SCOTT MCLAUGHLIN TAKES THE HATTRICK AT WINTON
Scott McLaughlin has taken his third win in a row in Saturday’s Supercars race at Winton Motor Raceway.
In a tense race the young Kiwi led all the way, except through the pit cycle, and took a hattrick for the first time in his career.
“I feel lucky the car is fantastic,” he said after the race. “I am just trying to make the most of it. We are trying a few different things and the rewards come.”
Jamie Whincup was second, after a race-long battle with Fabian Coulthard. The Shell V-Power car looked to have the speed advantage but Whincup refused to blink.
“It’s like a GT race, he said after the race, “we drove hard all the way, there was plenty of grip out there.”
“If I could have had a crack, I would have,” Coulthard, “but Jamie didn’t make any mistakes.”
David Reynolds was fourth in a strong drive, after starting 14th in the Erebus Commodore. The team’s upwards swing was assisted by a mid-race pit strategy, that put him on tyres that were younger than those on most of the cars ahead.
Will Davison was close behind in fifth place ahead of Craig Lowndes, who once again came from the back half of the grid (he started P19) to move through the field.
One of the drives of the race came from James Courtney. After a tough fortnight he started the race badly, being helped off the track by James Moffat on the opening lap. From last place he ran a ‘long’ strategy and was battling Nick Percat for 10th when they clashed on the final lap.
Courtney said he felt like the beleaguered HSV Racing Team had another “kick in the head” but the team would surely be buoyed by what was a superb performance.
The win puts McLaughlin within 10 points of the championship leader Shane van Gisbergen, who finished eighth. The Red Bull driver made a bad start and was delayed by a stuck wheel nut and dropped three places.
Date posted: May 20, 2017