Race 29: View From The Couch

Race 29: View From The Couch

It’s one to go for Scott McLaughlin as he looks to lock down his third straight Supercars championship with the Shell V-Power Mustang team.

He only needs one more point over Jamie Whincup from one more race to ensure he cannot be beaten, barring a penalty, to this year’s title.

McLaughlin was helped to another win at The Bend by his team mate Fabian Coulthard, who jumped best before handing him the lead and then holding Whincup at bay.

Whincup is now McLaughlin’s only real rival for the crown but suffered a massive setback in the second of three sprints in South Australia, as a pitstop at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team went badly wrong when an air line was ripped out of a crew member’s hands.

Whincup could only manage to trail home in seventh place and his near-impossible position in the championship was obvious when his team-mate Shane van Gisbergen was allowed to motor past in the dying laps after a poor qualifying performance forced him to make up positions on the way to fifth.

“If we can get it done today, that would be fantastic,” McLaughlin said as he celebrated his win.

And his objective for the final race before the big one at Bathurst is obvious.

“Beat him,” he said.

Anton de Pasquale converted sixth on the grid for runner-up spot after a very quick pitstop, as his team mate David Reynolds continued a poor season with a gearbox failure, with Cam Waters powering home in third.

“Our momentum has been building and building through this period away from home,” said de Pasquale.

But Waters was looking forward, not back, from third.

“We’ve got a really pacy car and we’re starting up the front for the next one, so hopefully we’ll go a little better. If we just nail everything we can definitely win the race,” he said.

There was a rare run behind the Safety Car that resulted in a six-lap final sprint, with some tough racing that produced rare retirements.

Apart from Coulthard and Reynolds, Lee Holdsworth was forced to park with damaged steering after a first-lap tangle, while Alex Davison didn’t make the start after damaging his only engine in the Saturday race.

“It’s one of those weekends. It’ s just been horrible for us. We’ve been qualifying well out of position and getting involved in some things shouldn’t be involved in,” said Holdsworth.

The Bend
Race 29: 32 laps

1Scott McLaughlin
2Anton de Pasquale
3Cam Waters
4James Courtney
5Shane van Gisbergen
6Nick Percat
7Jamie Whincup
8Chas Mostert
9Rick Kelly
10Andre Heimgartner