Jamie Whincup scored his first win since the Sandown 500 last September, taking the opening race at the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint. The lights to flag victory ended a 24-race drought.
Will Davison finished second, his first podium since Bathurst 2016 while Chaz Mostert kept McLaughlin off the podium in third.
“It was a great day,” commented Whincup. “For us to be able to bounce back from yesterday where the car’s balance was far from par and be able to get it right today, and win is full credit to the engineers and crew. They all did a fantastic job to get the car fast.
“I have always said you need a fast car to win races but the fact that we also reacted to an issue with car 17 during their pit spot showed great work from the team.
“I still think there is a performance defect, but we are chipping away and getting much better at it. Everyone has been giving me plenty of stick because I haven’t had a win for a while so it’s great to finally get one.”
Scott McLaughlin took pole position earlier in the day, the 58th of his career and the 100th in history for Dick Johnson Racing/DJR Team Penske since the team was formed in 1981. He finished fourth behind Mostert, just ahead of Shane van Gisbergen.
McLaughlin took his pitstop early, however issues with the left-side wheels meant it was a slow stop, with around five-seconds lost in the lane. He pushed hard across the laps immediately after the stop, managing to get himself up to second place at the conclusion of the pit stops.
“We a bit of a struggle there,” commented McLaughlin. “Once we dropped back a little at the start, we made it harder for ourselves as the front tyres get a bit hot when you’re following people.
“Our car definitely wasn’t as good following as it is in clear air, so we have something to work on. It wasn’t too bad, considering we had a bad stop and to still finish fourth is pretty good. Jamie was really fast, it was good battling with him in Will. That’s what it’s all about.
“We’ll sort it out overnight and have a good go at it tomorrow. We win together and lose together, and this is a strong team. We will bounce back.”
Davison and Chaz Mostert were able to use their fresher tyres across the back half of the race to pass McLaughlin, dropping him to fourth at the finish. It was a solid points haul on a difficult day, which saw his lead extend to 336 points over Fabian Coulthard.
Coulthard’s race started well, getting up to seventh across the opening laps. He started to experience brake knock-off issues which saw him head into the Turn 3 gravel trap, heading to pit lane on lap 18 to replace the flat-spotted front left.
He came out in p20, and then worked hard across the closing laps to move forward. Despite fighting continuing brake issues, and hard battles through the mid-pack he earned himself a 10th place finish. He remains second in the points, and is now 176 points in front of Shane van Gisbergen. The team’s lead in the Teams’ points is 814 points over Triple Eight.