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The DJRTP pairing of Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard took a win a piece at the WD 40 Phillip Island Supersprint as Triple Eight Racing continued to struggle as they looked to bridge the gap to the front of the field.

McLaughlin led a Shell V-Power front row for both races across the weekend. Shane van Gisbergen snuck his Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodore into the top 10 on both Saturday and Sunday, while teammate Jamie Whincup was able to replicate the result on Sunday after a lowly 17th position for Saturday’s Race 9. Lee Holdsworth was the only Mustang driver to miss out on a place in the top 10 for Sunday’s race, while Anton De Pasquale was the leading Holden driver in 4th. The top 10 finished with Ford and Holden equally represented with 5 cars a piece. Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters split de Pasquale, from Will Davison. van Gisbergen, Todd Hazelwood and James Courtney, while Jamie Whincup snuck into 10th place.


McLaughlin led Coulthard away from the start of Sunday’s longer race with two mandatory pit stops scheduled for the race. The field jostled for position on the run towards Honda corner, but negotiated turn 4 without incident. Hazelwood’s hopes for a podium ended at Siberia when a tap from James Courtney sent the Bigmate Racing Commodore towards the gravel. Courtney’s race was also compromised by a pit lane penalty before two right front tyre failures relegated the Mobil 1 Mega Racing Commodore to the bottom of the lap charts.

Teams began to employ pit strategies from lap 5 of the scheduled 45 lap race, with McLaughlin amongst the first to pit. DJRTP elected to fuel McLaughlin with over 50 litres during a longer stop, while Waters took on less than half that amount. The strategy saw McLaughlin fall behind Waters, De Pasquale and Coulthard. McLaughlin had been effectively jumped by teammate Coulthard in the pit stop cycle, though no-one could understand why it had happened.

“It’s a bit of an odd one, but their total pit transit time for both cars is about two seconds difference,” said a puzzled Ryan Story from DJR Team Penske. “Slower for 17, so whether that means he was slow coming into the box or slow getting out of the box, we don’t know; that’ll require some post-game analysis from our end.”

The race gained a better perspective after the final round of stops played out from lap 16 to 30. Coulthard led De Pasquale, with McLaughlin glued to the rear bumper of the Penrite Racing Commodore. Tim Slade was the last to pit on lap 30 and took full advantage of his fresh tyres to charge through the field and edged Nick Percat out of 9th in the closing laps of the race.

Fabian Coulthard held on to take his first win of the year from McLaughlin and Anton De Pasquale, who claimed his best result and first podium finish in the championship.  Will Davison. Chaz Mostert, Cameron Waters, Shane van Gisbergen, Rick Kelly, Tim Slade and Nick Percat completed the top 10.


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