Scott McLaughlin unfazed by late safety car to claim lights-to-flag win
Supercars Championship Race 14 winner Scott McLaughlin was unfazed by a late race safety car in today’s race at Winton, taking the win after leading from lights-to-flag.
After he locked out the front row with DJR Team Penske stable-mate Fabian Coulthard, it was a battle between the leading two Ford Mustangs for the race win with McLaughlin getting the edge off the line.
Speaking about the crucial start, McLaughlin was happy with it and said the first stint was all about putting space between he and Coulthard.
“It was a good one; I think my reaction was good, I got a little bit of secondary wheelspin,” he said.
“It’ll be interesting, the number, because Fabs came back a bit but track position is going to be important all year if we’re going to be qualifying there or thereabouts next to each other.
“I just tried to build a gap as much as I could, in that first stint I was pushing so hard to just have safety when I pulled out of the pits to not have to fight anyone.”
Building up a comfortable race lead, McLaughlin was wary to keep tyre life in reserve on the off chance of a late race safety car after losing the race lead in Saturday’s sprint last year in similar circumstances.
“In those first two stints we were pushing really hard, just to try and buy a ticket into that last stint. We knew we obviously had a gap; it was important to make sure we had something left in the bank in case we had a safety car.
“I felt really strong on that restart, I was pretty soft into Turn 1 but made sure I got through there and away we went.”
Coming home a second clear of Coulthard, McLaughlin extended his points lead in the process, putting him in the box seat to defend his championship title in 2019