Winton Supercars: Kelly gets first Nissan win, Coulthard ends drought

Rick Kelly and Fabian Coulthard both took drought-breaking Australian Supercars race wins at Winton, as a pair of mistakes proved costly for points leader Scott McLaughlin

Winton Supercars: Kelly gets first Nissan win, Coulthard ends drought

Saturday's race featured a sensational win for Kelly and the Nissan Motorsport outfit, just days after the brand announced its impending withdrawal from Supercars.

Kelly's win was deserved, but it did require a hint of good luck in the form of a well-timed safety car and a mistake from runaway race leader McLaughlin.

The Kiwi dominated the first 34 laps of the 120-kilometre race, only to have his advantage wiped out when Tim Blanchard ended up beached at Turn 4.

Cool conditions then made the restart after the safety car tricky for McLaughlin's leading Penske Ford, a little bobble through Turns 1 and 2 as the race resumed enough to let Kelly get his nose up the inside into Turn 3.

That was all the invitation the Nissan driver needed, with Kelly eventually holding off Scott Pye and Shane van Gisbergen - who were both on fresher rubber having gone for an overcut strategy with a late stop - to take his first win since 2011, as well as his first win in an Altima.

McLaughlin, meanwhile, was left licking his wounds after being shuffled back to fifth behind team-mate Coulthard on the restart lap.

Penske hit back on Sunday, but once again a mistake proved costly for McLaughlin. That time it was a particularly poor getaway from pole position, as McLaughlin dropped to eighth on lap one as Coulthard bolted into the lead from the outside of the front row.

With track position and plenty of pace, Coulthard (pictured below) was able to run a standard two-stop strategy to win his first race since August last year.

McLaughlin, however, had to get creative with strategy to make up for his poor start, diving into the lane on Lap 4 to help undercut his way back up the second, before holding onto that spot despite requiring a longer second stop thanks to a solid second stint.

But Penske was denied a one-two by van Gisbergen, who cleverly utilising the high grip and low degradation to run very long in the second stint.

He rejoined in third - and on the best tyre - after his second stop, which helped him barge past McLaughlin for second on Lap 50.

Jamie Whincup endured a tough weekend, never showing genuine frontrunning pace at any point.

He finished down in 17th on Saturday, although a significant lack of the pace in the second stint was ultimately attributed to a broken sway bar.

On Sunday he fared better, coming home eighth, but still lost significant ground in the championship.

David Reynolds was another title contender to endure a tough event, with broken steering after a lap one run-in with Jack Le Brocq leaving him 25th on Saturday.

He then qualified last on Sunday - due to persistent steering issues, thought to be a hangover from the Saturday clash - and ultimately came home 16th.

McLaughlin's points advantage is now 131 over van Gisbergen, who made 27-point gain across the weekend in his Triple Eight Holden.

Craig Lowndes is third, 299 points behind McLaughlin, while Reynolds and Whincup are now both more than a round win behind the leader, with 318 and 364-point deficits respectively.

Race one result - 40 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport Nissan 57m29.0426s
2 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 0.5310s
3 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 1.1192s
4 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 1.5284s
5 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 2.2005s
6 Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport Nissan 3.7725s
7 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 4.4943s
8 Garth Tander GRM Holden 4.9210s
9 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 6.2836s
10 Mark Winterbottom Tickford Ford 7.8034s
11 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 8.0985s
12 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 9.1151s
13 Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 9.5666s
14 Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 10.5087s
15 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 10.6860s
16 Andre Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport Nissan 13.1818s
17 Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 14.4611s
18 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 15.0741s
19 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Ford 15.4149s
20 James Golding GRM Holden 15.7631s
21 Richie Stanaway Tickford Ford 33.9747s
22 Simona de Silvestro Nissan Motorsport Nissan 34.6535s
23 Lee Holdsworth Team 18 Holden 1 Lap
24 Tim Blanchard Blanchard/BJR Holden 2 Laps
25 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 6 Laps
- Cameron Waters Tickford Ford Retirement

Race two result - 67 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Fabian Coulthard DJR Penske Ford 1h32m22.9780s
2 Shane van Gisbergen Triple Eight Holden 11.0281s
3 Scott McLaughlin DJR Penske Ford 18.9181s
4 Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport Nissan 25.4224s
5 Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport Nissan 26.4828s
6 Scott Pye Walkinshaw Holden 27.9519s
7 Tim Slade Brad Jones Holden 28.3556s
8 Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden 29.6868s
9 Richie Stanaway Tickford Ford 32.9996s
10 Chaz Mostert Tickford Ford 35.0615s
11 Andre Heimgartner Nissan Motorsport Nissan 35.5899s
12 Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden 41.5552s
13 Will Davison 23Red Racing Ford 41.8408s
14 Nick Percat Brad Jones Holden 43.4575s
15 David Reynolds Erebus Holden 50.5904s
16 Anton De Pasquale Erebus Holden 53.5203s
17 Jack Le Brocq Tekno Holden 54.1302s
18 Tim Blanchard Blanchard/BJR Holden 55.8736s
19 James Courtney Walkinshaw Holden 57.0197s
20 Mark Winterbottom Tickford Ford 57.2755s
21 Lee Holdsworth Team 18 Holden 57.5203s
22 Garth Tander GRM Holden 58.2881s
23 Simona de Silvestro Nissan Motorsport Nissan 1m01.8210s
24 Todd Hazelwood Matt Stone Ford 1m17.9398s
25 James Golding GRM Holden 1m18.3337s
26 Cameron Waters Tickford Ford 5 Laps

Leading drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Scott McLaughlin 1487
2 Shane van Gisbergen 1356
3 Craig Lowndes 1188
4 David Reynolds 1169
5 Jamie Whincup 1123
6 Scott Pye 1114
7 Fabian Coulthard 1079
8 Rick Kelly 1003
9 James Courtney 996
10 Tim Slade 992


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