Supercars: Two Kiwis triumphed in their home event
Two drivers from New Zealand – Shane van Gisbergen (Triple Eight Race Engineering, Holden Commodore) and Scott McLaughlin (DJR Team Penske, Ford Mustang) – are the winners of two races in New Zealand’s round of the Virgin Australian Supercars Championship at Pukekohe Park Raceway. The Auckland SuperSprint event was the eleventh round of the season.
Sunday’s victory for Scott McLaughlin in the #17 Shell V-Power Ford Mustang was his 17th win this season, meaning he brakes the record for most wins in single Supercars season. The previous record-holder Craig Lowndes recorded 16 wins in 1996.
The 17th victory for the #17 Mustang came in the 70-lap race which Scott McLaughlin started from the fifth place. Jamie Whincup started from pole in the #88 Red Bull Holden, what was his first pole position this season.
However, he lost a lead when an early Safety Car period on lap 15 turned the race upside-down. Whincup has already pitted and he was not the leader when the Safety Car came out. He elected to illegally pass the Safety Car what resulted with a drive-through penalty which dropped his down in the order. He eventually finished 16th.
Scott McLaughlin found himself on the top when the race resumed and stayed in the lead until the end. He shared a podium with Shane van Gisbergen (Triple Eight, Holden) and Chaz Mostert (Tickford Racing, Ford). Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing Holden) finished fourth, ahead of Todd Hazelwood (Matt Stone Racing Holden), who recorded his career-best result. Simona de Silvestro (Kelly Racing Nissan) also scored his career-best result in the seventh place.
On Saturday, Shane van Gisbergen converted his pole position into third victory of the season. Initially, it was the 1-2 victory for Red Bull Holden Racing Team but Jamie Whincup was penalized after the race because of a collision with Nick Percat and he lost the second place.
His penalty promoted Cameron Waters (Tickford Racing Ford) and David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport Holden) to P2 and P3.