It’s the sixth straight win for Scott McLaughlin and his 13th victory of the 2019 Supercars season, after a sensational performance on the streets of Townsville today.
Having qualified third, he made a stellar start and used his superior pace combined with good team strategy to overtake David Reynolds, Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup to take what appeared – after qualifying, at least – to be an unlikely victory.
“We had some good battles in that race, especially with Chaz,” commented McLAughlin. “That was great, lots of fun. I got an amazing start, but got boxed in and had nowhere to go.
“The car really switched on after around 15 laps, and I knew that we could do it. The pace just kept coming across the race, and being able to get past Whincup and then drive away was awesome. I’m so proud of this team, it’s just fantastic that they keep on delivering. Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
McLaughlin was joined on the podium by Whincup – who’s team tried an aggressive strategy play to bring him up the order – and Mostert, who started from the front row.
“We were very aggressive with strategy, which is dangerous, but we pulled it off today,” Whincup said. “The only strategy better than what we did was to have a faster car, which is what happened with car 17 and why we ran second. Unfortunately we haven’t made a step forward, but we’ve made a step sideways, so there might be a bit more fish in this pond we’re fishing now.
“I’m much happier doing that than just belting round doing the same thing. We’re happy with the progress, we’ve just got to keep grinding away. We’ll get there, but it’s going to take some time. I did have fun, for sure. I enjoyed the battles with Chaz (Mostert), it was gnarly.”
McLaughlin’s victory continues a winning streak that stretches back to the Saturday night race in Perth, and extends McLaughlin’s lead on the points table to 358 over his teammate Fabian Coulthard. The Shell V-Power Racing Team leads Triple Eight in the Teams’ standing by 817.
Coulthard drove a fantastic race, bringing the No. 333 Mustang through the pack from 13th on the grid to finish fifth. It was a great recovery, and after finishing in front of Reynolds he has a 149-point buffer over the Erebus driver to be a comfortable second place on the points table.
“We made it a bit tougher for ourselves qualifying in the pack,” commented Coulthard. “The team gave me a really good car and executed the strategy perfectly so we could pull off some passes and end up with a Top 5 finish. We’ll aim to be back up front in quali tomorrow, as we know the car is fast in race trim.”
The Townsville 400 continues tomorrow with qualifying, Top 10 Shootout and another 200km race around the Reid Park street circuit.