McLaughlin scores historic first win at Pukekohe

Scott McLaughlin became the youngest race winner in V8 Supercars history as he took his maiden win in a points race at Pukekohe on Saturday morning.

The 19-year-old from New Zealand had already taken victory in one of the non-championship events on the Australian Grand Prix support bill in Melbourne last month.

In the first of this weekend’s four races in his homeland, McLaughlin moved forward from his fifth place on the grid as the experienced frontrunners all ran into trouble.

Fabian Coulthard, winner of five of the last seven races including the Melbourne events, lost his front row start when his top-10 shootout times were disallowed for not respecting track limits.

Polesitter and reigning champion Jamie Whincup then locked up and ran off the track with a badly flat-spotted tyre on the opening lap of the race.

That put the quick-starting McLaughlin second behind Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom, until the Falcon driver also had to pit with a puncture.

McLaughlin then led Garry Rogers Holden team-mate Alexandre Premat in a one-two, but the Frenchman faced a penalty for a false start and ultimately retired.

Coulthard’s Brad Jones Holden partner Jason Bright – who won at Symmons Plains a week ago – kept McLaughlin under pressure to the finish, as the rookie won by just 0.8 seconds.

Craig Lowndes recovered from a mistake on his pole shootout lap to salvage third for Triple 8, right behind Bright.

Shane van Gisbergen and Coulthard chased them home, with Garth Tander ending up sixth after a late mistake while fighting with Lowndes.

Results - 35 laps:

Pos Driver                 Team/Car                   Time/Gap
 1. Scott McLaughlin       GRM Holden                 39m54.9225s
 2. Jason Bright           Brad Jones Holden          + 0.8209s
 3. Craig Lowndes          Triple 8 Holden            + 1.3120s
 4. Shane van Gisbergen    Tekno Holden               + 2.4629s
 5. Fabian Coulthard       Brad Jones Holden          + 3.2887s
 6. Garth Tander           HRT Holden                 + 4.7988s
 7. Will Davison           FPR Ford                   + 5.0299s
 8. David Reynolds         Rod Nash/FPR Ford          + 6.4085s
 9. James Courtney         HRT Holden                 + 7.7145s
10. Jonathon Webb          Tekno Holden               + 11.2199s
11. Alex Davison           Schwerkolt/FPR Ford        + 11.5876s
12. Rick Kelly             Nissan                     + 12.6343s
13. Michael Caruso         Nissan                     + 13.1648s
14. Russell Ingall         Walkinshaw/HRT Holden      + 13.7618s
15. Tim Blanchard          DJR Ford                   + 15.7367s
16. Tony D'Alberto         D'Alberto Holden           + 16.0910s
17. Todd Kelly             Nissan                     + 16.7292s
18. Lee Holdsworth         Erebus Mercedes            + 17.4682s
19. Mark Winterbottom      FPR Ford                   + 17.8740s
20. Dean Fiore             Dumbrell Holden            + 20.2838s
21. David Wall             Britek/BJR Holden          + 20.7693s
22. James Moffat           Nissan                     + 21.7277s
23. Jonny Reid             DJR Ford                   + 23.1456s
24. Maro Engel             Erebus Mercedes            + 23.8135s
25. Tim Slade              Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes  + 24.2392s
26. Jamie Whincup          Triple 8 Holden            + 1 lap

Retirements:

    Alexandre Premat       GRM Holden                  19 laps

McLaughlin scores historic first win at Pukekohe

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