Scott McLaughlin produced a faultless drive to claim his second win of the Perth Super Sprint weekend.
The DJR Team Penske driver was rarely challenged throughout the 83 lap journey as his team executed a slick two-stop strategy at Barbagallo Raceway.
McLaughlin only lost the lead through the pit stop cycles as he showcased impressive pace while preserving his tyres on the abrasive surface.
The pole-sitter led Prodrive’s Chaz Mostert, who started second, to the chequered flag with a 4.6s margin.
McLaughlin’s victory saw the 23-year-old move to second in the championship 31 points behind team-mate Fabian Coulthard.
“To be honest I was pretty nervous about my first races in front of the bosses, but they employed me because they believed in me, said McLaughlin.
“To do it in front of them where they can see it, not just second hand text messages is pretty awesome.”
Red Bull Holden Racing team’s Jamie Whincup made the most of a good start from sixth to claim the final place on the podium, following a strong two-stop strategy.
Mark Winterbottom was able to bring the #5 Prodrive Falcon home in fourth ahead of Tekno Autosports Will Davison.
Coulthard was the first of the three-stoppers to reach the finish in seventh behind Shane van Gisbergen.
McLaughlin managed to get the jump at the start as he led Mostert and Winterbottom, while Whincup just got the better of van Gisbergen for fourth following a heated opening lap tussle.
Coulthard dropped a position to sixth before falling away from the top five in the early laps.
The Kiwi continued to struggle as he fell to eighth behind Jason Bright before ducking into the pits on lap 12.
It proved to be an eventful start for Craig Lowndes who started from the rear of his grid when the engine in his Triple Eight Commodore died going to the grid.
He was then turned around by Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s Alex Rullo at the final corner which resulted in a 15 second time penalty for the Perth teenager.
Whincup was the first of the leaders to pit from fourth on lap 24 and he was followed a lap later by van Gisbergen.
Mostert was next to blink followed by race leader McLaughlin a lap later, having built up a five second lead over the former.
Following the round of first stops Cameron Waters assumed the lead having been the first to pit, while McLaughlin held second after being let through by the three-stopping Coulthard.
Waters’ second pit stop handed McLaughlin the lead from Mostert and Whincup, who’s decision to pit early saw him undercut Winterbottom and climb to third.
McLaughlin continued to power on, opening up a five-second lead over Mostert, with Whincup third as the race ticked into the final third.
The Race 7 winner made his final stop on lap 58 and emerged from the pits with a net lead over Mostert and Whincup who pitted slightly earlier.
Once the final stops were completed McLaughlin cooly led Mostert and Whincup to the chequered flag.
Winterbottom salvaged fourth ahead of Davison, while a charging van Gisbergen overtook Coulthard on the penultimate lap to secure sixth.
Despite suffering engine issues, Lowndes produced an impressive recovery to eighth, while Garth Tander (GRM) and Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing) completed the top 10.
Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s struggles continued with Scott Pye finishing 14th, with James Courtney slumping to 22nd position after a late stop for fuel.
The race ran without a Safety Car with all 26 cars reaching the finish.
Supercars debutant Matthew Brabham finished 26th after undertaking a three-stop strategy.
Results: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship – Perth Super Sprint, Race 8
|1||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||83||01:22:17.6422|
|2||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||83||01:22:22.2537|
|3||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:22:23.5234|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||83||01:22:30.7971|
|5||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:22:32.3424|
|6||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:22:32.7159|
|7||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||83||01:22:34.0603|
|8||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:22:48.8549|
|9||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:22:54.4524|
|10||BIANTE 1:1||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:22:58.3529|
|11||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:23:00.8728|
|12||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||83||01:23:01.6061|
|13||MEGA Racing||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG/X||83||01:23:01.7594|
|14||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:23:10.7262|
|15||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||83||01:23:12.2236|
|16||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:23:13.7799|
|17||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||83||01:23:15.5058|
|18||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||83||01:23:16.0722|
|19||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||82||01:22:18.4199|
|20||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||82||01:22:18.8843|
|21||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||82||01:22:20.2638|
|22||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||82||01:22:34.6118|
|23||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||82||01:22:40.5197|
|24||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||82||01:22:41.7013|
|25||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Alex Rullo||Holden Commodore VF||81||01:22:44.3517|
|26||Repair Management Aust Racing||Matthew Brabham||Holden Commodore VF||80||01:22:24.6623|
|2||Shane Van Gisbergen||783|
|21||Simona De Silvestro||342|