MCLAUGHLIN WINS THE TRIPLE CROWNBen Nightingale
DARWIN TRIPLE CROWN – SATURDAY, JUNE 16 – QUALIFYING, TOP 10 SHOOTOUT AND RACE
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – 9th (Fastest Lap: 1m06.1673s)
Top 10 Shootout – 2nd (Fastest Lap: 1m05.8412s)
Race 16 – 3rd (Fastest Lap: 1m07.2081s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Qualifying – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m05.4737s – New Lap Record)
Top 10 Shootout – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m05.8259s)
Race 16 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m07.0127s)
RECAP: Race 16 loomed as the final piece of the Darwin Triple Crown puzzle for Scott McLaughlin, after snatching the pole position from teammate Fabian Coulthard in the Top 10 Shootout this morning.
That pole was his 11th for the season, and saw him equal the great Peter Brock on 57 career poles to be equal second on the all-time Supercars list. It was also his 40th pole for DJR Team Penske, which sees him sit equal fifth with four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears on the all-time Penske list.
With a Shell V-Power Racing Team front-row lockout, both cars needed to start well and keep it clean down the long run to Turn 1 here at Hidden Valley Raceway.
They were side-by-side though Turn 1, before McLaughlin took the lead on exit and Coulthard slipped to p3 as David Reynolds slid past.
McLaughlin worked to quickly build an impressive gap, that was over five-seconds after 10 laps. Coulthard struggled in the dirty air behind Reynolds’ Holden, and stayed within half a second of him throughout the opening stint.
Coulthard took his first stop on lap 17, returning to track after good work in pit lane in effective third place. McLaughlin followed a lap later, having built a 7.5-second lead. He returned to the track as effective leader and was never headed, even maintaining the lead as he took his final stop.
Coulthard battled through the middle section of the race, making moves including an excellent pass on Anton de Pasquale at the final corner to nab third place. He pushed hard to get to Reynolds’ bumper late in the race, however had to settle for the final place on the podium.
McLaughlin crossed the finish line 14-seconds in front of Reynolds to secure his 12th victory of the year and extend his Championship lead to 319-points over his teammate. Coulthard sits 140-points clear of David Reynolds in second place. The team continues to lead the Teams’ points, now with a 814-point buffer over Triple Eight.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “We really turned it around today, the team put a great car under me and I was able to maximise in the Shootout to pull another front-row lockout for Shell V-Power Racing Team. In the race, we had great pace in clean air but we struggled a little bit when following, so taking third place was a good result. Congratulations to Scott and the team for taking the Triple Crown, that’s a fantastic achievement and great reward for all their hard work.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “That’s something pretty special. I’m just buzzing after that. To do something that no one else has done is amazing, and I couldn’t have done it without all the awesome guys and girls in my team. Thanks to Shell V-Power and Ford Performance for giving me an amazing car, I have a great team and they’ve given me such a great car. I’m living my dream right now, I love doing what I do and I’ll never get tired of winning. What a feeling.”MCLAUGH