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Author Topic: McLaughlin challenges team-mate’s lead in dominating Darwin win  (Read 59 times)

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McLaughlin challenges team-mate’s lead in dominating Darwin win

Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin has dominated in Darwin with a runaway win in the second race of the Triple Crown as he makes a lunge at team-mate Fabian Coulthard’s Virgin Australia Supercars Championship lead.

McLaughlin undercut Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Jamie Whincup in the pits to take the lead on lap 38 of 70, building the margin into a comfortable two second win in the safety car free race.

He denied six-time Champion Whincup a long-deserved win in 2017 by relegating Supercars most successful driver to second on the podium. Whincup’s team-mate Shane van Gisbergen, the reigning Champion, fought back from his failure to finish yesterday with third.

“I’m pretty pumped with the win but the burnout procedure wasn’t too good,” joked McLaughlin, who popped a front tyre as he celebrated with his brake bias wound to the front.

“I’m stoked even to be able to do a burnout. The guys have given me and Fabian amazing cars. We had really good pace and were able to do the job on strategy.”

Remarkably Van Gisbergen finished 24 seconds behind the winner with Coulthard behind him. While he smashed the field yesterday Coulthard could not repeat his winning dose and struggled at the back end of today’s race.

The result meat Kiwi drivers have won 11 of the 12 races so far this year between Van Gisbergen (4), McLaughlin (3) and Coulthard (3). The only other winner to date was Chaz Mostert at Phillip Island.

The weekend’s results meant McLaughlin leapfrogged Whincup on the Championship ladder into second, ten points behind Coulthard. Whincup is six points further back with just 16 points separating the top three. Van Gisbergen’s DNF yesterday leaves him 178 points from the lead.

McLaughlin pitted six laps earlier than Whincup and immediately made ground on the track. He was clocking more than a second a lap on Whincup who came in on lap 41 tucked in behind the Kiwi. From there it was all about managing tyres and the margin.

“The car was good. We got a good start but didn’t quite have the tyre life of car #17 today,” Whincup explained. “But we made some improvements on the car this weekend that we’ll take away and be happy with.”

Van Gisbergen lamented yesterday’s result: “It’s been a really tough weekend on our car, but we’ve just persevered. The car wasn’t perfect but we salvaged a tough weekend.”

Coulthard withstood late pressure from Tim Slade, Craig Lowndes, David Reynolds and Scott Pye to bank solid points.

Click here for full results from today’s race.

The Championship now moves to the Watpac Townsville 400 on July 7-9.

Every practice, qualifying and race, as well as support categories, from the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown are broadcast live, ad-break free on Fox Sports 506 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Highlights today at 4:00pm AEST on TEN and 8:30pm AEST on ONE. For the full TV Schedule of the Darwin Triple Crown, head to supercars.com/tv-schedule.

Linkback: /smf/index.php?topic=24243.msg116809#msg116809
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