Shell V-Power Racing’s Scott McLaughlin claimed a seventh victory of the 2019 Australia Supercars Championship season at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint, leading home team-mate Fabian Coulthard.
Following session topping runs in practice and an excellent front-row lockout qualifying effort earlier in the day, Scott McLaughlin and Coulthard got strong starts to Race 9, heading into turn one side-by-side. McLaughlin slotted into first with Coulthard second for the opening lap where they were quickly out to 1.5s lead over Rick Kelly in third.
“It unreal, great for the team to get a 1-2,” commented McLaughlin. “We just controlled the race from the start, it was a great race. We both had a strong start, we were so equal into turn one. Fabs didn’t want to back out and I didn’t want to back out either. It was a great battle, He’s a great teammate. We’ve got great respect for each other, and that shows it. What an awesome result.”
Coulthard reset the race lap record on lap two, a 1m31.1893s lap time, three-100ths faster than McLaughlin’s old record.
“Awesome for the team to take a 1-2, anytime you can do that it’s been a good day,” said Coulthard. “Tried my best to go around the outside there at turn 1, tried my best, that was all I had. It was good fun. We know the rules, race hard, clean and fair. We have a lot of respect for each other, and you can see that in how we dealt with that through turn 1. I’ll take second place, but a win isn’t far away.”
McLaughlin pitted from the lead on lap six, with a lightning fast 4.4s tyre-only stop to return to the track in 17th place and the first of the stoppers. Coulthard stopped one lap later, solid stop sees him slotting in right behind McLaughlin to return to effective second place.
Jamie Whincup had a disaster at his stop, with the front right wheel not bolted on correctly, before then coming off the car on his out lap to force a DNF. Both Shell Mustangs were back at the front of the field by lap 14 as all cars had made their stops.
The Ford Mustang Safety Car came out on lap 14, in order for Whincup’s stricken car to be recovered from the outside of Turn 10. The race resumed on lap 17, with McLaughlin and Coulthard pushing out to a one-sec lead over Andre Heimgartner in third.
McLaughlin reset the race lap record on lap 18, with a 1m30.9508s lap time, two-tenths quicker than mark Coulthard set earlier in the race.
An investigation was called into the pit stops for both Shell Mustangs, with the investigation moved to a post-race review. It will have no effect on the race result.
At race end, McLaughlin took his seventh victory of 2019, with Fabian Coulthard in second for the team’s third 1-2 finish of the year. McLaughlin hummed the Game of Thrones theme song as he crossed the finish line, owing to the fact that this is the Game of Thrones Supercars round. As a part of the festivities, McLaughlin got to sit on the ‘Iron Throne’ during the podium presentation.
McLaughlin continues to lead the Drivers’ title by an increased margin of 136 over team mate Coulthard, who himself is 65 ahead of David Reynolds in third. The Teams’ points chase now sees Shell V-Power Racing Team at the top of the table, 418 points in front of Triple Eight.