Motorsport: Kiwis in V8s clean sweep

Craig Lowndes claimed Scott McLaughlin had proven he was "no one-week wonder". Photo / Edge Photographics
Craig Lowndes claimed Scott McLaughlin had proven he was "no one-week wonder". Photo / Edge Photographics

Who said Kiwis couldn't fly?

Volvo's Scott McLaughlin ensured New Zealand completed a clean sweep of the V8 Supercars exhibition round at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne by snatching race four honours yesterday.

The 20-year-old McLaughlin remarkably sealed the eighth straight Albert Park V8 win by a Kiwi driver when he held out series leader Craig Lowndes of Holden, with Nissan's Michael Caruso third.

McLaughlin snapped a three race winning run at Albert Park by compatriot Shane van Gisbergen, of Holden, who faltered yesterday to finish 14th in an incident-packed final 12-lap race.

McLaughlin's 6-second lead over Lowndes evaporated when a safety car emerged after Nissan's Todd Kelly went off track on the seventh lap.

And there was more carnage in McLaughlin's rearview mirror on lap nine when Nissan's Rick Kelly appeared to make contact with Mercedes' Will Davison and ploughed into five-time V8 champ Jamie Whincup and James Moffat.

Championship points were not on offer but it delivered an ominous warning - the New Zealand flag looks set to fly high in touring cars Downunder this year.

Lowndes compared Aucklander van Gisbergen with a young Whincup after he dominated the opening three races.

And Lowndes claimed McLaughlin had proven he was "no one-week wonder" after backing up from marking Volvo's first sighting in touring cars Downunder in 28 years with a podium finish at the recent Adelaide season opener. The next official championship round is in Tasmania from March 28-30.

- AAP

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