Eastern Creek V8 Supercars: McLaughlin resists Percat for Volvo win
|Sunday, August 24th 2014, 07:20 GMT|
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 Retirements: James Courtney HRT Holden 10 laps David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford 1 lap Scott Pye Dick Johnson Ford 0 laps