McLaughlin hails career-best race after shock Perth win
Scott McLaughlin reckons his charge from 19th on the grid to a comprehensive win today at Barbagallo Raceway was the drive of his Supercars career.
The points leader and Saturday race winner endured a difficult start to the day, missing out on an automatic Q2 spot after failing to make the Top 10 in this morning's practice session.
He then failed to get out of Q1 during qualifying, which left him 19th on the grid for today's 200-kilometre marathon around the high-deg Barbagallo Raceway circuit.
But even the lowly grid spot couldn't stop McLaughlin taking a fourth consecutive Supercars race win, the Kiwi charging through the field to grab another 150 points.
According to McLaughlin, it was the drive of his career.
"That was the best race I've ever raced," McLaughlin told Fox Sports after the race.
"I think the start, the pitstops, I felt like every time I stepped on my marks, the car was fantastic...
"I'll take it, because I didn't expect it this morning. It's a nice way to repay everyone for their hard work. It's icing on the cake, that's for sure."
There were two crucial factors to McLaughlin's race; the first was a frantic pair of opening laps, with contact in the midfield helping McLaughlin carve through the 12th.
He then benefitted from the Lap 4 safety car, called when GRM drivers James Golding and Garth Tander tangled at Turn 1, which left Golding stranded in the deep West Aussie sand.
With a number of cars needing to double stack, McLaughlin was able to move into fifth with just five laps down.
"I knew we were in a good spot. After that first safety car, I thought 'were fifth here on the road. Even if he get out of here with fifth I'm stoked' from where we were," he said.
"I think if there wasn't a safety car, we might have switched to a two-stop maybe, or we were thinking about the three-stop.
"I was thankful that that safety car came out, because I jumped about two or three in the pits that were double stacking. A lot of things happened that went our way."
While be benefitted from some spirited racing at the back on the opening couple of laps, McLaughlin admitted that it was eye-opening at times.
"I'll tell you what, there are a few guys at the back there that race pretty hard, especially at the start. It surprised me a little bit," he said.
"There was a lot of luck in that whole race.
"It was pretty full-on. Rubbing is racing and we love it, and we race hard. But oh my god, it was full-on. When I crossed the line I was like 'phew, thank god'."
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