Darwin Supercars: McLaughlin cruises to Saturday win

Scott McLaughlin made light work of Saturday's opening Supercars race in Darwin, cruising to a 6.8s win.

Darwin Supercars: McLaughlin cruises to Saturday win

The DJR Team Penske driver made a slightly tardy getaway from pole, but hugging the inside line helped hold off a fast-starting Will Davison behind him, and a late-braking David Reynolds next to him.

A high line through Turn 1, and a bit of contact with teammate Anton De Pasquale who was even higher, was costly for Reynolds, who effectively went side-by-side with Davison all the way to Turn 6 before having to concede second place to the Tickford Mustang.

Behind the leaders it was a chaotic opening lap, starting with Macauley Jones and James Golding clashing on the way through the Turns 2/3/4 complex.

Rick Kelly then fired Tim Slade off on the way out of Turn 5, Slade's Brad Jones Racing Holden going straight into the fence.

The first-lap drama concluded with Mark Winterbottom half-spinning Andre Heimgartner to cause a bottleneck at the back of the field, and a triple-file battle down the long front straight.

The race was quickly pacified by the Safety Car, called to retrieve Slade's crashed Commodore at the end of Lap 2.

When the race restarted on Lap 8 McLaughlin's getaway was swift, to the point where he had almost 4s up his sleeve when Davison and Reynolds made their stops on Lap 19.

That stop proved crucial to the complexion of the lead group, with the Tickford/23 Red Racing crew releasing Davison into Reynolds' door as they went to leave the pits.

That meant a 15-second penalty for Davison, while Reynolds was jumped by an undercutting Mostert who had stopped four laps earlier.

There were no undercut concerns for McLaughin, though, who pitted on Lap 20 and returned with 3s margin over Mostert and Reynolds.

From there it was a walk in the park for McLaughlin, who cruised to his 11th win of the season by 6.8s.

"It was an awesome run [to Turn 1],” he said.

“I think we were three-wide before I braked. I figured I was on the inside so I had probably the safest position.

“[I'm] so stoked for everyone at Shell V-Power Racing, it’s been an awesome run, we’ve got to just keep pushing on."

Mostert made the undercut work for him, holding off Reynolds to come home second. It was a four-spot gain for the Tickford star, his margin over the Erebus driver a single second at the finish.

Cam Waters finished fourth, holding off a late charge from Jamie Whincup, who went the opposite way to Mostert and made his stop on Lap 28.

Lee Holdsworth was sixth, Fabian Coulthard seventh and Shane van Gisbergen eighth.

Davison finished ninth on the road after dropping back in the second stint, but was then dumped to 12th thanks to that 15-second penalty.

That promoted Walkinshaw Andretti United drivers James Courtney and Scott Pye to ninth and 10th.

McLaughlin now holds a 298-point lead over teammate Fabian Coulthard.

Results:

Cla Driver Car Time
1 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Mustang GT
2 Australia Chaz Mostert
Ford Mustang GT 6.8829
3 Australia David Reynolds
Holden Commodore ZB 7.8776
4 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 8.2419
5 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 8.9533
6 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Ford Mustang GT 12.4616
7 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Mustang GT 14.0082
8 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 15.2886
9 Australia James Courtney
Holden Commodore ZB 20.1451
10 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 26.5242
11 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Holden Commodore ZB 28.1853
12 Australia Will Davison
Ford Mustang GT 32.1326
13 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 32.6622
14 Australia Garry Jacobson
Nissan Altima 34.7148
15 New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 35.3244
16 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro
Nissan Altima 35.7102
17 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Nissan Altima 38.9263
18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 39.7036
19 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 44.6629
20 United States Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 1'05.3269
21 Australia Rick Kelly
Nissan Altima 1 lap
22 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 8 laps
Australia Tim Slade
Holden Commodore ZB
Australia James Golding
Holden Commodore ZB
Australia Jack Le Brocq
Holden Commodore ZB
shares
comments
Darwin Supercars: McLaughlin takes Penske's 600th pole

Previous article

Darwin Supercars: McLaughlin takes Penske's 600th pole

Next article

Darwin Supercars: Record lap gives McLaughlin provisional pole

Darwin Supercars: Record lap gives McLaughlin provisional pole
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars
Event Hidden Valley
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020