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Eastern Creek V8 Supercars: McLaughlin resists Percat for Volvo win

Scott McLaughlin held on to give the new V8 Supercars Volvo its second victory in a championship round by just three tenths of a second at Eastern Creek.

Pole-winner McLaughlin had dominated most of the race and was sitting on a comfortable five-second advantage before high tyre wear left him vulnerable to a charge from Nick Percat.

The Walkinshaw Holden closed in by as much as a second per lap, but McLaughlin was able to raise his pace just enough to stay ahead, taking the flag 0.3632 seconds clear.

The result was a huge boost for the Garry Rogers Motorsport team after a fraught Saturday in which McLaughlin had an engine failure early in race one then lost a wheel in race two after starting from pole.

Percat's second place was his maiden solo V8 Supercars podium in his first full season, although his CV already boasts a Bathurst 1000 win as Garth Tander's co-driver in 2011.

Fabian Coulthard looked like he might snatch second from Percat until his rival escaped to chase down McLaughlin instead. Coulthard had to settle for third.

James Moffat was fourth in the top Nissan, with champion Jamie Whincup coming back to beat Jason Bright to fifth after losing ground with an oil-covered windscreen early on.

That oil came from James Courtney's failing Holden. Courtney had been McLaughlin's main opposition at first until his transmission wilted.

Fifth extended Whincup's championship lead further as Craig Lowndes could only manage ninth after a qualifying crash left him starting at the back, and Mark Winterbottom was 20th after a fraught race that included a penalty for a crash that took both David Reynolds and Scott Pye out.

Saturday's double winner Shane van Gisbergen could only manage seventh in the dry, although he was part of a big pack of cars battling for the podium until tyre wear spread the field in the closing laps.

Both Tim Slade and Robert Dahlgren missed race three due to damage from Saturday's big accidents.

The series now begins its run of two-driver endurance rounds, with Sandown, Bathurst and Surfers Paradise next up.

Results - 51 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                    Time/Gap
 1.  Scott McLaughlin     GRM Volvo              1h24m14.1668s
 2.  Nick Percat          Walkinshaw/HRT Holden       +0.3632s
 3.  Fabian Coulthard     Brad Jones Holden           +5.6836s
 4.  James Moffat         Nissan                      +8.8251s
 5.  Jamie Whincup        Triple Eight Holden        +11.8379s
 6.  Jason Bright         Brad Jones Holden          +12.9784s
 7.  Shane van Gisbergen  Tekno Holden               +19.7870s
 8.  Michael Caruso       Nissan                     +20.9599s
 9.  Craig Lowndes        Triple Eight Holden        +24.0897s
10.  Chaz Mostert         FPR Ford                   +30.0035s
11.  Will Davison         Erebus Mercedes            +30.9729s
12.  David Wall           Dick Johnson Ford          +34.5989s
13.  Lee Holdsworth       Erebus Mercedes            +39.6915s
14.  Rick Kelly           Nissan                     +40.5348s
15.  Todd Kelly           Nissan                     +44.3933s
16.  Dale Wood            Britek/BJR Holden          +46.5325s
17.  Russell Ingall       Dumbrell Holden          +1m02.6644s
18.  Garth Tander         HRT Holden               +1m25.6107s
19.  Jack Perkins         Schwerkolt/FPR Ford      +1m31.1646s
20.  Mark Winterbottom    FPR Ford                      -1 lap


     James Courtney       HRT Holden                   10 laps
     David Reynolds       Rod Nash/FPR Ford              1 lap
     Scott Pye            Dick Johnson Ford             0 laps
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