McLaughlin equals Lowndes with 16th race win of 2019

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has seen off a genuine challenge from Will Davison to claim a record-equalling 16th Supercars Championship race win in a season in Race 22 at The Bend.

McLaughlin dropped back to third off the start and ran an effective second for the majority of the first 20 laps before Davison surrendered the lead having suffered an airbox fire during his second compulsory pit stop.

That moment all but settled the contest at the very front of the field, with McLaughlin ultimately cruising to a 2.47s victory after 41 laps in the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Mustang.

Second position, however, became a genuine contest between Tickford Racing stablemates Davison (#23 Milwaukee Mustang) and Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang), with the battle resolved in favour of the former.

Nick Percat (#8 X Convenience ZB Commodore) was the beneficiary of a late Jamie Whincup error to be the first of the Holden drivers home, in fourth position.

Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) remained fifth for the final five-and-a-half laps, one position ahead of team-mate Shane van Gibsergen, who brought the #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore up from 16th on the grid.

Davison had jumped McLaughlin from the outside of the front row and Whincup also bested the Armor All Pole-sitter to slot into second position by the time they got to Turn 1.

Mostert took up fourth and Nick Percat swept around the outside to assume fifth position, while Shane van Gisbergen jumped from 16th on the grid to 12th in the opening corners.

Whincup had a look at Davison at Turn 3 on Lap 2 but had to get out of it and that allowed McLaughlin to just round him up through the Turn 5 sweep.

The manoeuvres let Davison to briefly skip 1.5s clear but McLaughlin dropped Whincup and caught the leader before the end of the following lap.

Davison pinched a brake at Turn 17 on Lap 6 but survived, and McLaughlin continued to stalk the 23Red Mustang until he pitted at the end of Lap 9.

The championship leader took on approximately 36 litres of the required 120-litre fuel fill, which prompted Tickford to call Davison in a lap later and sink around 31 litres in order to ensure they maintained track position.

Mostert caught and then passed Whincup at Turn 14 on Lap 10 after the Triple Eight driver slid off Turn 13, but they swapped positions in the first pit stop cycle, during which Whincup took about 34 litres and Mostert, 33.

Van Gisbergen, who had made no more progress on the race track, was the last to undergo his first CPS at the end of Lap 15, with almost 50 litres put into the #97 ZB Commodore before he continued in 12th position.

Davison had resumed after his first stop with a bit over a second on McLaughlin but that margin grew to 1.6s by the time the latter pitted for a second time at the end of Lap 17.

Again, Tickford moved to cover off the undercut but an airbox fire caused Car #23 to dive twice in pit lane and Davison emerged about 1.8s behind McLaughlin once the gap normalised on his out lap.

Davison’s engineer, Brendan Hogan, reportedly estimated that his driver had lost two seconds due to the drama.

Meanwhile, Mostert again moved by Whincup on the road, at Turn 1 on Lap 15 before he pitted nearly six laps later and filed in around two seconds behind Davison in effective third position.

Whincup slotted back into effective fourth position, at a deficit of about 1.6s to Mostert, when he completed his CPS obligations on Lap 22.

Percat followed Whincup into the lane and maintained the effective fifth position which he had held since the first corner.

Mostert caught Davison by Lap 23 and Whincup was soon lurking behind them as McLaughlin pulled a gap.

McLaughlin moved the lead past five seconds for the first time on Lap 32, at which time Davison was still holding Mostert up, but Whincup had by then dropped a couple of seconds to the #55 Mustang.

Mostert, however, also soon started giving up ground to the car in front and eventually took the chequered flag 1.16s behind Davison.

McLaughlin was well clear by then, however, and now matches Craig Lowndes record feat of 16 ATCC/Virgin Australia Supercars Championship race wins in a single season.

“It’s really awesome,” said the Kiwi of equalling the record.

“Just probably more proud of the guys for the turnaround we’ve had coming here.

“I said yesterday, it’s one that we circled to really come back for. So stoked.

“That was super racing there at the start, didn’t quite get the best start. But good racing towards the end.”

While Mostert missed out on second place on the day, he has moved up to that position in the championship after Fabian Coulthard finished 10th in the second DJR Team Penske entry, although the Tickford driver faces a 573-point margin to McLaughlin.

“Look it’s been fantastic,” said Mostert when reminded where he now sits in the standings.

“Like I said, the last couple of rounds have been pretty good for us. It’s always great when you get to get up here.

“Today, just a bit of a bad start, fell back, but I was lucky enough to have the car pace to get back on the podium.”

Whincup looked like collecting fourth until he toured the grass at the Turn 8/Turn 9/Turn 10 complex on Lap 36, handing the spot to Percat.

Van Gisbergen found himself in sixth position after serving his second CPS and that was where the 2016 champion remained, while the top 10 was rounded out by Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite Racing ZB Commodore), Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang), Lee Holdsworth (#5 The Bottle-O Mustang), and Coulthard (#12 Mustang).

Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Altima) was first of the Nissans in 11th, David Reynolds (#9 Erebus ZB Commodore) had an off at the right-handers on his way to 13th, and Thomas Randle (#66 Scandia Mustang) was 17th in his second Supercars Championship race.

Andre Heimgartner (#7 Plus Fitness Altima) finished 20th after running in the top 10 early on but had to serve a drive-through for a refuelling breach at his first pit stop.

He was not sanctioned, however, for turning around team-mate Simona De Silvestro (#78 Harvey Norman Altima) at the Turn 6 hairpin in the latter stages.

De Silvestro was 22nd at the end, while wildcard Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics ZB Commodore) ensured all 26 cars completed all 41 laps as he rounded out the field.

The next event is the ITM Auckland SuperSprint, which will be held at Pukekohe Park Raceway from September 13-15.

Results: Race 22, OTR SuperSprint

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Laps Race time
1 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 41 1:17:17.8585
2 23 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 41 1:17:20.3278
3 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 41 1:17:21.4864
4 8 X Convenience Mobil Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:17:32.3185
5 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:17:34.1841
6 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:17:38.3342
7 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:17:44.7709
8 6 Monster Energy Racing Team Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 41 1:17:46.6429
9 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 41 1:17:47.0541
10 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 41 1:17:49.6958
11 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 41 1:17:51.4109
12 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:17:56.0736
13 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:02.1581
14 35 Unit Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:04.0853
15 22 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:07.7733
16 2 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:09.8807
17 66 Scandia Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 41 1:18:10.1418
18 34 Boost Mobile Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:12.7757
19 3 Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 41 1:18:16.8892
20 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 41 1:18:20.2424
21 21 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:22.0276
22 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 41 1:18:29.9531
23 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:32.9612
24 33 Boost Mobile Racing Richie Stanaway Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:36.4740
25 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:18:37.0381
26 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:19:04.8850

Championship points

Pos Driver Pts
1 Scott McLaughlin 2738
2 Chaz Mostert 2165
3 Fabian Coulthard 2152
4 Shane van Gisbergen 2122
5 Jamie Whincup 1981
6 David Reynolds 1922
7 Cameron Waters 1774
8 Nick Percat 1705
9 Will Davison 1661
10 Anton De Pasquale 1560
11 Lee Holdsworth 1533
12 James Courtney 1402
13 Andre Heimgartner 1388
14 Mark Winterbottom 1387
15 Tim Slade 1335
16 Scott Pye 1192
17 Rick Kelly 1182
18 Todd Hazelwood 1117
19 James Golding 1103
20 Simona De Silvestro 976
21 Jack Le Brocq 814
22 Macauley Jones 807
23 Garry Jacobson 761
24 Richie Stanaway 572
25 Jack Smith 285
26 Michael Caruso 222
27 Chris Pither 159
28 Thomas Randle 108
29 Tim Blanchard 93

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