McLaughlin extends lead
Their careers have gone on different paths in the past two years but on Sunday Ford’s Chaz Mostert got the chance to outshine fellow Supercars young gun Scott McLaughlin.
Mostert secured just his second race win this year with a strong performance in Sunday’s 200km race at Queensland Raceway, denying championship leader McLaughlin, of New Zealand, a perfect weekend in Ipswich.
The victory was a relief for Prodrive Racing Australia (PRA) star Mostert, who is still rebuilding his career after a horror accident at Bathurst in 2015 where he broke his leg and wrist. The 2014 Bathurst champion has had to watch on as 24-year-old McLaughlin has, in that time, risen from rising star to championship contender after his switch to DJR Team Penske.
Mostert believes Sunday’s win shows he and PRA are gradually getting back to their best.
‘‘We haven’t been that far behind these guys and I think today we definitely put it all together,’’ the 25-yearold said. ‘‘It felt good ... at the end of the day it shows that we can mix it with them. We just did a good job today, it’s as simple as that.’’
After Saturday’s pole position and race win, McLaughlin continued his recent dominance by securing his fifth consecutive pole in the morning’s qualifying run. A poor start allowed Mostert to take control of the race but a gamble on an early pit stop allowed McLaughlin to claw his way back up the field for a second-place finish.
With championship rival Jamie Whincup finishing fourth, McLaughlin was pleased to leave Ipswich with a healthy 129-point lead in the title standings.
‘‘Today was almost the best thing apart from a win,’’ he said.
‘‘We didn’t quite have the pace of Chaz, Chaz was strong, and at the end of the day we made the best of what we could and if second’s that, I’m pretty happy.’’
Another Kiwi, defending series champion Shane van Gisbergen, was third to complete a pair of podium finishes but remains fourth in the drivers standings, 261 points behind McLaughlin.