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Scott McLauglin has claimed a lights to flag victory in race 19 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at Ipswich Raceway. Shane van Gisbergen made the most of an electrifying start to claim 2nd, while Craig Lowndes held out Fabian Coulthard for 3rd.

The Shell V-Power pair had locked out the front row of the grid after a post qualifyng penalty dropped Chaz Mostert from 2nd to 5th. David Reynolds was 3rd from Rick Kelly, Jamie Whincup, Michael Caruso, Shane van Gisbergen, Nick Percat and Craig Lowndes.

McLaughlin and Coulthard ran side by side down the main straight as the lights went out, Coulthard then settled in behind the championship leader on the run to turn 2. Shane van Gisbergen launched the #97 Red Bull Commodore off the line quickly moved past Caruso, Reynolds and teammate Whincup by the first corner.  A pass on Rick Kelly at turn 4 put van Gisbergen on the tail of Coulthard. Chaz Mostert found himself bumped down the order in the biff and barge of the opening laps which prompted the team to pit early for fresh tyres and clean air. The move was copied by the Autobahn Commodore, with Lowndes on Mostert’s tail as the #888 Commodore returned to the track.

Scott McLaughlin was another to elect for an early stop and came out on track just metres ahead of Mostert, who threw everything bar the kitchen sink at the Shell V-Power Ford in an attempt to pass. McLaughlin held on and then slowly moved away from Mostert and Lowndes as his tyres came up to temperature.

A commanding lights to flag win for Scott McLaughlin – photo: John Morris


The early stops seemed to pay dividends as the rest of the field made their stops an filed back on track behind Lowndes. For a while it seemed the Mostert was on course for a much overdue morale boost for the Tickford team, especially given the relative track position of Mark Winterbottom and Cameron Waters. However, the early stop played havoc with the rear tyres of Mostert and he was soon passed by Lowndes, van Gisbergen and Coulthard. Lowndes also ran into rear tyre issue and lost position to the #97 Commodore and came under threat from Coulthard. Lowndes positioned his car perfectly to hold off the late challenge to claim the final podium position.

Scott McLaughlin held a sizable lead as the final laps counted down and recorded a comfortable win from van Gisbergen and a delighted Lowndes, who later used the traditional champagne spray to hose down team supremo Roland Dane.

“That was awesome, thanks to everyone here. There’s massive support, obviously #17 in Queensland is a big thing and it’s great to be a part of it,” he said. There was crazy stuff going on (during the opening lap) and my tyres took ages to come up to temperature. Once they did I checked out. Gizzy must have had a monster first lap, when I saw him I was like ‘this guy again’. He did a fantastic job. We’ll go hard again tomorrow” said McLaughlin in the post race press conference.

The race went into the QLD Sunset this evening Winner McLaughlin in turn 6 – Photo: Darin Mandy


“I just dropped the clutch and away it went. It was a really cool first lap, lots of room given, great racing,” van Gisbergen reflected. I had a great battle with Craig and Fabian out of the pits, but Scotty was gone by that point. Congratulations to them, hopefully we can fight them tomorrow.”

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