Townsville Supercars: McLaughlin wins tense finale

Townsville Supercars: McLaughlin wins tense finale

Scott McLaughlin fended off Cam Waters to win the final of three sprint races in Townsville.

McLaughlin and Waters were inseparable for much of the 39-lap race, the latter looking the faster of the two at times, but unable to find a way past.

Waters briefly dropped back to third at the start, out-gunned by a quick-launching Nick Percat into Turn 2. The Monster Ford charged back down the inside of Percat at the same corner a lap later, though, and quickly set about hunting down the leader.

The gap between McLaughlin and Waters hung around the 1s mark for most of the stint, easing out to 1.2s right before the Tickford driver took his mandatory service on Lap 16.

McLaughlin followed suit a lap later, taking on three tyres to Waters' four and emerging with about the same lead he'd taken into the stop.

It was in the first half of the second stint that Waters looked particularly quick, parking under McLaughlin's rear wing and even hinting at a move at Turn 2 on a number of occasions.

But McLaughlin was flawless in his defence, Waters eventually calling off his attack and letting the lead blow out to 4.1s at the finish.

"It was an awesome battle with Cam, he was fast," said McLaughlin. "We've got a little bit of work to do, but I'm really happy. To get a win on a tough weekend is a great thing."

Waters added: "I gave Scotty absolutely everything I had then, but I couldn't get him to make a mistake. Second was all we could do, but there's lots of pace in this car. Full credit to Scotty, he drove awesome in that race."

Jamie Whincup capped off a solid weekend with a third to go with his two wins, his strategy to run long and only take on two tyres at his stop. While he dropped points to McLaughlin in the race, Whincup's weekend effort was still a net gain in the title fight – the points gap down from 177 to 123.

Brad Jones Racing pair Percat and Todd Hazelwood finished fourth and fifth, while Scott Pye was another driver that went long in the first stint and then charged home on good rubber, which helped him climb up to sixth.

Race results:

Cla # Driver Car Time
1 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Mustang GT 49'14.657
2 6 Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Mustang GT 49'18.817
3 88 Australia Jamie Whincup
Holden Commodore ZB 49'20.570
4 8 Australia Nick Percat
Holden Commodore ZB 49'27.176
5 14 Australia Todd Hazelwood
Holden Commodore ZB 49'29.018
6 20 Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 49'30.763
7 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Holden Commodore ZB 49'42.193
8 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 49'43.460
9 5 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Ford Mustang GT 49'44.760
10 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Holden Commodore ZB 49'49.361
11 9 Australia David Reynolds
Holden Commodore ZB 49'50.730
12 2 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Holden Commodore ZB 49'52.739
13 44 Australia James Courtney
Ford Mustang GT 49'52.928
14 15 Australia Rick Kelly
Ford Mustang GT 49'57.168
15 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Ford Mustang GT 49'57.496
16 55 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Ford Mustang GT 49'58.449
17 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Mustang GT 50'03.070
18 35 Australia Garry Jacobson
Holden Commodore ZB 50'03.102
19 34 Australia Zane Goddard
Holden Commodore ZB 50'05.263
20 19 Australia Alex Davison
Holden Commodore ZB 50'05.632
21 3 Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 50'06.798
22 4 Australia Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 50'09.322
23 22 New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 50'13.505
24 25 Australia Chaz Mostert
Holden Commodore ZB 50'25.976
2020 Supercars Townsville Supersprint race results

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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Townsville
Author Andrew van Leeuwen