Pukekohe Supercars: McLaughlin wins, team orders help van Gisbergen

Scott McLaughlin capped off a drama-filled weekend at Pukekohe with a Supercars race win, while Triple Eight swapped its lead drivers to hand second to Shane van Gisbergen

Pukekohe Supercars: McLaughlin wins, team orders help van Gisbergen

Penske driver McLaughlin emerged in the lead after the second round of stops in the 200km race, controlling the final stint to take a well-crafted win over the two Red Bull Holdens.

It means he takes the Jason Richards Trophy for the first time.

While the final gap was 12 seconds, it would have been much closer had it not been for some late team orders from Triple Eight.

With van Gisbergen recovering from a pitstop blunder early in the race, the team ordered Jamie Whincup - McLaughlin's chief rival all afternoon - to slow down and hand second place over to his title-chasing team-mate.

McLaughlin and van Gisbergen are now split by 14 points heading to the season finale in Newcastle later this month.

Polesitter Whincup led the very early stages of the race, before being dragged in for his first stop on lap five.

That left McLaughlin out front, the Penske driver holding a 2s advantage over van Gisbergen until he pitted eight laps later.

Van Gisbergen followed suit after another two laps, but his stop was compromised by a safety stand being left under the car following a ride height change.

It meant the car had to be lifted back up by the air jacks so the stand could be retrieved, the additional time meaning he dropped from second to eighth.

With an undercut from his early stop, Whincup found himself with a 4s lead at the start of the second stint. He was able to sustain it, too, McLaughlin failing to make any real headway.

Van Gisbergen got back to sixth on the road before the second round of stops started, with a 20-odd second deficit to his team-mate out front.

One lap before half-distance Whincup made his second stop, McLaughlin doing likewise four laps later. That led to a briefly fierce battle for the effective lead, McLaughlin emerging from his stop right ahead of Whincup.

Having held off the Triple Eight Holden until his tyres came up to temperature, McLaughlin settled into a lead of just over a second for the run to the flag.

Van Gisbergen went deep into his second stint, not making another stop until nine laps after McLaughlin. He popped back out in fifth, just in front of Chaz Mostert and with a 4s gap to Craig Lowndes in front of him.

It took 10 laps for van Gisbergen to catch and easily pass his Triple Eight team-mate, before closing right up on the back of David Reynolds in third.

With 10 laps left he then completed the comeback to the podium, passing the Erebus Holden to move into third.

That left van Gisbergen 11s behind Whincup, who was still just a second behind leader McLaughlin.

Triple Eight had two options - let Whincup try to pass McLaughlin to limit the points gain over van Gisbergen, or back the #1 car off and hand second - and the nine points - over to the #97.

With a change in the lead potentially yielding a three-point advantage for van Gisbergen, Triple Eight initially let Whincup carry on. He got within half a second in what was a thrilling conclusion to the race, but couldn't quite get the job done.

As a result, he was told to slow down on the final lap to let van Gisbergen through to second place.

"I thought we had him, four seconds up the road and I think we only had one second less of fuel, but they jumped us in the stop," said Whincup.

"I did everything I could, but happy to have a double podium [for the team] today."

Lowndes made it a Triple Eight 2-3-4, with Reynolds dropping back to fifth.

Mostert and Fabian Coulthard finished sixth and seventh, while Andre Heimgartner led Nissan's charge in eighth.

Mark Winterbottom was the first Tickford Ford home in ninth, with Nick Percat rounding out the top 10 after a spirited battle with Cam Waters that included contact through the fast complex onto the main straight mid-way through the race.

Race two result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 70 1h17m05.3846s
2 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 70 12.0654s
3 Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 70 12.4554s
4 Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 70 13.4968s
5 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 70 16.3188s
6 Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 70 19.9547s
7 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 70 20.4604s
8 Andre Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport Nissan 70 33.2876s
9 Mark Winterbottom Tickford Ford 70 33.9245s
10 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 70 36.5589s
11 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 70 39.2775s
12 Cameron Waters Tickford Ford 70 48.1618s
13 Garth Tander GRM Holden 70 48.9623s
14 Lee Holdsworth Team 18 Holden 70 49.4329s
15 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 70 51.0129s
16 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 70 52.7145s
17 Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport Nissan 70 53.2721s
18 Simona de Silvestro Nissan Motorsport Nissan 70 56.6544s
19 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 70 57.2896s
20 Richie Stanaway Tickford Ford 70 59.8774s
21 James Golding GRM Holden 70 1m00.2811s
22 Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport Nissan 69 1 Lap
23 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 69 1 Lap
24 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 69 1 Lap
25 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Holden/Ford 69 1 Lap
26 Tim Blanchard Blanchard/BJR Holden 60 10 Laps

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Scott McLaughlin 3656
2 Shane van Gisbergen 3642
3 Jamie Whincup 3175
4 Craig Lowndes 3117
5 David Reynolds 2918
6 Chaz Mostert 2669
7 Fabian Coulthard 2450
8 Scott Pye 2410
9 Rick Kelly 2377
10 Nick Percat 2221
11 Tim Slade 2138
12 Mark Winterbottom 2024
13 Garth Tander 2010
14 James Courtney 1866
15 Will Davison 1825
16 Cameron Waters 1747
17 Michael Caruso 1657
18 Andre Heimgartner 1583
19 Jack Le Brocq 1574
20 Anton De Pasquale 1395
21 James Golding 1343
22 Lee Holdsworth 1290
23 Tim Blanchard 1238
24 Simona de Silvestro 1212
25 Richie Stanaway 1124
26 Todd Hazelwood 1093
27 Steven Richards 696
28 Alexandre Premat 609
29 Earl Bamber 576
30 James Moffat 546
31 Warren Luff 546
32 Paul Dumbrell 519
33 Macauley Jones 495
34 Luke Youlden 474
35 Chris Pither 456
36 Tony D'Alberto 432
37 Garry Jacobson 363
38 Dean Canto 342
39 Richard Muscat 315
40 Alex Davison 309
41 David Russell 294
42 Aaren Russell 288
43 Ashley Walsh 270
44 Jonathon Webb 255
45 Dale Wood 252
46 Jack Perkins 243
47 Bryce Fullwood 219
48 Jason Bright 216
49 William Brown 204
50 Alex Rullo 177
51 Steve Owen 168
52 Dean Fiore 96
53 Kurt Kostecki 90

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About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Shane van Gisbergen , Scott McLaughlin
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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