NASCAR trick helped McLaughlin hold off van Gisbergen

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NASCAR trick helped McLaughlin hold off van Gisbergen
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Jul 29, 2019, 2:50 AM

Scott McLaughlin says his DJR Team Penske crew were acting like NASCAR spotters during his tense showdown with Shane van Gisbergen at Queensland Raceway.

The runaway points leader came under immense pressure from van Gisbergen in the closing stages of yesterday's 200-kilometre race, the pair staging a thrilling five-lap showdown for victory.

McLaughlin was ultimately good enough to hold on to the lead, securing a 14th win of the season by seven-tenths of a second.

Reflecting on the battle, McLaughlin said he spent that final five laps ignoring the rear view mirror in the cockpit of his Mustang, instead relying on radio instruction from the pitwall on where to position his car.

"I just turned the mirror away and I drove so hard," he told Fox Sports after the race.

"With eight [laps] to go I was like 'he's coming at me a bit', but then he got in my hot air and that sort of helped.

"The guys were on the radio to me saying 'take this kerb here, take that kerb', because that is what he was doing. It was kind of like the spotters in NASCAR.

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"I really enjoyed it, really enjoyed the battle. When you race Shane, he just doesn't give up. So you want to prove that you don't give up either. We have a really good respect for each other, because he knows I'm not going to give up and vice versa.

"I really enjoy the battles with him and Jamie, it's a lot of fun... and hard work. He ran a cool suit so he was lucky, I didn't and I was blowing, I was so hot. I was fit, but you're not breathing, you're holding on, you're tense. It was hard."

Van Gisbergen confirmed that he used the best of his final set of Dunlops just catching McLaughlin, which left him little to fight with once under the Mustang's rear wing.

"Unfortunately I started that last stint five seconds behind, so [I] used that all up to get there," he said.

"He wasn’t cruising fully, but you could see that he didn’t have to stress it. He let me get to him a bit, and then you catch up and the tyres just get a bit hot.

"I knew that when I got there, I’d have nothing, but I had to try. I was pushing pretty hard, but the last three laps I had no tyre left."

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