Ford duo Continue Dominance

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN claims his first official race victory of the 2017 – Barbagello Raceway – Photo: Linda Mandy

SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN has claimed his first official race victory of the 2017 Virgin Australian Supercars Championship in race one of the Perth SuperSprint this afternoon.

McLaughlin led from start to finish to cross the line first in front of Shell V-Power Ford teammate Fabian Coulthard.

The one-two finish brought much delight to the duo’s team owners, Dick Johnson and international motorsport legend Roger Penske, who both watched on from the team’s garage. Penske, who met with Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop on the grid before the race, even joined his drivers on the podium to celebrate their dominant victory.

“It’s the coolest thing I have done for a long time,” McLaughlin said.

A critical part of the race was when McLaughlin entered pit lane and re-entered the race just metres in front of Coulthard. McLaughlin said it was in fact a miscommunication with his engineer, Ludo Lacroix, that made him pit before his team had planned.

“We had radio dramas so it was hard for me to hear him. I thought he said pit but he said push apparently,” McLaughlin said.

In third and eight seconds behind the Shell Ford duo was Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Jamie Whincup. Fourth was defending Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen while 2016 Perth SuperSprint race winner Mark Winterbottom finished fifth.

Whincup said his Red Bull team has work to do to maintain its supremacy now the Ford drivers have taken the championship lead.

“Everyone complained that we were at the front of the pack and it was no good for the sport,” Whincup said.

“So just going to be a challenge for us to make our car quicker and fight on for the rest of the year. That’s what it’s all about.

“You can’t stay on top forever.”

McLaughlin led from start to finish in the 120km race. After beginning the race from second position, he had the perfect start which moved him past Coulthard who claimed pole position in qualifying. From there, the Shell Ford duo were never troubled and sped away from the rest of the field.

The race win was McLaughlin’s second at Barbagallo Raceway following his 2014 victory in a Volvo with Garry Rogers Motorsport. It was also his first official race win in a Shell Ford Falcon with his victory at the Australian Grand Prix coming in a non-championship race.

The victory keeps McLaughlin in fifth on the championship ladder behind Coulthard who today extended his narrow lead in top spot in front of the second placed van Gisbergen.

Race Seven (50 laps)
1 – Scott McLaughlin (Shell V-Power Racing Ford Falcon FG/X) 48:58.8956
2 – Fabian Coulthard (Shell V-Power Racing Ford Falcon FG/X) 49:00.1951
3 – Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Holden Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:06.3782
4 – Shane Van Gisbergen (Red Bull Holden Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:11.6775
5 – Mark Winterbottom (Bottle-O Racing Ford Falcon FG/X) 49:12.2020
6 – Chaz Mostert (Supercheap Auto Racing Ford Falcon FG/X) 49:16.8551
7 – Craig Lowndes (TeamVortex Holden Commodore VF) 49:18.2662
8 – Will Davison (TEKNO Woodstock Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:20.8830
9 – David Reynolds (Erebus Penrite Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:23.0002
10 – Garth Tander (Wilson Security Racing GRM Holden Commodore VF) 49:23.4716
11 – Todd Kelly (carsales Racing Nissan Altima) 49:24.4844
12 – James Moffat (Wilson Security Racing GRM Holden Commodore VF) 49:26.7250
13 – Tim Slade (Freightliner Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:30.2678
14 – Rick Kelly (Sengled Racing Nissan Altima) 49:33.8517
15 – Lee Holdsworth (Preston Hire Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:36.8448
16 – Jason Bright (MEGA Racing Ford Falcon FG/X) 49:37.2918
17 – James Courtney (Mobil 1 HSV Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:38.6587
18 – Michael Caruso (Nissan Motorsport Nissan Altima) 49:38.7426
19 – Cameron Waters (Monster Energy Racing Ford Falcon FG/X 50 49:38.8254
20 – Scott Pye (Mobil 1 HSV Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:38.8136
21 – Dale Wood (Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49:41.0904
22 – Nick Percat (Biante 1:1 Holden Commodore VF) 49:43.8409
23 – Simona De Silvestro (Team Harvey Norman Nissan Altima) 49:45.7231
24 – Alex Rullo (Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden Commodore VF) 49 laps
25 – Matthew Brabham (Repair Management Aust Racing Holden Commodore VF) 49 laps
26 – Tim Blanchard (Team CoolDrive Holden Commodore VF) 48 laps
Fastest lap: Percat 56.7466

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