Scott McLaughlin said today’s was “without a doubt” one of his best races – from the turn one battle with Jamie Whincup, Safety Car bunching the field with a handful of laps remaining and his impressive celebratory burnout.
The Volvo driver dominated the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint weekend taking both ARMOR ALL Pole Positions and both races.
One second separated the Volvo from Mark Winterbottom, with Scott Pye home third in the 200km race.
“Six laps to go there’s a safety car and you’ve got Jamie Whincup behind you, ‘Frosty’ behind you, this guy next to me [Scott Pye] and you’re like, holy crap this is going to be on. And it was but lucky I got away and that was it,” McLaughlin said.
The timing of the Safety Car made for an exciting finish, but the start was also edge-of-the-seat stuff as Whincup had a bold go around the outside of the Volvo at fast turn one.
“I got a good start obviously, went into the apex and he braked pretty deep around the outside of me – I didn’t think anything else, he wouldn’t do that.
“But I threw it in and thought I gave him a nice gap. At the end of the day he ran the risk of going around the outside as well so I wasn’t going to leave him a heap of real estate.”
Whincup didn’t have an issue with the battle, though he did emphasise there wasn’t much room for him.
“That was a big moment at turn one. I tried to make it around the outside, but I didn’t get much room on the outside,” the Red Bull racer told v8supercars.com.
“I am not suggesting he did anything wrong but there is just no room on the outside, so I had to make for the grass.
“But it’s hard racing, that’s what it is all about.
“We could have cruised home in second but we were going for the win."
A late race error from Whincup meant he missed the podium.
But McLaughlin’s result was a big reason to celebrate.
He wasn’t allowed to do a burnout yesterday – he made up for it this afternoon.
“Fifth gear and just held it stationary – it was awesome,” he said.
“I tried to do a little skid a the end but I’d sort of loosened the belts off a bit and I was going around in the car! It was crazy, it was fun – man, oh man, it was so good.”
Whincup and McLaughlin sit first and second in the Championship standings, separated by 15 after the Phillip Island event.