McLaughlin extends points lead with Race 19 win

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has led from lights to flag to head home the three Triple Eight cars in Race 19 of the Supercars Championship at the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.

While McLaughlin’s status as the effective race leader was only briefly threatened, there was an entertaining on-track and strategic battle for the minors before Shane van Gisbergen finished 4.3164s adrift, with Craig Lowndes third and Jamie Whincup fourth.

Rick Kelly made a better start than the all-Shell V-Power Racing front row but found his path blocked by McLaughlin and the #12 FGX Falcon of Fabian Coulthard.

Coulthard initially pressured his team-mate but then dropped off the back of the #17 FGX Falcon and McLaughlin pitted from the lead for his compulsory pit stop on Lap 13.

He resumed just in front of Chaz Mostert, who was on an undercut and had only taken working side tyres compared to the standard all four corners.

McLaughlin staved off the #55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon and was not threatened thereafter as he took a seventh race win of the campaign and extended his Virgin Australia Supercars Championship lead to 143 points.

“That was awesome,” he said post-race.

“Thanks to everyone here. It’s been a massive support, obviously (driving car) 17 in Queensland’s very cool to be a part of it, so thank you for everyone.

“(It was a) Bloody good stop by my guys, Shell V-Power Racing gave me an awesome car all day and I’m just happy to reward them.”

Van Gisbergen had only qualified eighth but set up his race with a storming start which saw him run fifth into Turn 1 and already challenging Reynolds.

He cleared the #9 Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore at Turn 3 and picked off Kelly at the next corner to sit third before the end of the standing lap, before getting by Coulthard on Lap 13.

Van Gisbergen and Coulthard pitted a lap later and slotted back onto the track behind Lowndes, who used a slight undercut to vault himself forward from seventh before the pit stops cycle began.

On fresher tyres, van Gisbergen executed a criss-cross to take his #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore past Lowndes through Turn 5 on Lap 18.

The 2016 champion ran down Mostert over the next half-dozen laps and drove past the lead Tickford Racing Ford up Dick Johnson Straight at the start of Lap 25.

That move left Mostert high and dry as Lowndes stuck the #888 Autobarn ZB Commodore down the inside at the end of the straight, and Coulthard got through at Turn 3.

Van Gisbergen did not look a threat to McLaughlin but at least minimised points deficit in second.

“Man, just (an) awesome battle,” he said.

“I just dropped the clutch and just away it went. (It was a) really cool first lap, lots of room given, great racing.

“Had a great battle with Fabian and then Craig after the pits, but Scotty was gone by that point.”

The final podium position became a close-run thing as a relatively late-pitting Whincup finished strongly.

Having sat eighth after the pit stop cycle shook out, the defending champion passed James Courtney, Reynolds, and Mostert, and ranged up on Lowndes.

Only 0.0423s separated #888 from the #1 ZB Commodore at the line, while Coulthard was 2.6330s further behind in fifth.

Earlier, Whincup had been cleared of wrongdoing when he got by Mostert at the end of Lap 3, moving Car #55 wide into Turn 6 before Mostert ran off the road entering the straight.

Mostert started from fifth after a grid penalty and finished sixth in the end, ahead of Reynolds and Courtney, the latter of whom reset his own lap record in the #25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore.

Michael Caruso (#23 Drive Nissan Altima) and Nick Percat (#8 Brad Jones Racing ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 10.

Kelly pitted just in front of Whincup but exited the lane just behind and faded in the latter stages to 13th, after some willing racing with Garth Tander.

Tander took 11th in the Wilson Security GRM ZB Commodore, one position ahead of Richie Stanaway (#56 Rabble.Club FGX Falcon).

Wildcard Kurt Kostecki finished 25th in the #42 Kostecki Brothers Racing VF Commodore.

Anton De Pasquale was 26th having had to stop a second time in the #99 Erebus Motorsport ZB Commodore to tighten a wheel, and Todd Hazelwood finished five laps down due to a battery problem for the #35 Bigmate Racing FGX Falcon.

The next track action for Supercars is Armor All Qualifying for Race 20, tomorrow at 1040 local time/AEST.

Results: Supercars Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint Race 19

1  17  Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 39 46:40.8181
2  97  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 39 46:45.1345
3 888  Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 39 46:46.6477
4   1  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 39 46:46.6900
5  12  Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 39 46:49.3230
6  55  Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 39 46:54.8867
7   9  Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 39 46:55.1027
8  25  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 39 46:55.3216
9  23  Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 39 46:55.7121
10   8  Summit Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 39 46:57.4509
11  33  Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:00.6148
12  56 Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 39 47:01.9054
13  15  Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 39 47:02.2404
14  14  Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:02.5343
15   7  Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 39 47:02.8036
16   2  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:03.3734
17 120  Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 39 47:03.4674
18  34  Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:04.3288
19  78  Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 39 47:04.8070
20   5  The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 39 47:05.0460
21  19  Tekno Autosport Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:05.3738
22   6  Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 39 47:13.1287
23  21  Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:17.9531
24  18  Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:18.0169
25  42  Arcoplate Racing Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore VF 39 47:19.0181
26  99  Erebus Motorsport Anton de Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 39 47:42.3717
27  35  Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 34 47:24.8529

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott McLaughlin 2183
2 Shane van Gisbergen 2040
3 Jamie Whincup 1750
4 David Reynolds 1742
5 Craig Lowndes 1731
6 Fabian Coulthard 1541
7 Scott Pye 1441
8 Rick Kelly 1438
9 Chaz Mostert 1388
10 James Courtney 1326
11 Nick Percat 1300
12 Tim Slade 1295
13 Garth Tander 1230
14 Mark Winterbottom 1217
15 Michael Caruso 1072
16 Will Davison 1054
17 Cameron Waters 1012
18 Andre Heimgartner 977
19 Anton De Pasquale 906
20 Jack Le Brocq 890
21 Lee Holdsworth 726
22 Simona de Silvestro 699
23 Richie Stanaway 662
24 James Golding 656
25 Todd Hazelwood 649
26 Tim Blanchard 635
27 Macauley Jones 57
28 Kurt Kostecki 30

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