Darwin Supercars: Coulthard mistake hands McLaughlin victory

Scott McLaughlin cruised to a fifth season win in the second heat of the Darwin Triple Crown, after an early challenge from teammate Fabian Coulthard was thwarted by a costly mistake.

Darwin Supercars: Coulthard mistake hands McLaughlin victory

The race started out as a battle between the two Penske Fords, Coulthard getting the better launch to lead McLaughlin into Turn 1.

Coulthard then had the pace to gap the points leader by the best part of a second, before pitting for fresh softs on the right-hand side of his car on Lap 6.

At that point McLaughlin dropped the hammer, a scorching in-lap helping him take on two tyres himself and emerge just in front of Coulthard.

While Coulthard may have had the tyre temperature to re-claim the lead, he threw that opportunity away by locking up and running wide as he followed McLaughlin into Turn 1, which dropped him back to third behind Jamie Whincup.

That was effectively job done for McLaughlin, with an easy run home to bank a fifth race win of the season.

"I'm glad we could bounce back," said McLaughlin, referencing his penalty yesterday.

"Great start by Fabs; it was like my best start I've done for a long time, but he absolutely smashed me. Big in-lap, the boys' pitstop was amazing, got in front, and then I saw Fabs run wide. I got a bit lucky there, but overall I'm really proud."

While he had no answer for McLaughlin, Whincup was able to gap Coulthard as the race went on. He finished up a lonely second, 1.4s behind a cruising race winner, and almost 6s clear of third.

Coulthard was equally lonely by the finish, his gap back to fourth more than 5s.

The battle for fourth was significantly closer, with Shane van Gisbergen and David Reynolds doing battle in the closing stages. 

Reynolds was the only driver not to make an early stop, the Erebus driver holding the on-track lead for much of the race thanks to a long first stint.

He finally pitted 10 laps from home, coming out in sixth behind van Gisbergen and Nick Percat. With the better rubber Reynolds was able to clear Percat, but couldn't find a way past van Gisbergen as the pair staged a tense nose-to-tail battle to the flag.

Percat was sixth after dropping back to Race 1 winner Anton De Pasquale in the closing stages, with Chaz Mostert, Cam Waters and Andre Heimgartner rounding out the Top 10.

Darwin Triple Crown - Race 2 results:

Cla # Driver Car Time
1 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Mustang GT 1'06.415
2 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Mustang GT 1'06.441
3 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.676
4 88 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.715
5 8 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.728
6 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Ford Mustang GT 1'06.755
7 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.839
8 9 Australia David Reynolds
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.862
9 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.895
10 25 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.897
11 20 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 1'06.899
12 44 Australia James Courtney
Ford Mustang GT 1'06.904
13 6 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 1'06.924
14 15 Australia Rick Kelly
Ford Mustang GT 1'06.994
15 55 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.034
16 3 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.105
17 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Ford Mustang GT 1'07.141
18 19 Australia Alex Davison
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.212
19 22 New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.265
20 34 Australia Jake Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.306
21 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.324
22 35 Australia Garry Jacobson
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.367
23 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.473
24 4 Australia Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 1'07.741
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Series Supercars
Event Hidden Valley
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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