The Triple Eight run McLaughlin ended in Adelaide

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 05/03/2019
  • By Mitchell Adam

Scott McLaughlin stopped a Triple Eight streak that dates back to his karting days at last weekend's Superloop Adelaide 500.

McLaughlin gave Ford's Mustang the perfect introduction to Supercars, winning both races to launch his title defence with a full quota of 300 points.

His Saturday victory means someone other than a Triple Eight driver has won the opening race for the first time since 2007, when Todd Kelly took out Adelaide's first 250km leg for the Holden Racing Team.

Back then, McLaughlin was just 13 years old and still three years away from starting racing cars.

Kelly's victory also came as a new Supercars model made its debut in the City of Churches, in that case Holden's VE Commodore.

The VE won 2007's first eight races, and then 14 of the opening 15, before Ford's challenge led by Jamie Whincup and Triple Eight kicked into gear.

Whincup fell short of that year's title to Garth Tander in a VE, but took his TeamVodafone BF Falcon to victory in Adelaide to start the 2008 season.

That launched a run of 11 consecutive years in which a Triple Eight driver claimed the first race of a campaign.

In fact, Whincup has done most of the damage in that time, responsible for eight wins across nine openers at one stage, before Shane van Gisbergen's run of success in Adelaide.

Four of those were for new-model Supercars; the FG Falcon in 2009, above, VE Commodore in '10, VF in '13 with the new Car of the Future platform and ZB last year.

With the event's traditional format of Sunday's victor being crowned the 'Adelaide 500' winner, that has only been a Triple Eight driver five times in the window; by Whincup in 2008, '09 and '11, then van Gisbergen in '17 and '18.

Triple Eight's brand switch in 2010 also means last weekend was the first time a Ford has won the first race of the season in a decade.

McLaughlin's victory on Saturday was his first in Adelaide, while the double takes the Shell V-Power Racing driver's win tally to 27 from a neat 200 career starts.

Triple Eight's opening acts

2008: Jamie Whincup, BF Falcon, Adelaide
2009: Jamie Whincup, FG Falcon, Adelaide
2010: Jamie Whincup, VE Commodore, Abu Dhabi
2011: Jamie Whincup, VE Commodore, Abu Dhabi
2012: Jamie Whincup, VE Commodore, Adelaide

2013: Craig Lowndes, VF Commodore, Adelaide
2014: Jamie Whincup, VF Commodore, Adelaide
2015: Jamie Whincup, VF Commodore, Adelaide
2016: Jamie Whincup, VF Commodore, Adelaide
2017: Shane van Gisbergen, VF Commodore, Adelaide
2018: Shane van Gisbergen, ZB Commodore, Adelaide

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