McLaughlin wins two out of two at Phillip Island

Scott McLaughlin
Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has capped off a perfect weekend at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500, winning this afternoon's 250km race in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

As was the case yesterday, McLaughlin had to make an inch-perfect passing move at high-speed to claim the race lead, but as he did yesterday, the 24-year old kept his cool to make it two pole positions and two wins for the weekend.

Second today was reigning Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 champion David Reynolds while Nissan’s Rick Kelly, who returned to the podium yesterday, claimed third to make it another Ford-Holden-Nissan podium.

McLaughlin’s Shell V-Power Racing teammate Fabian Coulthard was fourth ahead of Nissan’s Michael Caruso, Craig Lowndes, Chaz Mostert and Shane van Gisbergen.

Defending Supercars Champion and seven-time title winner Jamie Whincup finished ninth.

McLaughlin had the perfect start from pole, edging his Falcon past Reynolds to lead the pack into the first corner.

Having pitted early, Kelly looked strong and managed to pull away to a three-second lead over Reynolds after the first cycle of stops, while his Nissan teammate Caruso was able to hold off McLaughlin.

That was until midway point of the race where McLaughlin surprised the race leaders by pitting for a quick tire change and refuel.

“We were so excited for a podium yesterday but we feel a bit flat today after we led the race," Kelly said. “We just couldn’t pit as early as those guys due to the fuel on board but nevertheless a double podium is very exciting."

Reynolds reacted first and pitted a lap later. He re-joined in front of McLaughlin and was able to maintain the lead until McLaughlin made his move with 25 laps remaining.

In almost the identical move he made yesterday to overtake Jamie Whincup for the race lead, McLaughlin dived down the inside on turn two as both drivers fought for position at high-speed.

“It wasn’t that epic for me because I lost out," Bathurst Champion Reynolds said.

“We jumped him in the pits, but had a lot of understeer in those first few laps and he snuck past me. I was hanging with him but he is very fast here. He did a great job."

From there McLaughlin was able to hold on to claim his third race win of 2018 and sixth at Phillip Island since 2014.

“I can’t do it without my great team," McLaughlin said. “We had an awesome rocket ship all weekend. We had to fight hard there for a while. Ludo said to back off but I asked for one more lap to get past and I managed to do it."

He now holds a 60-point lead in the championship over Reynolds. Van Gisbergen is third ahead of Lowndes, with Whincup trailing 142 points behind McLaughlin in fifth, after entering the weekend as the points leader.

In extending his Championship lead, McLaughlin didn’t hide the fact he needed to continue the effort across the entire season.

“Everyone knows I need to be consistent all year to get it done which was something I didn’t do last year. Today was a good start."

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will now make its way across the country to Western Australia, for the Perth SuperSprint which will run from 4-6 May.

Race 10 Results

POS No. DRIVER TEAM TIME POINTS
1 17 McLaughlin Shell V-Power Racing Team 1:33:03.582 150
2 9 Reynolds Erebus Motorsport +0.669 144
3 15 R. Kelly Nissan Motorsport +3.949 138
4 12 Coulthard Shell V-Power Racing Team +5.215 123
5 23 Caruso Nissan Nismo +11.594 111
6 97 Van Gisbergen Red Bull Holden Racing Australia +12.541 111
7 888 Lowndes Team Vortex +14.344 105
8 55 Mostert Supercheap Auto Racing +19.203 99
9 1 Whincup Red Bull Holden Racing Australia +23.335 9
10 33 Tander Wilson Security Racing GRM +27.898 81
11 2 S. Pye Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing +28.427 78
12 14 Slade Brad Jones Racing +28.693 75
13 8 Percat Brad Jones Racing +32.245 66
14 7 Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport +36.168 63
15 200 Winterbottom The Bottle-O Racing Team +40.678 63
16 99 A. de Pasquale Erebus Motorsport +43.646 63
17 6 C. Waters Monster Energy Racing +51.618 54
18 19 J. Le Brocq TEKNO Woodstock Racing +56.211 51
19 34 J. Golding Wilson Security Racing GRM +59.114 48
20 56 R. Stanaway Monster Energy Racing +1:01.572 45
21 230 Davison Milwaukee Racing +1:02.770 48
22 78 S. De Silvestro Nissan Nismo +1:03.478 36
23 21 Blanchard CoolDrive Racing +1:03.935 36
24 35 T. Hazelwood Bigmate Racing +1:12.850 36
25 18 Holdsworth Preston Hire Racing +11 Laps 30
NC 25 Courtney Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing +52 Laps 0

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1.

Scott McLaughlin

947

2.

David Reynolds

887

3.

Shane van Gisbergen

849

4.

Craig Lowndes

813

5.

Jamie Whincup

805

6.

Scott Pye

745

7.

Chaz Mostert

695

8.

James Courtney

678

9.

Fabian Coulthard

662

10.

Tim Slade

626

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS

1.

Triple Eight Race Engineering

1654

2.

Shell V-Power Racing Team

1609

3.

Walkinshaw Andretti United

1423

4.

Erebus Motorsport

1294

5.

Tickford Racing (Winterbottom/Mostert)

1282

6.

Brad Jones Racing

1224

7.

Nissan Motorsport (Kelly/Heimgartner)

1005

8.

Garry Rogers Motorsport

902

9.

Nissan NISMO (Caruso/De Silvestro)

851

10.

Triple Eight Race Engineering (Lowndes)

813

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