Bathurst 1000: McLaughlin, Premat climbed to the top of the Mountain
DJR Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin and Alexandre Premat are the winners of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama Circuit, the 25th race of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season.
For the duo in the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford Mustang, it’s the first victory in the greatest Australian race, highlighting McLaughlin’s domination in this year’s championship. This is his 18th victory in 2019, setting the new all-time record for most wins in one Supercars season. Alexandre Premat became the first Frenchman to win Bathurst 1000.
Scott McLaughlin had been the fastest driver all weekend, also setting the lap record in the Top 10 Shootout, but the 6-hour 160-lap race was all about the last lap in which McLaughlin was fighting against Shane van Gisbergen in the #97 Red Bull Holden Commodore. In the end, McLaughlin crossed the finish line just 0.6800sec ahead of Van Gisbergen, whose co-driver was Garth Tander.
“I can’t believe I won the bloody Bathurst 1000! 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,” McLaughlin said.
James Courtney and Jack Perkins took a sensational third place for Walkinshaw Andretti United, surviving a clash with the wall and Perkins’ flu recovery to hold off Jamie Whincup.
The Whincup/Craig Lowndes Holden had entered the final phase of the race in the lead but, short on fuel, the #888 Holden entered the pit under a late Safety Car with an 11sec lead in hand, giving up track position that it would not regain, finishing fourth.
When looking at the championship standings, it’s clear that Scott McLaughlin is just a step from defending the championship title because he will travel to the next round at the Gold Coast with the 622-point advantage (3308:2686) over Shane van Gisbergen. Fabian Coulthard, Chaz Mostert and Jamie Whincup are completing the top 5.
Photos: Supercars, DJR Team Penske,