Townsville Supercars: McLaughlin wins tense finale

Scott McLaughlin fended off Cam Waters to win the final of three sprint races in Townsville.

Townsville Supercars: McLaughlin wins tense finale

McLaughlin and Waters were inseparable for much of the 39-lap race, the latter looking the faster of the two at times, but unable to find a way past.

Waters briefly dropped back to third at the start, out-gunned by a quick-launching Nick Percat into Turn 2. The Monster Ford charged back down the inside of Percat at the same corner a lap later, though, and quickly set about hunting down the leader.

The gap between McLaughlin and Waters hung around the 1s mark for most of the stint, easing out to 1.2s right before the Tickford driver took his mandatory service on Lap 16.

McLaughlin followed suit a lap later, taking on three tyres to Waters' four and emerging with about the same lead he'd taken into the stop.

It was in the first half of the second stint that Waters looked particularly quick, parking under McLaughlin's rear wing and even hinting at a move at Turn 2 on a number of occasions.

But McLaughlin was flawless in his defence, Waters eventually calling off his attack and letting the lead blow out to 4.1s at the finish.

"It was an awesome battle with Cam, he was fast," said McLaughlin. "We've got a little bit of work to do, but I'm really happy. To get a win on a tough weekend is a great thing."

Waters added: "I gave Scotty absolutely everything I had then, but I couldn't get him to make a mistake. Second was all we could do, but there's lots of pace in this car. Full credit to Scotty, he drove awesome in that race."

Jamie Whincup capped off a solid weekend with a third to go with his two wins, his strategy to run long and only take on two tyres at his stop. While he dropped points to McLaughlin in the race, Whincup's weekend effort was still a net gain in the title fight – the points gap down from 177 to 123.

Brad Jones Racing pair Percat and Todd Hazelwood finished fourth and fifth, while Scott Pye was another driver that went long in the first stint and then charged home on good rubber, which helped him climb up to sixth.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Time
1 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT  
2 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 4.160
3 88 Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 5.913
4 8 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 12.519
5 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 14.361
6 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 16.106
7 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 27.536
8 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 28.803
9 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 30.103
10 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 34.704
11 9 Australia David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 36.073
12 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 38.082
13 44 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 38.271
14 15 Australia Rick Kelly Ford Mustang GT 42.511
15 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 42.839
16 55 Australia Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 43.793
17 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 48.414
18 35 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 48.445
19 34 Australia Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 50.606
20 19 Australia Alex Davison Holden Commodore ZB 50.975
21 3 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 52.141
22 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 54.665
23 22 New Zealand Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 58.848
24 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.319
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2020 Supercars Townsville Supersprint race results
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