Double triumph for Scott McLaughlin at Supercars season-opener
Defending Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin opens the 2019 season of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with two wins at Adelaide Street Circuit, giving debut victories to a brand new Ford Mustang.
For the 25-year-old driver of the #17 Ford Mustang, that were his 26th and 27th victories in the Supercars career. In the first race, he was sharing a podium with Red Bull Holden’s Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen. In the second race, Cameron Waters finished second in the #6 Monster Energy Tickford Racing’s Mustang, ahead of Van Gisbbergen in the #97 Red Bull Holden.
On Saturday, Scott McLaughlin opened a new season with his 26th Supercars victory, the first for him at Adelaide and the first for Ford Mustang in the ATCC/Supercars Championship since Allan Moffat’s victory at Oran Park in 1972.
The driver of the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Mustang was in the lead from start to finish in the opening leg of the Superloop Adelaide 500. After 78 laps, he crossed the finish line with a 12.9651-second advantage ahead of Red Bull Holden Racing’s Jamie Whincup. The second Red Bull driver Shane van Gisbergen rounded out the podium.
Mustangs filled four of the top six places with Will Davison (23Red Racing), Chaz Mostert (Tickford Racing) and Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske) taking positions from four to six. The polesitter Fabian Coulthard moved out of his grid box before the start and received a ten-second penalty because of the jump start, what eliminated him from a fight for a victory.
On Sunday, Scott McLaughlin climbed again to the top podium spot after a back-to-back victory at 3.219 km street circuit, giving a new Ford Mustang a perfect debut in the Australian major championship. McLaughlin crossed the finish line 2.3854 seconds ahead of Cameron Waters, who didn’t crack under late pressure from third-placed Shane van Gisbergen.
Because of track repairs at Turn 1, the start of the race was delayed and it lasted for 71 of the scheduled 78 laps. Scott McLaughlin defended his pole position against fellow front-row starter van Gisbergen through the first chicane. After that, there were no more problems for the Kiwi in the #17 Ford to cruise for his second victory. After the first round of pit stops, Cameron Waters split the leading pair and that 1-2-3 order remained unchanged until the end of the race.
The chaos in the pitlane occurred when almost everybody entered on lap 27, during a Safety Car period caused by Jack Le Brocq’s stoppage at Turn 11. Chaz Mostest initiated chaos when his car spun in the pitlane after contact with Rick Kelly’s Nissan, blocking the exit.
After two races, Scott McLaughlin has a perfect score of 300 points, with Shane van Gisbergen following on 258 points. Jamie Whincup is third with 234 points, 24 more than fourth-placed Will Davison. Nick Percat is fifth with 207 points.
The next round of the Supercars Championship is the Melbourne 400 as the part of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix weekend on March 15-17.