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Sydney Supercars: McLaughlin holds on in Sydney thriller

Sydney Supercars: McLaughlin holds on in Sydney thriller
Jun 27, 2020, 6:40 AM

Scott McLaughlin edged Shane van Gisbergen in a thrilling resumption to the 2020 Supercars season at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The two Kiwis staged a yo-yoing battle across the 32 laps, McLaughlin twice pulling a decent lead and then twice being reeled in.

The pole-sitter was electric in the opening laps of the race, scorching away from van Gisbergen and co. 

The lead blew out to as much as 3.5s before van Gisbergen – who had comfortably gapped teammate Jamie Whincup – started to make in-roads. He got as close as half a second before McLaughlin made a stop for four tyres on Lap 15.

Van Gisbergen opted to run longer, the Red Bull Holden driver not stopping until Lap 19. The undercut from others hurt, though, van Gisbergen emerging fifth in the order and more than 5s behind leader McLaughlin.

Four fresh boots made progress easy to come by, though, van Gisbergen swiftly working his way back into second. 

He then closed back up to McLaughlin with a few laps to go, the pair staging a thrilling nose-to-tail battle to the flag.

But while van Gisbergen seemed to have the pace, McLaughlin was flawless in defence as he held on for a 0.18s win.

“He’s like a cockroach, you can never get rid of him, he’s always around!," said McLaughlin.

“I knew I was going to be in a little bit of trouble in that last stint, the way he came at me in the first.

“So we’ve got a bit of work to do with how we tune it up but you take them when you can get them.

“It was tough in those last five laps but I did the best I could. It was great race.”

Van Gisbergen, meanwhile, was left to rue aero wash.

“It was a pretty decent race but every time you get close, the aero wash is ridiculous, so I couldn’t do much with it,” he said.

“We tried to go long and have a better chance at the end but we could him and it just understeered. It’s hard to pass, we need to try something different tomorrow.”

Whincup held off an early challenge from Chaz Mostert to round out the podium, with the Walkinshaw Holden driver coming home a somewhat lonely fourth.

Nick Percat was a solid fifth after overhauling Tickford pair Cam Waters and Lee Holdsworth, who only opted for two tyres during their stop.

Anton De Pasquale finished eighth, Mark Winterbottom ninth and Fabian Coulthard 10th. 

Race results:

Cla Driver Car Time
1 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT  
2 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 0.187
3 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 9.775
4 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 11.075
5 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 28.328
6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 30.798
7 Australia Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 31.755
8 Australia Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 31.783
9 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 32.670
10 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 35.238
11 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 36.280
12 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 43.980
13 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 43.990
14 Australia Rick Kelly Ford Mustang GT 48.283
15 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 48.439
16 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 50.844
17 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 51.059
18 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 51.409
19 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 51.889
20 New Zealand Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1'02.035
21 Australia David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1'22.383
22 Australia Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1'24.170
23 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1 lap
  Australia Alex Davison Holden Commodore ZB  
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Sydney
Author Andrew van Leeuwen