MCLAUGHLIN POISED TO EQUAL LOWNDES’ RECORDBen Nightingale
OTR SUPERSPRINT – SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 – PRACTICE, QUALIFYING AND RACE 21
Fabian Coulthard – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 3 – 14th (Fastest Lap: 1m49.3971s)
Qualifying – 7th (Fastest Lap: 1m48.5031s)
Race 21 – 12th (Fastest Lap: 1m50.3076s)
Scott McLaughlin – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 3 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m47.9865s)
Qualifying – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m47.6968s – Under Lap Record)
Race 21 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 1m49.5482s)
RECAP: Scott McLaughlin has set himself up to equal Craig Lowndes’ season win record, with his 15th victory of 2019 at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia today.
Lowndes took the record of 16 wins in a season during his 1996 run to his first Supercars Championship.
McLaughlin’s 15th win came after a race-long battle with Tickford Racing’s Chaz Mostert, who earlier beat McLaughlin to pole by one-tenth of a second.
McLaughlin won the start, and then worked hard to build a 1.6s gap over Mostert before the pit stops.
He returned to the track just in front of Mostert after they had both stopped, Mostert taking three tyres and McLaughlin two left-side only. He had a 1.5s gap before Mostert started fuel saving late in the race, with the gap blowing out to 7.7s at the flag.
Coulthard got boxed out at the start, battling with Cameron Waters and both Triple Eight cars of Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen through Turns 1 and 2 on lap 1. He slotted into p8 across the opening stint of the race, before pitting on lap 10.
He struggled in traffic after his stop, with pace in the pack difficult and ended the race in 12th position.
McLaughlin now leads the Championship by 514 points over Coulthard, who is 38 in front of Mostert. Shell V-Power Racing Team’s lead in the Teams’ points is 852 over Triple Eight.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “Today was a tough one. We had good pace in the lead-up to qualifying, but we only got one shot at a lap in Q3 and started seventh. When you’re a little bit further back in the pack it always gets interesting with the traffic around you, avoiding getting into trouble. I’m disappointed to finish 12th, but at least we’ve got another shot at it tomorrow.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “I was a little annoyed about qualifying, but I can’t take anything away from Chaz, he did a fantastic lap and I knew the start was going to be key. That was probably the best start of the year for me. The car just hooked up and got going. There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make sure we were fast here this weekend, and to take Ford’s first win at The Bend is awesome. I’ve been working hard on my fitness and on the preparation side for Tailem Bend, and the team has been pushing hard on the car and I’m really proud that it all came together.”