Published on July 30th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Scott McLaughlin drives to victory at the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint Race
Scott McLaughlin continued his march towards back-to-back Supercars titles with victory in the Sunday race at the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint.
McLaughlin led the entire 65-lap contest outside the two pitstop cycles, but had to hold off a charging Shane van Gisbergen in a thrilling finish.
Van Gisbergen closed throughout the final stint but could not get close enough to make a move, eventually taking the flag 0.7s adrift.
McLaughlin now leads the standings by 433 points after second-placed Fabian Coulthard finished 18th; a lacklustre weekend compounded by an early tangle.
The result secured Ford the 2019 Supercars Manufacturers’ title, which is based on total race wins through the season.
Polesitter McLaughlin held off a determined Mostert at the start; the Tickford driver sticking around the outside of Turn 1 and 2, before settling into second.
Whincup and van Gisbergen held their third and fourth grid slots through the first stint, after the Kiwi narrowly missed out on rounding up his team-mate on the outside in the opening corners.
McLaughlin’s lead over Mostert was out over three seconds before the Shell Ford pitted on lap 15.
Mostert stopped four laps later and lost track position to Whincup and van Gisbergen, who had stopped on lap 14 and 20 respectively.
The Commodores then traded places on lap 32; Whincup – struggling on older tyres – letting his team-mate through on the front straight.
On lap 38, McLaughlin, Whincup and Mostert pitted together for their second stops, while van Gisbergen continued for just one more lap before also taking service.
When the stops shook out, McLaughlin held a 4.5s lead over van Gisbergen, with Mostert leap-frogging Whincup.
Van Gisbergen then set about clawing into McLaughlin’s lead, trimming it to 1.6s with 10 laps to go, and getting to within 0.5s with five to run.
That was as close as he got; McLaughlin holding his nerve to secure a 14th win for the season.