McLaughlin gives Penske first Supercars win

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/03/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Scott McLaughlin took a long-awaited maiden Supercars race victory for DJR Team Penske in an opening heat at Albert Park that ended with a heavy accident.

McLaughlin led team-mate Fabian Coulthard to the chequered flag under Safety Car after brake failure saw Nick Percat collect Lee Holdsworth at high-speed three laps from home.

The incident saw Percat spin to the inside of Turn 1, collecting the side of an innocent Holdsworth as the BJR Holden speared back across the circuit.

The two drivers walked away unscathed despite heavy damage to both Commodores.

Pole-sitter Coulthard had earlier kept the lead through the opening corners of the 13 lap race before running off at Turn 3, handing the lead to a fast-starting Jamie Whincup.

It took just two laps for the Shell V-Power Fords to retake the ascendancy, with Whincup muscled back to fourth behind McLaughlin, Coulthard and Chaz Mostert.

McLaughlin held off Coulthard for the duration to take a one-two for Penske, although the latter's short-cut of Turn 4 as he rejoined from his lap one error is under investigation.

Regardless, the result marks Penske’s first Supercars win since taking a majority share in Dick Johnson Racing at the start of 2015.

DJR’s last race win came in July, 2013, at the hands of Mostert, who held on for third today aboard his Supercheap backed Prodrive Falcon.

Whincup came home fourth ahead of Michael Caruso, Shane van Gisbergen, James Moffat, Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds and James Courtney.

Garth Tander retired early after contact with Tim Blanchard bent his steering, while a strong run from Tim Slade ended with a left-rear puncture.

A second 13 lap Supercars race will take place from 5:50pm local time this evening.

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