The final race of the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 saw Scott McLaughlin start from second alongside Chaz Mostert. Mostert, who won Race 3, started the final from ARMOR ALL Pole, but had to settle for second behind McLaughlin. Jamie Whincup rounded out the podium in Sunday’s sprint, while Mostert won the Larry Perkins Trophy after top-scoring the weekend.
Both Shell V-Power Racing drivers got excellent starts, with McLaughlin slotting into the lead, and Coulthard into seventh. Coulthard made a minor error at turn 11, locking a brake and running wide which allowed Shane van Gisbergen to pass, setting off a chain of events that saw Van Gisbergen make his own errors – firstly at Turn 11 and then again at Turn 13. This forced Fabian off track, and down to 21st position.
“It was a good day, obviously better than yesterday,” commented McLaughlin! “Today it was all about the start up against Chaz (Mostert), and I got a good one.
“I had a fast car, and I was really having to push hard, especially after the Safety Car restart. It was a good battle, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year. I knew what I needed to do, and was able to execute so it was really pleasing. We had the fastest cars all weekend, so it’s nice to take the last win of the weekend.”
On lap five a Safety Car was called when Macaulay Jones ended up in the turn six wall, with the race restarting on lap seven. At the restart, McLaughlin jumped to a half-second lead.
Coulthard was up to 19th by the end of the lap, when it was announced that Van Gisbergen had received a 15-second penalty for his earlier infringement on Coulthard. He continued to make moves, and was 17th at the end of lap eight. McLaughlin’s lead was just under one second at that point.
“That was the end of a horror weekend on our side of the garage,” commented van Gisbergen. “I felt like a punching bag in that race. I started in fifth position and was hoping for a good start and clean race. I was supposed to then settle into the race to see if we could improve the car but everyone else had other ideas. It’s a real shame finishing almost last, but we need to move on and be better.”
Coulthard had great pace and a strong car, moving up to 16th, that became 15th when Van Gisbergen’s penalty was applied. McLaughlin continues to lead the points, by 31 over Jamie Whincup. Coulthard is sixth, 130 behind McLaughlin. The team leads the teams points by 106.
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1. Scott McLaughlin 500
2. Jamie Whincup 469 -31
3. Chaz Mostert 437 -63
4. Will Davison 413 -87
5. Tim Slade 390 -110
6. Fabian Coulthard 370 -130
7. David Reynolds 368 -132
8. Nick Percat 355 -145
9. Cameron Waters 346 -154
10. Mark Winterbottom 334 -166
TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1. Shell V-Power Racing Team 870
2. Triple Eight Race Engineering (Whincup/SVG) 764 -106
3. Tickford Racing (Waters/Davison) 759 -111
4. Brad Jones Racing 745 -125
5. Tickford Racing (Mostert/Holdsworth) 704 -166
6. Erebus Motorsport 629 -241
7. Walkinshaw Racing 503 -367
8. Nissan Motorsport (Kelly/Heimgartner) 469 -401
9. Garry Rogers Motorsport 396 -474
10. Nissan NISMO (De Silvestro/Jacobsen) 377 -493