McLaugh­lin ex­tends lead

The Press - - Entertainment - ED JACK­SON

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.

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