02 Mar 2019
Scott McLaughlin has clinched his first race win at the Superloop Adelaide 500 - and a debut victory for the new Ford Mustang Supercar - with a dominant performance in front of 64,500 at the Adelaide Street Circuit.
Starting from third on the grid, the reigning Supercars champion launched at the green light with a brilliant start to take the lead from pole-sitting teammate Fabian Coulthard into the first turn.
He was never headed again during the race – proceeding to execute one of the great drives at the circuit to overtake three cars that were on the lead lap.
McLaughlin’s strong start was countered for the Shell V-Power Racing Team by the imposition of a 10-second penalty to Fabian Coulthard, whose early jump at the start put paid to his hopes of another Adelaide win.
Instead, it was left to the rest of the field to scrap for the podium that had its top two steps practically tied up by McLaughlin and potential title rival Jamie Whincup.
Despite battling for the pace of his teammate Whincup and main rival McLaughlin, defending Superloop Adelaide 500 winner Shane Van Gisbergen had third place fall into his lap after his captivating battle with Chaz Mostert fell apart when the latter locked up at the top of Wakefield Road and threw away his chance at overtaking the Red Bull Holden driver.
Mostert mistake also cost him fourth place to stablemate Will Davison.
Adelaide punishes plenty
Despite being a safety car free race, it was a tough day out in Adelaide for several cars left battered and bruised by the notorious circuit.
Macauley Jones will have to wait another night to make his full-time Supercars debut, after a high-speed collision with the Turn 9 tyre barriers in final practice totalled his #21 CoolDrive Commodore such that it couldn’t be repaired in time for the race.
He will take the track again in qualifying on Sunday morning.
Come race time, the first casualty was not of a collision, but rather a cool suit failure.
Cam Waters was sent into the garage by Supercars officials when his cool suit’s circulation went haywire, forcing him to repair it to comply with safety regulations given the high temperatures on the day.
His teammate Lee Holdsworth became the first driver to fall foul of the repositioned exits at Turn 7, sliding into the tyre barriers and leaving Scott Pye an innocent bystander to collect the Bottle-O Tickford Mustang.
Pye failed to finish the race as a result of the collision, while Holdsworth repaired and continued to limp home in 21st place.
The usual suspects
McLaughlin's form from last year's championship victory carried over into the opening race with his 12-second win over Whincup highlighting Shell V-Power's dominance, particularly coupled with Coulthard's recovery to sixth position after being placed on the strategy back-foot due to his false start penalty.
But Whincup and teammate Shane Van Gisbergen clearly held the pace in their corner too - and will take their dual podium for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team into tomorrow's second leg of the Superloop Adelaide 500.
Tickford too has plenty of pace with both Will Davison and Chaz Mostert finishing inside the top 5 - with accident and equipment failure curtailing their stablemates.
Superloop Adelaide 500 - Race 1 Top 10
- Scott McLaughlin - Shell V-Power Racing Team (Mustang)
- Jamie Whincup - Red Bull Holden Racing Team (Commodore)
- Shane Van Gisbergen - Red Bull Holden Racing Team (Commodore)
- Will Davison - Milwaukee Racing (Mustang)
- Chaz Mostert - Supercheap Auto Racing (Mustang)
- Fabian Coulthard - Shell V-Power Racing Team (Mustang)
- Nick Percat - Brad Jones Racing (Commodore)
- David Reynolds - Penrite Racing (Commodore)
- Mark Winterbottom - IRWIN Racing (Commodore)
- James Courtney - Mobil 1 MEGA Racing (Commodore)
Sunday's Supercars schedule
- 10.30am Qualifying
- 12.45pm Shootout
- 3.20pm Race 2 - 250km/78 laps
- View Sunday's track schedule here
More on SuperloopADL500.com.au
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