Townsville Supercars: DJR Penske's McLaughlin gets 13th win of 2019

Scott McLaughlin claimed an ultimately straightforward win in the opening Supercars race on the streets of Townsville

Townsville Supercars: DJR Penske's McLaughlin gets 13th win of 2019

The DJR Team Penske driver was able to outlast an aggressive strategic move from Jamie Whincup to set up a 13th win of the season, after a pitstop blunder forced polesitter David Reynolds out of contention.

McLaughlin's final winning margin was 4.7s over Whincup and Chaz Mostert.

Reynolds led the first part of the race, spending the opening 12 laps with his mirrors full of Mostert's Mustang.

It was not until third-placed McLaughlin started to put pressure on Mostert that Reynolds was able to pull away, leaving the two Mustangs to squabble over second place as he streaked into the lead.

The battle for second came to a head early on during the 16th tour of 70, when McLaughlin and Mostert ran side-by-side through Turns 4 to 6.

Mostert was initially able to hang on, before being forced to concede the position two laps later.

Mostert made his first stop the next time around, followed by McLaughlin and Reynolds on the 21st and 22nd lap respectively.

Jamie Whincup then came out of the first round of stops with the effective lead thanks to the undercut from pitting two laps before Mostert.

Having taken on the most fuel of the leaders, Reynolds came out just ahead of McLaughlin.

He was unable to shake the Penske Ford though and McLaughlin grabbed second approaching mid-distance.

When Whincup made his second stop on lap 38 McLaughlin found himself with a 5s lead over the struggling Reynolds.

But Reynold's race collapsed at his next pitstop when a wheelnut problem turned his stop into a lengthy stay and dropped him from contention.

McLaughlin then stopped a lap later and returned two seconds behind Whincup.

Within a handful of laps, the gap was gone and, with 20 laps to go, McLaughlin charged down the inside of Whincup at the final corner to grab a lead he would comfortably hang on to until the end.

Mostert quickly caught Whincup once McLaughlin was through, but could not get a move on the seven-time champion done before his front tyres were past their best.

Having staved off the initial challenge from Mostert, Whincup was even able to re-establish a gap in the closing laps with three seconds separating the pair at the flag.

Shane van Gisbergen charged his way to fourth, passing Reynolds with a few laps to go before running down Fabian Coulthard on the final lap for the position.

Reynolds ended up sixth, followed by Will Davison, Nick Percat, Mark Winterbottom and Lee Holdsworth.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 70 1h28m55.7924s
2 Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 70 4.7025s
3 Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 70 7.3571s
4 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 70 10.0528s
5 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 70 10.6977s
6 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 70 17.5361s
7 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 70 24.1396s
8 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 70 27.4907s
9 Mark Winterbottom Schwerkolt Holden 70 42.8980s
10 Lee Holdsworth Tickford Ford 70 43.6385s
11 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 70 48.3833s
12 Andre Heimgartner Kelly Nissan 70 51.8543s
13 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 70 53.2488s
14 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Holden 70 1m02.1308s
15 James Golding GRM Holden 70 1m02.8807s
16 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 70 1m04.1986s
17 Rick Kelly Kelly Nissan 70 1m04.7663s
18 Macauley Jones Blanchard/BJR Holden 70 1m08.3095s
19 Simona de Silvestro Kelly Nissan 69 1 Lap
20 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 69 1 Lap
21 Cameron Waters Tickford Ford 69 1 Lap
22 Michael Caruso GRM Holden 69 1 Lap
23 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 69 1 Lap
24 Garry Jacobson Kelly Nissan 69 1 Lap
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