McLaughlin leads DJRTP one-two in Race 7 in Tassie

Scott McLaughlin leads a DJR Team Penske one-two

Scott McLaughlin has led Fabian Coulthard to a DJR Team Penske one-two in Race 7 of the Supercars Championship at Symmons Plains, while Jamie Whincup was last after an early incident.

McLaughlin qualified second but took the lead off the start and was untroubled thereafter, while Coulthard had a slightly tougher time on his way to second position in the other Shell V-Power Mustang.

Shane van Gisbergen ensured it was his ZB Commodore on the podium after a late pass on Armor All Pole-sitter Mark Winterbottom, who was held up while lapping wildcard Jack Smith.

Whincup, however, finished almost three laps down in 25th after a Lap 2 hit with Chaz Mostert which pulled his right-front tyre off the bead.

McLaughlin made the better getaway from the front row of the grid and headed Winterbottom (Irwin Racing ZB Commodore) to the Turn 2 left-hander.

Van Gisbergen (Red Bull HRT) was slow off position three and fell behind David Reynolds, who then blazed by Coulthard into third as they tore down the back straight for the first time.

Coulthard reclaimed the spot when he went around the outside of the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore through the kink in the back straight on Lap 5, before closing in on Winterbottom.

The second of the DJR Team Penske drivers appeared to find himself held up by Winterbottom as McLaughlin moved out to an advantage exceeding two seconds after 16 laps.

Van Gisbergen, by that point, was tailing Reynolds but not seriously threatening a pass.

Reynolds and Coulthard were the first two of that top five to take their compulsory pit stops, on Laps 18 and 19 respectively, with both receiving slow service although the Erebus man faring worse.

Winterbottom and McLaughlin were each into the lane a lap later again, and the Team 18 driver fell behind Coulthard as a result of both the undercut and an even tardier pit stop.

The undercut also closed up the two DJR Team Penske Mustangs slightly, although McLaughlin was still well over a second up on Coulthard and gradually pulled away again.

Van Gisbergen waited until Lap 30 to pit and resumed in sixth as he completed the cycle, behind a top five of McLaughlin, Coulthard, Winterbottom, James Courtney, and Reynolds, respectively.

The 2016 champion needed only four laps to bridge the 1.7s gap to Reynolds and pass him up the back straight, and another six to take fourth from Courtney, who used an undercut by pitting at the end of Lap 17 in the #22 Mobil 1 Mega ZB Commodore.

McLaughlin lost around 0.8s lapping Smith on Lap 44 but he had more than three seconds in reserve at that time.

Winterbottom, on the other hand, had van Gisbergen chasing him on fresher tyres and they cleared the fourth Brad Jones Racing entry together at the end of Lap 48, giving the Kiwi in Car #97 a free kick.

Van Gisbergen picked off Winterbottom at Turn 6 next time around to complete the podium in the 50-lap affair.

McLaughlin won by 1.76s, with Coulthard 3.05s up on van Gisbergen in an all-New Zealand top three.

“Great job for Shell V-Power Racing to get a one-two,” said an ill McLaughlin.

“I’ll have a good sleep tonight, watch a bit of the footy and try and come back stronger myself tomorrow.

“That one’s for Ford fans and all our team; we’ve worked hard behind the scenes and there’s been a lot of stuff thrown at us and whatever, but we just fight on and we’re a strong group.”

Courtney ended up 5.4s adrift of the top four, from Reynolds, Tim Slade (Freightliner ZB Commodore), Nick Percat (Dunlop ZB Commodore), Anton De Pasquale (#99 Erebus ZB Commodore), and Chaz Mostert (Supercheap Auto Mustang).

First Nissan was Rick Kelly (Castrol Altima) in 17th, while Smith (SCT Logistics ZB Commodore) was 23rd.

Whincup started 15th after drawing a red flag in qualifying, and his race unravelled on Lap 2 when he hit the left-rear corner of Mostert’s 11th placed #55 Ford under brakes at Turn 6.

The Triple Eight driver immediately reported “broken front-right” on his radio, although his crew ended up changing only the wheel after Whincup brought #88 into the shed.

The whole process still cost him two laps and his hopes of a solid result were dashed, as was his hold on second place in the championship.

That is now held by Mostert, who is 135 points behind McLaughlin, with Coulthard third and Whincup fourth.

Tomorrow’s program at the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint starts with Practice 4 from 0925 local time/AEST, with that session setting the starting order for the following knockout Armor All Qualifying session.

Results: Race 7, Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 50 43:55.5209
2 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 50 43:57.2846
3 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:00.3387
4 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:01.1183
5 22 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:06.5438
6 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:09.1365
7 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:09.7829
8 8 Dunlop Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:14.0285
9 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:15.1410
10 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 50 44:15.5278
11 6 Monster Energy Racing Team Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 50 44:15.9740
12 2 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:16.4757
13 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 50 44:16.7454
14 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:24.6690
15 34 Boost Mobile Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:25.2007
16 33 Boost Mobile Racing Richie Stanaway Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:25.7686
17 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 50 44:26.2932
18 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 50 44:28.6499
19 23 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 50 44:30.0296
20 21 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 50 44:36.1561
21 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 50 44:40.4043
22 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 49 43:56.3972
23 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 49 44:02.2734
24 3 Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 49 44:43.3053
25 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 48 44:46.2407

Championship points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott McLaughlin 650
2 Chaz Mostert 515
3 Fabian Coulthard 508
4 Jamie Whincup 499
5 Tim Slade 486
6 David Reynolds 470
7 Will Davison 461
8 Shane van Gisbergen 454
9 Mark Winterbottom 454
10 Nick Percat 445
11 James Courtney 433
12 Cameron Waters 418
13 Anton De Pasquale 345
14 Lee Holdsworth 333
15 Andre Heimgartner 317
16 Todd Hazelwood 316
17 Scott Pye 280
18 James Golding 272
19 Simona De Silvestro 259
20 Rick Kelly 258
21 Richie Stanaway 224
22 Jack Le Brocq 223
23 Garry Jacobson 209
24 Macauley Jones 156
25 Jack Smith 36

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