/ Rick Kelly – Kelly Racing
14/ Todd Hazelwood – Brad Jones Racing
15/ James Courtney – Team Sydney
16/ Zane Goddard – Matt Stone Racing
17/ Bryce Fullwood – Walkinshaw Andretti Untied
18/ Jack Smith – Brad Jones Racing
19/ Macauley Jones – Tim Blanchard Racing
20/ Garry Jacobson – Matt Stone Racing
DNF Shane Van Gisbergen – Triple Eight Race Engineering
DNF Chris Pither – Team Sydney
DNF Anton de Pasquale – Erebus Motorsport
DNF Scott Pye – Charlie Schwerkolt Racing