McLaughlin domination continues: young Kiwi wins Darwin Triple Crown
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Scott McLaughlin's dominant Supercars steamroller has continued at Darwin, with a second race win in as many days. David Reynolds and Fabian Coulthard took second and third.
After making history in yesterday's qualifying and race sessions — surpassing historical targets laid down by Peter Brock and Allan Moffat — McLaughlin's second win kept the history-making results rolling. Having swept both races and the top-10 shootout, McLaughlin becomes the first driver in Supercars history to win the 'Darwin Triple Crown'.
He now leads the championship standings by more than 300 points. Or, in other words, more than a full weekend of points.
Much like yesterday's shorter race, it was a relatively straightforward affair at the front. McLaughlin won the start (albeit narrowly) over teammate Coulthard, before executing a near faultless 70 laps. He ended up taking the win by 13.8 seconds.
Behind him, for the second race in a row the sole outlier for strategy was Chaz Mostert. The 2014 Bathurst 1000 winner inverted his Saturday straegy — trading early stops for late stops. This cost him track possession, but meant he could fight on better tyres in the final laps.
Mostert started the race from eighth, but wound up leading plenty of laps during both pit-stop cycles. And, as the race approached its finale, the question was whether Mostert — positioned in seventh — could make a run on the three-car battle for fourth place led by Cameron Waters, Jamie Whincup, and Lee Holdsworth.
Mostert ended up getting by teammate Holdsworth at turn one without much stress, but wasn't able to make any further inroads. Waters and Whincup ended up rounding out the top five, with Mostert, Holdsworth, Anton de Pasquale, Will Davison, and Shane van Gisbergen completing the top 10.
For van Gisbergen in particular, it was a tough race. Neither he nor Whincup qualified in the top 10. Both were forced to get stuck in with the angry mid-field, but while Whincup was able to march into the top five (despite getting pushed into the dirt twice in the early laps) van Gisbergen could only get to 10th. He finished one spot ahead of Andre Heimgartner, while Chris Pither completed the Kiwi contingent in 23rd.
Although there were no safety-car periods, it was nonetheless a chaotic opening laps behind the leading bunch. Apart from Whincup's yo-yoing up and down the order, there was also a three-car incident involving Nick Percat, Simona De Silvestro, and her Kelly Racing teammate Garry Jacobson. The trio ran three-wide into turn four, with the two Nissans forced to tour the grass.
The series now breaks until early July. The next round is the Townsville 400 on July 6–7 — an event swept clean by the Red Bull Holden Racing Team last year.
1. Scott McLaughlin
2. David Reynolds
3. Fabian Coulthard
4. Cameron Waters
5. Jamie Whincup
6. Chaz Mostert
7. Lee Holdsworth
8. Anton de Pasquale
9. Will Davison
10. Shane van Gisbergen
11. Andre Heimgartner
13. Mark Todd Hazelwood
14. James Courtney
15. Nick Percat
16. Rick Kelly
17. James Golding
18. Tim Slade
19. Scott Pye
20. Simona De Silvestro
21. Jack Le Brocq
22. Macauley Jones
23. Chris Pither
24. Garry Jacobson
25. Jack Smith
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