Motorsport: Victory continues love affair

By Ben McKay

Scott McLaughlin’s Volvo leads the field at Phillip Island yesterday. Photo / Getty Images
Scott McLaughlin’s Volvo leads the field at Phillip Island yesterday. Photo / Getty Images

Scott McLaughlin's love affair with Phillip Island has continued with the Kiwi speedster claiming a commanding V8 Supercars win yesterday.

Having won his first pole of the season earlier in the day, McLaughlin took his third victory on the Island in as many years.

After successfully negotiating the compulsory pit stop without drama, the superior pace of his Volvo S60 came into its own, careering away for a drought-breaking success.

For McLaughlin and Garry Rogers Motorsport, this was a first win since the 2014 meet on Phillip Island.

"It's been so tough to get through the last two years," he said after the race. "The guys gave me a great car, I'm so stoked. I wanted to do a burn out so bad but they wouldn't let me."

It's also the first time a non-Commodore has finished on top of the podium this season, with McLaughlin becoming the sixth winner in as many races.

Jamie Whincup took second place but never seriously challenged McLaughlin, with Fabian Coulthard earning third with a stunning drive.

The second place put Whincup in control of the championship, 27 points ahead of Craig Lowndes. Mark Winterbottom is third in the standings, with McLaughlin fourth.

While McLaughlin had the day's best drive, Coulthard lit up the track behind him.

The DJR Team Penske man improved from ninth on the grid to finish third, overtaking senior drivers on his way.

Chaz Mostert's final lap run into the gravel elevated Coulthard to the podium.

The No.55 driver bowed to the crowd after putting on a show but would be devastated to lose a healthy points haul so late in the race. His team-mate Scott Pye was on track to join him for a top-10 finish but spun out spectacularly and late at the high-speed turn one to finish 26th.

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