The Bend Supercars: McLaughlin cruises to Race 3 win

Scott McLaughlin is now firmly in control of the Supercars title fight thanks to a comfortable Race 3 win at The Bend.

The Penske Ford driver was untroubled across the 24-lap journey, helped by having teammate Fabian Coulthard slot into second at the start.

From there the Shell Mustangs were able to control the race, McLaughlin running two even 12-lap stints in what ended up as a 1.8s win in a Penske one-two.

“The car is fantastic to drive, a pleasure to drive,” said the Kiwi. 

“I think track positioned helped, being in front. It was important I got the start, and thankfully I did.”

Jamie Whincup limited the damage to his title hopes with third place, his only appearance on the podium for the weekend.

It didn’t come easy, though, Whincup needing to overhaul a rapid Anton De Pasquale – who started all the way down in 18th – in the second stint.

He needed two cracks at clearing the Erebus Holden, the first resulting in contact between the pair at Turn 6. Whincup redressed the position before getting the job done two laps from home.

McLaughlin’s win, however, meant Whincup dropped points in all three races, the gap now 215 with four races, worth a total of 600 points, to go.

Shane van Gisbergen had a shocker in the final heat, the Race 2 winner sparking an early pile-up when he tipped Andre Heimgartner into a spin.

That led to heavy contact for the likes of James Courtney and Mark Winterbottom, those two drivers taken out of the race.

Van Gisbergen was hit with a 15-second time penalty for his efforts, 14th the best he could manage by the finish.

Heimgartner, meanwhile, recovered well from the van Gisbergen hiccup, charging back to seventh behind De Pasquale, Cam Waters and Scott Pye.

Race 3 results:

117 Scott McLaughlinFord Mustang GT 
212 Fabian CoulthardFord Mustang GT 1.865
388 Jamie WhincupHolden Commodore ZB 5.758
499 Anton De PasqualeHolden Commodore ZB 8.601
56 Cameron WatersFord Mustang GT 11.032
620 Scott PyeHolden Commodore ZB 11.371
77 Andre HeimgartnerFord Mustang GT 17.681
815 Rick KellyFord Mustang GT 18.227
99 David ReynoldsHolden Commodore ZB 18.815
1014 Todd HazelwoodHolden Commodore ZB 19.200
115 Lee HoldsworthFord Mustang GT 25.724
123 Macauley JonesHolden Commodore ZB 26.558
1335 Garry JacobsonHolden Commodore ZB 26.981
1497 Shane van GisbergenHolden Commodore ZB 27.027
1522 Chris PitherHolden Commodore ZB 29.804
1625 Chaz MostertHolden Commodore ZB 34.924
178 Nick PercatHolden Commodore ZB 35.517
1819 Alex DavisonHolden Commodore ZB 37.618
192 Bryce FullwoodHolden Commodore ZB 38.063
2034 Zane GoddardHolden Commodore ZB 51.401
2155 Jack Le BrocqFord Mustang GT 54.721
224 Jack SmithHolden Commodore ZB 
 44 James CourtneyFord Mustang GT 
 18 Mark WinterbottomHolden Commodore ZB 
View full results

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