McLaughlin scores Barbagallo double
- By Stefan Bartholomaeus
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Scott McLaughlin completed a copybook weekend at the Perth SuperSprint by dominating the 200km Race 8.
The Shell Ford driver made the most of his ARMOR ALL Pole Position and was not headed during the 83 lap race outside the pitstop cycles.
Fellow front-row starter Chaz Mostert kept McLaughlin honest, taking the flag 4.6s adrift in his Supercheap Auto Ford.
The race ran without a Safety Car period, ensuring a long day for the drivers in hot conditions.
“We got the broom out this weekend and took some points,” said McLaughlin of his clean sweep.
“It’s fantastic to get the #17 Ford in the number one spot for Dick (Johnson) and the team.
“I was pretty nervous about my first race in front of the big bosses (Roger Penske and Tim Cindric) but they believe in me and as a driver that’s all you can ask.”
Jamie Whincup finished third, thanks in part to a bold opening lap that saw him jump from sixth to fourth, out-muscling team-mate Shane van Gisbergen in the process.
Whincup ran fourth behind McLaughlin, Mostert and Mark Winterbottom before overtaking the Bottle-O Ford in the first pitstop and holding the advantage to the end.
Will Davison completed a solid weekend for Tekno Autosports in fifth, holding out van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard in the closing laps.
While the bulk of the field ran two-stop strategies, those to try three included Coulthard, Craig Lowndes and Cameron Waters.
Starting back in fifth, Coulthard lost two places in the first stint before going out of sequence with a stop on just the 13th lap.
Van Gisbergen’s strategy saw his second stop come a lap after Coulthard’s third and left the Red Bull driver to chase down a battling Davison and Coulthard at the end.
The reigning champion moved through on the Shell Ford on the penultimate lap, ensuring Coulthard’s championship lead sits at 19 points.
Craig Lowndes finished seventh despite starting last after his engine cut-out on the way to the grid and suffered an early spin thanks to a tangle with Alex Rullo at pit entry.
Three stops failed to deliver a similar gain for Waters, who started 13th and finished 12th.
James Courtney’s frustrating weekend meanwhile concluded with a 22nd placed finish after being forced to pit in the closing laps for more fuel.