Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat have won the 2019 Supercheap auto Bathurst 1000 in spectacular circumstances, with a final lap dash following a late safety car that saw McLaughlin hold off a charging Shane van Gisbergen to take his first win at Mount Panorama.
“I can’t believe I won the bloody Bathurst 1000,” commented McLaughlin! “We had such a good car all week, I put so much pressure on myself, our whole team put so much pressure on themselves to make this a good one. I’m so proud of everyone. We made a bloody good car. I’ve dreamt about this, standing on that roof.”
It was a race of attrition, with five cars crashing out and plenty of mishaps and missteps across the 161 laps.
McLaughlin and Premat were amongst the fastest cars all day long, spending the majority of the race at or near the front of the pack.
The last 30 laps of the race became a fuel strategy game, with the front runners all saving fuel in order to make it to the flag. McLaughlin and Premat came out on top in a game of cat and mouse with the two Triple Eight Commodores.
Second home was the Shane van Gisbergen/Garth Tander Holden Commodore who were consistently fast all day.
“Unfortunately, today we just didn’t get there in the end,” said van Gisbergen. “In the final restart I knew I was going to have a go and try to keep as much temperature in the car as possible but at the same time save fuel.
“We got through the first two corners but saw that Scott (McLaughlin) had more grip. It was tough but I thought we may have had a chance as he started to save more and more fuel I was hitting better than the number I was given so I knew I had a few more on the last couple of laps but what could have been.
“We certainly did get knocked down a few times today; in the pits and then working back through the pack and got held up during the safety car by someone.
“It’s pretty obvious what happened but we still would have had to fight it out with Jamie and Scott which would have been awesome and possibly closer but we were stuck behind traffic and more cars, but it is what it is.”
James Courtney and Jack Perkins finished third for Walkinshaw Andretti United having survived a clash with the wall to hold off Jamie Whincup.
Whincup/Craig Lowndes Holden had entered the final phase of the race in the lead as fuel concerns became front of mind following an ill-timed Safety Car.
Short on fuel, Red Bull crucially decided to pit under a later Safety Car with an 11s lead in hand, giving up track position that it would not regain, finishing fourth.
David Reynolds and Luke Youlden finished fifth with the #12 crew of Fabian Coulthard and Tony D’Alberto were also fast all day having started from 16th on the grid. they came home sixth.
Scott McLaughlin now leads the Championship by 633 points over Shane van Gisbergen, with Fabian Coulthard back up into third place.
Shell V-Power Racing Team leads the Teams’ points by 843 over Triple Eight.