McLaughlin wins first V8 race in Auckland

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 13/04/2013
  • By AAP

Teenage New Zealander Scott McLaughlin became the youngest V8 Supercars winner when he scored a popular victory in the opening race in Auckland on Saturday.

The Holden driver took the lead on the 12th lap of 35 in the 100km race and held on to triumph in front of home fans at Pukekohe Raceway.

The 19-year-old took the chequered flag in his Commodore VF only 0.82sec ahead of Jason Bright while Craig Lowndes was third to complete a podium cleansweep for Holden.

Kiwi duo Shane van Gisbergen and Fabian Coulthard were next over the line in a strong showing by the New Zealand contingent, who make up just four of the 27 drivers in the field.

It was also the 21st win by a Holden driver in 22 races at Pukekohe.

But for Holden's pin-up boy, four-time championship winner Jamie Whincup, it was a race to forget.

Starting on pole, Whincup went straight ahead at the very first chicane and was forced to pit to replace a shredded front left tyre.

He was then black-flagged by officials for exceeding the pitlane speed limit and finished well down the field.

Ford's Mark Winterbottom took advantage of Whincup's slip-up to lead but on lap 12 his left rear tyre was destroyed and McLaughlin moved clear at the front.

For Christchurch-born McLaughlin, it was a huge breakthrough victory in his first season as a full-time V8 Supercars driver after winning the development series last year.

"I've never had to be emotional in the car but that was pretty cool. I've dreamed of this," McLaughlin said after the race.

Garth Tander was sixth while Will Davison was the first Ford driver over the line in seventh.

David Reynolds, James Courtney and Jonathon Webb rounded out the top 10.

The second of two 100km races on Saturday starts at 3.55pm local time (1.55pm AEST).

There will be another two races over the same distance on Sunday.

AAP wk/jb

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