Scott McLaughlin leads the field at the start of Race 9 at Winton.
Scott McLaughlin leads the field at the start of Race 9 at Winton. Daniel Kalisz

Scott McLaughlin leads from start to finish at Winton

SCOTT McLaughlin has announced himself as a genuine title contender by blitzing the field at Winton to bring up a stunning Supercars three-peat.

On another day of domination for DJR Team Penske, the Ford flyer won his third straight race by flogging the field to continue his championship charge with a rare V8 trifecta.

In an inch perfect drive where he was never challenged, McLaughlin beat Jamie Whincup by almost two seconds to prove he has not only the speed, but also the consistency to become the sport's best shot at dethroning the Holden Red Bull Racing Team.

"I pretty much have a car that drives itself at the moment," McLaughlin said.

"It is an amazing car and I have to thank everyone at Shell V Power Racing."

Fabian Coulthard landed Penske yet another double podium by climbing his way from fifth to spark another Shell Ford celebration.

DJR Team Penske have risen from the floor to become the most dominate team in the sport with McLaughlin and Coulthard combining for five season wins.

"I tried my best to run them down but I couldn't," Coulthard said.

"Full credit has to go to Scotty and it is great to get a one-three for the team. I am pretty happy with where we are at and we couldn't do this without a great team. We will go out and try and get them tomorrow."


McLaughlin declared Coulthard was his "best teammate ever" after scoring the victory that put him 10 points away from Coulthard's championship lead.

"We get on extremely well," McLaughlin said.

"We are both pushing each other and that is what you want. He is probably the best teammate I have ever had and we are in this together."

In a perfect start from pole-position, McLaughlin out-dragged Chaz Mostert to turn one in a all Ford fling as reigning champion Shane Van Gisbergen had a start-line struggle.

Looking to strike back after the Shell Ford's dominated in Perth, Van Gisbergen went from third to sixth following a sluggish start.

Out front Mostert chased McLaughlin as Whincup settled into third.

Missing out to his in form teammate in qualifying, Coulthard rolled the dice by becoming the first car to pit when he made his dash to pit-lane on lap four.

Whincup and Mostert followed a lap later with leader McLaughlin making his move after five.

McLaughlin retained his advantage when he rejoined and went about putting a gap on nearest rival Mostert.

And the Kiwi did just that when disaster struck down his fellow Ford charger with a lap 15 race killer.

Mostert limped onto the straight after losing power and was forced to bow out of the fight.

"We just had a mechanical issue with the car," Mostert said.

"We just lost the drive. I am just disappointed for all the boys. We have been quick and consistent all year so it is really disappointing to go out with a mechanical thing. It feels like a tail shaft but the boys will get into tonight and work out what happened. They will fix it up and we will get back into it tomorrow."

The drama continued on lap 25 when Tim Slade smashed into Rick Kelly.

But there was no stopping McLaughlin as he charged home ahead of Whincup to make it three straight.

"We aren't quick enough right now," said Red Bull ace Whincup.

"We just have to find some more speed. It is no secret that these guys (DJR Team Penske) are really quick. We need to definitely improve the car to get a race result."

News Corp Australia

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