Ipswich Supercars: McLaughlin wins as Whincup loses ground

Scott McLaughlin comfortably won his sixth race of the Supercars season at Queensland Raceway, while title rival Jamie Whincup lost a lot of points thanks to a slow pitstop.

McLaughlin had to pass Craig Lowndes twice to secure the win. Having been bested by the Triple Eight driver off the line, McLaughlin made a lead-changing pass on Lowndes at Turn 3 on the third lap of the race.

He then found himself behind the #888 Commodore again on Lap 12 immediately after making his stop, having been undercut by Lowndes who stopped on Lap 4.

But the battle for the lead barely lasted a lap, McLaughlin blasting past Lowndes on the run into Turn 1 the next time around.

From there, McLaughlin was able to manage the gap back to Chaz Mostert and secure his sixth win of the season by 3.2s.

“It’s been a fantastic day for us,” said McLaughlin. “It was an awesome battle [with Lowndes], we had two great battles.

“It’s always great with Lowndesy, he’s a champion of the sport.”

Having run second in the opening stint of the race behind McLaughlin, Prodrive Racing’s Mostert emerged from his Lap 11 stop in third behind McLaughlin and Lowndes, before being undercut by Tim Slade a lap later.

By Lap 19 he was able to use his superior tyre quality to pass Lowndes for third, and then slotted into second on Lap 28 when Slade ran wide at Turn 6.

“I was a bit worried in that first stint with the tyre degradation, but our car held on pretty good in that second stint,” said Mostert.

“We needed this podium after the last couple of rounds, hopefully we can build on this.”

Shane van Gisbergen came home third after a thrilling last-lap battle with Slade.

The Kiwi went the opposite way to most on strategy, waiting until Lap 21 to make his stop and then coming home with the tyre advantage. He quickly charged his way from eight to fourth, passing the likes of Mark Winterbottom, Rick Kelly, and Lowndes along the way.

That put him within striking distance of Slade in third place, van Gisbergen closing up on the back of the #14 Commodore with a couple of laps to go.

On the final lap he got on the outside of Slade at Turn 3, before a late dive inside into Turn 4 to grab the final spot on the podium.

“This track isn’t exciting to drive, but the racing is always awesome,” said van Gisbergen.

“I was just watching [Tim] when I was catching him and I could see where he was weak, and that was into Turn 3, he kept losing the rear.

“I knew into Turn 4 would be the biggest shot, he covered, and I just went there anyway.”

Lowndes finished fifth, ahead of Fabian Coulthard, who recovered from a difficult qualifying session by using a similar strategy to van Gisbergen and making up a lot of ground after a Lap 22 stop.

Percat finished seventh, from Kelly, Winterbottom, and David Reynolds.

For Jamie Whincup, it was a case of a the day going from bad to worse. Having been slugged with a five-spot grid penalty before the race for a qualifying infringement, any chance of a comeback from 14th on the grid was killed off by a dodgy air spike coupling that led to a very long stop.

The Townsville race winner then struggled to make ground once he got going again, coming home 20th and losing a lot of ground to McLaughlin in terms of championship points.

“One to forget today,” said Whincup. “Poor quali, then the grid penalty, and something happened on the pitstop, the spike didn’t go in. That was pretty much the end of our day.

“I didn’t have a huge amount of pace to come back through, because we stopped so early. What could go wrong did go wrong today.”

McLaughlin now leads the championship by 111 points from Whincup.

Race 1 Results:

1 17 new_zealand Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG-X 39  
2 55 australia Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG-X 39 3.2470
3 97 new_zealand Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore VF 39 4.7006
4 14 australia Tim Slade  Holden Commodore VF 39 5.1589
5 888 australia Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore VF 39 9.0852
6 12 new_zealand Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG-X 39 9.5797
7 8 australia Nick Percat  Holden Commodore VF 39 14.4562
8 15 australia Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 39 17.2439
9 5 australia Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG-X 39 17.4372
10 9 australia David Reynolds  Holden Commodore VF 39 20.6650
11 33 australia Garth Tander  Holden Commodore VF 39 21.2536
12 18 australia Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore VF 39 21.7482
13 2 australia Scott Pye  Holden Commodore VF 39 23.0767
14 22 australia James Courtney  Holden Commodore VF 39 24.7500
15 23 australia Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 39 26.6375
16 6 australia Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG-X 39 27.5144
17 19 australia Will Davison  Holden Commodore VF 39 32.0938
18 7 australia Todd Kelly  Nissan Altima 39 33.1717
19 28 australia Jack Le Brocq  Nissan Altima 39 39.1977
20 88 australia Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore VF 39 39.5465
21 21 australia Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore VF 39 40.1064
22 36 australia Todd Hazelwood  Holden Commodore VF 39 41.7360
23 99 australia Dale Wood  Holden Commodore VF 39 42.9318
24 31 australia James Golding  Holden Commodore VF 39 44.1119
25 26 Shae Davies  Nissan Altima 39 45.4063
26 3 australia Alex Davison  Holden Commodore VF 39 48.5001
27 78 switzerland Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 37 2 laps
28 34 australia James Moffat  Holden Commodore VF 31 8 laps
  56 australia Jason Bright  Ford Falcon FG-X 33  
  62 australia Alex Rullo  Holden Commodore VF 0  


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About this article
Series Supercars
Event Ipswich
Track Queensland Raceway
Drivers Scott McLaughlin
Article type Race report