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McLaughlin goes four in a row at start of 2019

Daniel Herrero

Saturday 16th March, 2019 - 1:32pm

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Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin remains unbeaten through the first four races of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship after another comfortable victory at Albert Park.

With the second race of the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 run as a full-on sprint with no compulsory pit stops, McLaughlin officially led each of the 13 laps in the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang while Chaz Mostert recovered from a poor start to finish second in the Supercheap Auto Mustang.

Mostert’s rise relegated Tickford team-mate Cameron Waters back to third, while Jamie Whincup was first of the ZB Commodore runners home in fourth in the #88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team entry.

Whincup’s team-mate Shane van Gisbergen, a DNF in Race 3 a day earlier, made up one spot from his relatively lowly starting position to round out the top 10 in the #97 ZB Commodore.

McLaughlin once again headed the field away from Armor All Pole Position but Mostert, who also qualified on the front row, made a tardy getaway.

Waters, on the other hand, was away strongly from fourth on the grid and then went deep under brakes on the outside, emerging from the Turn 1/Turn 2 complex in second position.

Whincup took up third, Mostert fourth, Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske Mustang) fifth, and David Reynolds sixth after prevailing over Will Davison initially.

The latter two were the first to swap positions near the front of the field when Davison put his Milwaukee Mustang down the inside of the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore at Turn 6 on Lap 1.

After McLaughlin put almost a second on Waters on the standing lap alone, and Waters gradually gapped the rest, Whincup was the cork in the bottle as he held up Mostert and Coulthard.

Mostert sent the #55 Mustang down the inside at Turn 13 on Lap 4 and while he had to defend vigorously into the next right-hander, he ultimately made the move stick.

He and Waters were about 1.7s apart at the time of the move, but Mostert needed only three more laps to catch his fellow Tickford man.

It was a brief contest before Mostert got alongside #6 at Turn 3 on Lap 9 and stuck there through the Lakeside Stadium car park to take the place at Turn 5.

McLaughlin got to well over three seconds up on the 24-car field before he cruised home to a fourth win from four in the new season, with Mostert and Waters making for another all-Ford top three.

“I bogged it down but luckily Chaz got a bad one as well so I was able to slot to the inside,” recalled McLaughlin.

“Overall really happy, team did a great job, I felt like I just executed myself really well and hit my marks and controlled the gap to the end.

“I’m careful of my left front (tyre), it’s hard on the fronts around here so you don’t want to pop them and stuff.

“We had a nice gap there where I could just bring it home.

“Look, there’s probably a little bit more in it. Chaz is pretty fast, those boys are pretty quick, so we’ll see how we go.”

Coulthard couldn’t make an impression on Whincup and remained fifth, while sixth through eighth were Davison, Reynolds, and Tim Slade (Alliance Truck Parts ZB Commodore).

James Courtney had a battle on his hands at the end but held off van Gisbergen to finish ninth in the #22 Mobil 1 Mega ZB Commodore.

Mark Winterbottom dropped one spot over the journey to finish 11th in the Irwin Racing ZB Commodore, Lee Holdsworth (The Bottle-O Racing) was sixth of the Mustangs in 12th, and Rick Kelly (Castrol Racing Altima) first of the Nissans in 16th.

James Golding (Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) crossed the line in 21st position but was classified 23rd after a five-second time penalty for a driving infringement, having failed to leave racing room for Andre Heimgartner (Plus Fitness Altima) on Walker Straight at the end of the first lap.

McLaughlin has scooped a maximum 450 points in the season to date, leaving him 116 clear of next-best Whincup on the table.

A 25-lap race with a compulsory pit stop (two tyres) will be held this evening at 1830 local time/AEDT.

Results: Race 4, Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 Updated

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 13 25:39.4415
2 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 13 25:41.9634
3 6 Monster Energy Racing Team Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 13 25:45.8511
4 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 13 25:46.7539
5 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 13 25:50.2624
6 23 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 13 25:50.8312
7 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 13 25:52.6097
8 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 13 25:53.3104
9 22 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 13 25:56.6511
10 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 13 25:56.8470
11 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 13 25:58.0264
12 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 13 26:00.9995
13 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:02.9839
14 2 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:03.5381
15 8 Freightliner Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:04.1606
16 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 13 26:05.1170
17 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:08.2876
18 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 13 26:09.1522
19 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 13 26:15.1181
20 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:16.9540
21 33 Boost Mobile Racing Richie Stanaway Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:19.6807
22 21 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:20.4865
23 34 Boost Mobile Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 13 26:21.0498
24 3 RABBLE.club Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 13 26:22.5484

Championship points Updated

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott McLaughlin 450
2 Jamie Whincup 334
3 Will Davison 324
4 Cameron Waters 306
5 Chaz Mostert 291
6 Shane van Gisbergen 284
7 Fabian Coulthard 276
8 Tim Slade 272
9 Nick Percat 269
10 David Reynolds 258
11 Mark Winterbottom 256
12 James Courtney 239
13 Lee Holdsworth 193
14 Anton De Pasquale 190
15 Todd Hazelwood 189
16 Andre Heimgartner 189
17 Simona De Silvestro 167
18 James Golding 161
19 Richie Stanaway 152
20 Rick Kelly 150
21 Jack Le Brocq 132
22 Garry Jacobson 126
23 Scott Pye 119
24 Macauley Jones 81

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